free events

Just Mercy author Bryan Stevenson gives two lectures at SMU Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016

This story is updated from a version that was published Aug. 17, 2016.

Attorney and author Bryan Stevenson'Just Mercy' book cover, whose intimate account of politics and error in the U.S. criminal justice system became SMU’s 2016 Common Reading, visits the Hilltop on Thursday, Oct. 13. The Common Reading Public Lecture begins at 4:30 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Also on Thursday, at 8 p.m., Stevenson will deliver the Jones Day Lecture in SMU’s 2016-17 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series.

Students who wish to attend the Tate Lecture can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible free seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

> Visit the SMU Reads website: smu.edu/smureads

Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of the criminal justice system.

> Follow Bryan Stevenson and the Equal Justice Initiative on Twitter: @eji_org

Bryan Stevenson

Author and attorney Bryan Stevenson will give a free lecture at SMU Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016.

One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Stevenson into a tangle of conspiracy, political machinations, and legal brinksmanship — and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice. His telling of the McMillian case is captured in Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.

The story is “[e]very bit as moving as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so … a searing indictment of American criminal justice and a stirring testament to the salvation that fighting for the vulnerable sometimes yields,” wrote David Cole of The New York Review of Books in his review.

And Stevenson is “doing God’s work fighting for the poor, the oppressed, the voiceless, the vulnerable, the outcast, and those with no hope,” wrote legal writer and novelist John Grisham, author of A Time to KillThe Client and The Innocent Man.

> Learn more at SMU’s Common Reading website: smu.edu/commonreading

Take a closer look at student innovation during the 2016 Engaged Learning Symposium and Big iDeas Pitch Contest, Friday, Sept. 23

engaged-learning-logo-300Make an appointment to see outstanding students show their work and stump for their innovations during the Fall 2016 Engaged Learning Symposium and Big iDeas Pitch Contest.

The two events take place Friday, Sept. 23 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum, as part of SMU’s 2016 Family Weekend.

Find the complete symposium line-up at the SMU Engaged Learning homepage

During the Engaged Learning Symposium, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., students in research, service, creative and internship programs from across campus will present their work and take questions from the audience. They will include SMU’s Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Fellows, Summer Research FellowsUniversity Honors Richter Research Fellows and McNair Scholars, as well as Engaged Learning Fellows.

> See the Big iDeas Pitch Contest rules and guidelines

SMU Big iDeas logo, blue background-400From 2-5 p.m., find out what some of SMU’s most innovative students are up to during the Big iDeas Pitch Contest. After developing their ideas, undergraduate teams pitch their ideas to a panel of judges with backgrounds in innovation and entrepreneurship. Next, judges determine which ideas are most realistic and can be developed in the following three months. The winning teams are eligible to win up to $1,000 in seed money to prepare prototypes and pilot programs for the Demo Day Fair in early February 2017.

> Visit SMU’s Office of Engaged Learning online

Andrew J. Torget’s history of cotton, slavery and the Texas Revolution wins 2015 Weber-Clements Book Prize

'Seeds of Empire' coverSMU’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies will present its annual Weber-Clements Book Prize to historian Andrew J. Torget for Seeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands, 1800-1850 (University of North Carolina Press, 2015).

Torget will be honored Tuesday, Sept. 27 at a 5:30 p.m. reception, followed by a 6 p.m. lecture and book-signing in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. To register, call 214-768-3684 or visit the Clements Center website.

In addition, Torget will discuss his work on KERA 90.1’s “Think with Krys Boyd” during the noon-1 p.m. hour on Thursday, Sept. 22. Listen live. audio or podcast

The David J. Weber-William P. Clements Prize for the Best Non-Fiction Book on Southwestern America honors both the Center’s founding director and founding benefactor. The $2,500 prize, administered by the Western History Association, is given for fine writing and original research on the American Southwest and is open to any nonfiction book, including biography, on any aspect of Southwestern life, past or present.

Andrew J. Torget, 2015 Weber-Clements Book Prize winner

Andrew J. Torget, SMU’s 2015 Weber-Clements Book Prize winner. Photo credit: Jun Ma/UNT

Torget, associate professor of history at the University of North Texas and the Clements Center’s inaugural David J. Weber Fellow, has won nine major book awards for Seeds of Empire, including the Weber-Clements Prize. The book explores the roles cotton and slavery played in fomenting the Texas Revolution, which was in part a reaction against abolitionists in the Mexican government, and in shaping Texas’ borderlands into the first fully-committed slaveholders’ republic in North America.

In selecting the book from a large field of entries, judges wrote: “Torget’s deep archival work brings a fresh perspective to the conflicts over slavery in Texas on the eve of the Civil War. The book’s most notable accomplishment is the emphasis on cotton and slavery as a world-wide system that bound Texas history to larger economic and political forces in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe. He challenges the traditional interpretation that the westward movement in the early nineteenth century was primarily motivated by ideologies of racial supremacy that characterized Manifest Destiny. Instead, Torget demonstrates that, although westering Americans felt superior to the people whose lands they invaded, they mainly migrated to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in the trans-Atlantic cotton economy that the Mexican government had established by offering them free land.”

Finalists for the Weber-Clements Book Prize included Emily Lutenski for West of Harlem: African American Writers and the Borderlands; and former Clements Fellow John Weber for From South Texas to the Nation: The Exploitation of Mexican Labor in the Twentieth Century.

SMU honors fallen 9/11 first responders with honor guard, bell ceremony at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9, 2016

Scene at the SMU flagpole on Sept. 11, 2001

Scene at the SMU flagpole on Sept. 11, 2001.

The SMU Police Department and first responders from the surrounding community will commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11 with a solemn ceremony honoring the police officers and firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty during the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

University police officers, along with members of the Highland Park and University Park Police and Fire Departments, will participate in a combined honor guard and bell ceremony for the fallen. The ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, at the flagpole on the Main Quad. The event is free and open to the public.

To symbolize the first responders’ devotion to duty, the bell ceremony includes a special signal of three rings, three times each, representing the end of duty and a return to quarters. The signals ring out that “those who have selflessly given their lives for the good of their fellow man, their tasks completed, their duties well done … are going home.”

The remembrance will also feature remarks from SMU President R. Gerald Turner and Police Chief Rick Shafer and a benediction by University Chaplain Stephen Rankin, as well as bagpipe performances of “Amazing Grace” and “America the Beautiful.”

“We welcome the community to come and help us remember those who gave their lives while protecting those they served,” said Chief Shafer.

The remembrance ceremony is one of several opportunities for campus community members, both in-person and virtual, to reflect on and remember the events of Sept. 11, 2001:

> Christina Rancke and Osama Bin Laden’s death
> Journal entries written by the SMU community 15 years ago

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson is topic of SMU’s 2016 Common Reading discussion Sunday, Aug. 21

Bryan Stevenson'Just Mercy' book cover was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of the criminal justice system.

One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Stevenson into a tangle of conspiracy, political machinations, and legal brinksmanship — and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice.

“Presumptions of guilt, poverty, racial bias, and a host of other social, structural, and political dynamics have created a system that is defined by error, a system in which thousands of innocent people now suffer in prison,” Stevenson writes. His telling of the McMillian case is captured in Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, and his book will be discussed by faculty, staff members and new SMU students as the 2016 Common Reading on Sunday, Aug. 21, before Opening Convocation.

The story is “[e]very bit as moving as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so … a searing indictment of American criminal justice and a stirring testament to the salvation that fighting for the vulnerable sometimes yields,” wrote David Cole of The New York Review of Books in his review.

And Stevenson is “doing God’s work fighting for the poor, the oppressed, the voiceless, the vulnerable, the outcast, and those with no hope,” wrote legal writer and novelist John Grisham, author of A Time to KillThe Client and The Innocent Man.

Stevenson will visit the Hilltop on Thursday, Oct. 13, for a free and open Common Reading Public Lecture at 4:30 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium. On the same night, at 8 p.m., he will deliver the Jones Day Lecture in SMU’s 2016-17 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series. Watch for more information in a future SMU Forum post and at the Common Reading website.

> Learn more at SMU’s Common Reading website: smu.edu/commonreading

Save the date: Engaged Learning Symposium, Big iDeas Pitch Contest scheduled for SMU Family Weekend, Sept. 23, 2016

SMU Big iDeas and Engaged Learning students in front of Dallas HallSave the date for SMU’s 2016 Family Weekend, and make an appointment to see outstanding students show their work and stump for their innovations during the Fall 2016 Engaged Learning Symposium and Big iDeas Pitch Contest.

The events take place 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum. SMU Engaged Learning will post a complete schedule in the coming weeks.

Find more information at the SMU Engaged Learning homepage

During the Engaged Learning Symposium, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., students in research, service, creative and internship programs from across campus will present their work and take questions from the audience. They will include SMU’s Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Fellows, Summer Research FellowsUniversity Honors Richter Research Fellows and McNair Scholars, as well as Engaged Learning Fellows.

From 2-5 p.m., find out what some of SMU’s most innovative students are up to during the Big iDeas Pitch Contest. After developing their ideas, undergraduate teams pitch their ideas to a panel of judges with backgrounds in innovation and entrepreneurship. Next, judges determine which ideas are most realistic and can be developed in the following three months. The winning teams are eligible to win up to $1,000 in seed money to prepare prototypes and pilot programs for the Demo Day Fair in early February 2017.

> Share the Big iDeas Pitch Contest rules and guidelines

Watch for more about the Symposium and Pitch Contest in a future SMU Forum post.

> Visit SMU’s Office of Engaged Learning online

SMU ready to celebrate at 2016 May Commencement Convocation

SMU Class of 2016

SMU observes its 101st Commencement May 13-14, 2016 with events for students, faculty, alumni and the entire community.

Technology and civic leaders, and SMU parents, Richard and Mary Templeton will speak at the all-University ceremony at 9:30 a.m. May 14 in Moody Coliseum. The University expects to award nearly 2,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.

Cancer prevention pioneer and global health leader Dr. Groesbeck Parham will receive an SMU Doctor of Science honoris causa during the ceremony.

Some major events at a glance:

> Learn more about Richard and Mary Templeton
> Find times, locations and other details on school and department diploma ceremonies
> Find ceremony information and student stories at SMU News
> Visit the Registrar’s May Commencement Convocation homepage

SMU Tate Series to feature two political legends May 2, 2016

Veteran journalist Jim Lehrer will moderate a discussion between political legends James Carville and Karl Rove for the The Ebby Halliday Companies Lecture of SMU’s Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series Monday, May 2.

All SMU student, faculty and staff are invited to the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum segment at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Admission is free, doors open at 4 p.m. and seats may be reserved online.

Tickets to the Ebby Halliday Companies lecture are sold out. However, SMU students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible seating on a first-come, first-serve basis. The lecture will begin at 8 p.m.

tate-james-carville

James Caravelle

JAMES CARVILLE is a Democratic political consultant who led Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign. He previously managed several gubernatorial and senatorial campaigns. Recently, he has moved beyond domestic politics to manage political campaigns in more than 20 countries around the world.

Tate-karl-rove

Karl Rove

KARL ROVE is a Republican political strategist known as the architect of George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns. He served as Senior Advisor to President Bush from 2000–07 and as Deputy Chief of Staff from 2004–07.

tate-jim-lehrer

Jim Lehrer

JIM LEHRER, moderator, spent more than 35 years as a television host for PBS and is best known as the host of PBS NEWSHOUR. Along with hosting PBS’ nightly news program, Lehrer has moderated 12 nationally televised debates in the past seven presidential elections, earning him the moniker “Dean of Moderators.”

For additional information: contact the SMU Tate Series.

Calendar Highlights: Mustang Must-do’s for April 22, 2016

Korean ‘Comfort Women’ Presentation: In a rare U.S. appearance, two surviving Kang Il-chul, a former Korean sex slavevictims of Japanese military sexual slavery will be at SMU on Friday, April 22, for the Embrey Human Rights Program’s “Evening With Kang Il-Chul and Lee Ok-Seon,” held in partnership with Seoul, South Korea’s House of Sharing, an assisted living home where Il-Chul and Ok-Seon and five others find support. The free public event will begin with a 6:30 p.m. reception featuring Korean food and dance tributes, followed by a 7:15 p.m. discussion in McCord Auditorium, Room 306 of Dallas Hall, 3225 University Blvd.

Cézanne Quartet: Join the Cézanne Quartet, Meadows’ Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence, on Saturday, April 23 as they perform the two quartets by Janacek and Beethoven’s “Rasumovsky” Quartet, op. 59, no. 2. Since winning Second Place Ensemble in the Senior Division of the Coltman Chamber Music Competition, the musicians have collaborated with cellist Andrés Díaz and violist Matt Albert of SMU, performed with the Bridge the Gap Chamber Players and Open Classical Artist Series and participated in the McGill International String Quartet Academy. The free public event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Caruth Auditorium.

Heavenly Images: “When I consider your heavens….” The words of Psalm 8 serve as the basis for the final choral concert of the season on Thursday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. From Tarik O’Regan’s The Ecstasies Above, a setting of Edgar Allan Poe’s Israfel, to Franz Joseph Haydn’s celebratory chorus The Heavens Are Telling, you will spend the evening gazing at a myriad of heavenly images. The Meadows choirs are honored to be joined in this performance by the young artists of Flower Mound High School. The concert is free and open to the public and will be held in Caruth Auditorium.

Tables of Content invitationFriends of the Library: The Friends of the SMU Libraries will host the 16th annual Tables of Content fundraiser at 6 p.m., Saturday, April 30, in the newly renovated Fondren Foundation Centennial Reading Room in Fondren Library, 6414 Robert S. Hyer Lane.

The event will include the presentation of the 7th annual Literati Award to Darwin Payne ’68, SMU centennial historian and professor emeritus of communications. The event also will feature a reception honoring the “Top 10 Haute Young Authors” as well as 19 table hosts who will lead discussions on a variety of topics with guests at the dinner.

Tickets to Tables of Content are $150. Sponsorship packages with special benefits and seating for the event are available from $1,000 to $10,000. For additional information, call (214) 768-3225 or visit smu.edu/friends.

 

Calendar Highlights: Mustang Must-do’s for April 15, 2016

Sing Song: Sing Song, the annual musical theater performance competition for SMU students hosted by SMU Program Council, is Friday, April 15 at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium. The performances are centered on this year’s theme of “Twisted Tales” – featuring an updated take on traditional fairy tales. Tickets are available online.

Campaign Finale: SMU gathers Friday, April 15 to unveil a new campus monument recognizing major donors and to dedicate the new Crain Family Centennial Promenade, it will mark the finale to the University’s historic $1.15 billion Second Century Campaign. The community is invited to attend the ceremony at 6 p.m. on the South Plaza, near the Hughes-Trigg Student Center, followed by a festive celebration.

TEDx

Inside SMU: Inside SMU, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 16 in Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall, is a full morning of topical discussions delivered by SMU faculty and students. The plenary session at 9 a.m. features Darwin Payne ’68, SMU historian and professor emeritus of communications, sharing “Ten Stories You Should Know about SMU.”

Meadows World Music Ensemble: Take a musical trip around the world with the World Music Ensemble spring concert. The performances will feature Arabic, Celtic, Indian and Greek music, and much more. Special guest artist Poovalur Sriji, a world-renowned virtuoso on the mridangam (Indian barrel drum), will perform his composition Jamming Saints. The event will be held on Sunday, April 17 from 6-8:30 p.m. in the Bob Hope Theatre and is free and open to the public.

Christianity in 2050: The Department of Religious Studies presents Philip Jenkins, Distinguished Professor of History at the Institute for Studies of Religion, Baylor University. On Tuesday, April 19 from 4-5 p.m. in Dedman Life Sciences Building, room 131. Dr. Jenkins will discuss revolutionary religious change worldwide. For centuries, Christianity has had its strongest centers in Europe and North America, but the world now finds itself in rapid transformation. Christianity is growing rapidly in the Global South, especially in Africa and Asia, while traditional Western religion is under threat from secularization. Meanwhile, Christians find themselves in competition with other religions, including Islam. So what will Christianity look like in 2050? The event is free and open to the public.

Titans: Author Leila Meacham will give a free lecture and book signing for her new novel, Titans, on Thursday, April 21 in Mack Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center. An author’s reception will be held from 1-11:30 a.m. Tickets to the reception can be purchased for $30 (includes signed book and lunch). A complimentary light buffet will be served at 11:30 a.m. The lecture and book signing will begin at noon. No RSVP is required for the lecture.

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