$2 million gift will create Mary and Richard Templeton Centennial Chair in Electrical Engineering in SMU’s Lyle School

endowed chairs

$2 million gift will create Mary and Richard Templeton Centennial Chair in Electrical Engineering in SMU’s Lyle School

Templeton Centennial Chair gift announcement

At the Templeton gift announcement (l.to r.): SMU Board of Trustees Chair Michael M. Boone, SMU President R. Gerald Turner, Mrs. Gail Turner, Richard Templeton, Mary Templeton, daughter Stephanie Templeton, engineering student Elizabeth (Liz) Dubret, Lyle Engineering School Dean Marc Christensen, and Brad Cheves, SMU Vice President for Development and External Affairs.

A gift of $2 million from Mary and Richard Templeton will create a new endowed faculty position in electrical engineering in SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering.

The gift establishing the Mary and Richard Templeton Centennial Chair of Electrical Engineering provides for a $1.5 million endowment and $500,000 in operational support.

The special “Centennial” designation underscores the foresight of donors who recognize the need for operational funds to allow immediate impact while the endowment matures.

“This commitment is meaningful because it comes from a family of engineers who understand the reach of science and technology,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The Templetons know better than most how their gift will help SMU attract outstanding faculty in this important engineering discipline, and how it will influence students and prepare them to contribute to the engineering profession.”

Richard Templeton is president and CEO of Texas Instruments, and Mary Templeton is a computer scientist. They were together on the SMU campus last May as Mr. Templeton delivered the commencement address at the Lyle School and as their son, Jim, received his own bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.

“The SMU formula for success is to combine bright, motivated students with talented, innovative faculty members,” said SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Paul Ludden. “This gift of an endowed chair gives us the ability to attract and support a strong, academic leader in the field of electrical engineering.”

The search to fill the Mary and Richard Templeton Centennial Chair of Electrical Engineering is underway.

“An outstanding faculty member can spark creative ideas in a student who goes on to change the world with an invention, or lead research that reveals a different way of looking at an old problem,” said Mr. Templeton. “It means a great deal to us to be able to help support that kind of educator.”

“Jim had such a wonderful experience at SMU that we want to help ensure the same access to superior faculty members for students who come after him,” said Mrs. Templeton.

The gift to fund the Mary and Richard Templeton Centennial Chair of Electrical Engineering counts toward the $1 billion goal of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, and toward the campaign’s goal to reach 110 endowed faculty positions. To date the campaign has raised more than $902 million in gifts and pledges to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience.

Written by Kimberly Cobb

> Read the full story from SMU News

September 24, 2014|News|

Volcano research shows link between ground deformation and eruption potential

InSAR image of volcanic uplift in Africa's Great Rift Valley

InSAR image shows volcanic uplift in Africa’s Great Rift Valley. (Credit: Study authors)

Using satellite imagery to monitor which volcanoes are deforming provides statistical evidence of their eruption potential, according to a new study in Nature Communications.

The European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1 satellite, launched from French Guiana in April 3, 2014, should allow scientists to test this link in greater detail. Its satellite interferometric synthetic aperture radar – InSAR for short – is a spaceborne imaging technology that will help scientists understand how volcanoes work, according to study co-author and geophysicist Zhong Lu, Shuler-Foscue Chair of geophysics in SMU’s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Dedman College.

Volcano deformation – especially uplift – is often considered to be caused by magma moving or pressurizing underground. Magma rising towards the surface could be a sign of an imminent eruption. On the other hand, many other factors influence volcano deformation, and even if magma is rising, it may stop short rather than erupting.

InSAR technology will eventually help scientists develop a forecast system for all volcanoes, including those that are remote and inaccessible. “InSAR will aid in the prediction of future eruptions,” Lu said. “At SMU, we are developing and applying this technique to track motions of volcanic activities, landslide movements, land subsidence and building stability, among other events.”

Juliet Biggs of the University of Bristol in England led the study. Biggs looked at the archive of satellite data covering more than 500 volcanoes worldwide, many of which have been systematically observed for more than 18 years.

Satellite radar can provide high-resolution maps of deformation, allowing the detection of unrest at many volcanoes that might otherwise go unrecognized. Such satellite data is often the only source of information for remote or inaccessible volcanoes.

The researchers, who included scientists from Cornell University and Oxford University, applied statistical methods more traditionally used for medical diagnostic testing and found that many deforming volcanoes also erupted (46 percent). Together with the very high proportion of non-deforming volcanoes that did not erupt (94 percent), these jointly represent a strong indicator of a volcano’s long-term eruptive potential.

“The findings suggest that satellite radar is the perfect tool to identify volcanic unrest on a regional or global scale and target ground-based monitoring,” Biggs said.

Courtesy of the University of Bristol

> Read the full story at the SMU Research blog

May 6, 2014|Research|

Arts and civic leader Bess Enloe to be honored in 2014 “Meadows at the Meyerson” concert on Wednesday, April 9

noted arts and civic leader Bess Enloe

Bess Enloe will be honored in the 2014 “Meadows at the Meyerson” benefit concert, presented by SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts presents its 21st annual benefit concert, “The 2014 Meadows at the Meyerson,” at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora Street in Dallas.

Held each spring, the concert features the critically acclaimed Meadows Symphony Orchestra and honors a community leader. This year’s honoree is noted arts and civic leader Bess Enloe. The 2014 event chairs are Janie and Paul Cooke, and the honorary chair is Dr. Bobby Lyle.

Under the direction of conductor Paul Phillips, the Meadows Symphony will perform three Italian-themed works. The concert opens with the short overture to the enduringly popular opera The Italian Girl in Algiers by Giochino Rossini (1813). It will be followed by Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 (“Italian”), which was inspired by the composer’s grand tour of Europe from 1829 to 1831.

After intermission, the symphony will perform Church Windows (1926) by Ottorino Respighi, one of the most popular modern Italian composers. Each of the work’s four movements evokes religious events portrayed in church windows throughout Italy, including “The Flight into Egypt,” “St. Michael the Archangel,” “The Matins of St. Clare” and “St. Gregory the Great.”

> VIDEO: MSO Director Paul Phillips on preparing for “Meadows at the Meyerson” video

Dallas Arts Week 2014 logo“The Meadows at the Meyerson” is part of 2014 Dallas Arts Week, April 5-13, which includes numerous other SMU events. More information about Dallas Arts Week is available on its Facebook page and at Dallas Arts News.

> Find more SMU Dallas Arts Week 2014 events

“The Meadows at the Meyerson is the perfect demonstration of our values as an arts organization in Dallas: We take one of the country’s finest student orchestras into the heart of our city and raise money for scholarships to bring even more talented students from around the world to Dallas,” said Meadows Dean José Bowen. “There is no one better to celebrate for this event than Bess Enloe, who has been a champion for arts and cultural excellence in our city.

“A number of these smart-artists, our ‘smartists,’ have chosen to stay in Dallas after they graduate, building on Dallas’s momentum as one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the U.S.”

Event honoree Bess Enloe has been an energetic leader and supporter of numerous Dallas arts groups through the years. A graduate of SMU, she served as chair of the executive board of the Meadows School of the Arts from 2010 to 2013. She is a life trustee of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, where she was also the founding president, and a life trustee of the Dallas Theater Center. Ms. Enloe has received several awards in recognition of her work, including the TACA Silver Cup Award in 1993, the TITAS Award for Excellence in Arts Leadership in 2007, and the Dallas Historical Society’s Award for Excellence in Community Service – Arts Leadership in 2009.

Tickets to the Meadows at the Meyerson concert are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $15 for students and SMU faculty and staff. For tickets, contact the Meadows Box Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

> Read the full story from SMU News

April 3, 2014|Calendar Highlights, News|

Paul Phillips to serve as guest conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra March 20-22, 2014

Meadows Symphony Orchestra conductor Paul PhillipsMeadows Symphony Orchestra conductor Paul Phillips ’74 will step in for Dallas Symphony Orchestra Music Director Jaap van Zweden and serve as guest conductor of the DSO on March 20, 21 and 22.

Under Phillips’ baton, the DSO and guest pianist Anna Fedorova will perform the stirring Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2; Shostakovich’s Five Fragments; and Aaron Copland’s Third Symphony.

Tickets are available online for the March 20, 21 and 22 DSO performances with Paul Phillips as guest conductor. For more information, call 214-692-0203.

> Find the event at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra homepage

Phillips, the Martha Raley Peak Endowed Centennial Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts’ Division of Music, was originally scheduled to conduct the MSO on Wednesday, March 19 in Caruth Auditorium. Instead, he will be at the Meyerson Symphony Center rehearsing with the DSO. Taking Phillips’ place on the Meadows conductor platform that night will be Michelle Merrill, a former student of Phillips’ who was the only American among the four winners of the 2012 International Conductors Workshop and Competition. She has conducted such orchestras as the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony, the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, the Round Rock Symphony and the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra in the Czech Republic.

With guest cellist Christopher Adkins (a Meadows faculty member and principal cellist for the DSO), the MSO will present Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo, a Hebraic rhapsody exploring the lamentations and trials of King Solomon. The ensemble will also perform Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 4, a piece originally composed in 1936 but not performed publicly until 1961 due to threat of repercussion by Stalin, who denounced Shostakovich as a creator of “chaos instead of music.” The concert takes place at 8 p.m. in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center.

Tickets are available online for the Meadows Symphony Orchestra performance and cost $7 for SMU students, faculty and staff. For more information, call the Meadows Ticket Office at 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

> Read the full story from SMU News

March 18, 2014|Calendar Highlights, News, Year of the Faculty|

SMU Meadows and Dallas Chamber Symphony host international piano competition, March 12-15, 2014

Dallas Chamber Symphony logoEighteen young pianists from around the globe will come to Dallas March 12-15, 2014, to participate in the second annual Dallas Chamber Symphony International Piano Competition. The event, a community partnership between the Dallas Chamber Symphony and SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, will be hosted in SMU’s Owen Arts Center.

The event will consist of three rounds of competition before a distinguished international jury panel, as well as master classes and private lessons from renowned SMU faculty. Twelve pianists have been selected for the master classes taught by Joaquín Achúcarro, professor of piano and Joel Estes Tate Chair, and Carol Leone, associate professor and co-chair of the keyboard department.

The first place winner will receive $1,500 and will perform his or her winning concerto with the Dallas Chamber Symphony this fall at Dallas City Performance Hall. Second and third place winners receive $1,000 and $500, respectively.

Stock photo of a grand pianoThe pianists chosen by audition for the quarter-finals are from China, Cuba, Russia, South Korea, Thailand and the U.S.  Two are SMU Meadows graduate students: Lizhen Wu (China) and Dario Martin (Cuba), both of whom are studying with Achúcarro.

All of the finalists are professional or pre-professional pianists under age 25, and most have won multiple competitions in their home countries and elsewhere.

The international panel of judges includes South African native Petronel Malan, a concert and recording artist, Grammy nominee and winner of multiple gold medals at international piano competitions; Roger Lord, first prize winner of the major Canadian competitions, international performer and currently professor of piano at the Université de Moncton in Canada; and Deniz Gelenbe, a native of Turkey, hailed by critics in France as one of the world’s best chamber musicians, an international master instructor and adjudicator, and currently head of piano and organ at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London.

All competition rounds and master classes are open to the public; admission is free, but tickets must be reserved in advance.

> Read the full story from SMU News

March 7, 2014|Calendar Highlights, News|
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