holidays

SMU Bookstore offers double discounts for faculty and staff during its grand re-opening Nov. 30-Dec. 3, 2017

SMU Bookstore Grand Re-openingThe SMU Bookstore celebrates its grand re-opening Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 with food, music, demonstrations, and extra discounts for University faculty and staff members.

Present your SMU faculty or staff ID for an extra 10 percent off – 20 percent total – on SMU gear, plus 50 percent off clearance items.

The event takes place 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, but the discounts will last until Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017.

Some exclusions apply, including textbooks and tablets. The extra discount is also not applicable to other discounts and promotions. No discounts are available on gift cards.

For more information, call the SMU Bookstore at 214-768-2435.

Celebration of Lights opens SMU’s holiday season Monday, Nov. 27, 2017

SMU Celebration of Lights 2016

As Thanksgiving Break ended, SMU ushered in the holiday season with one of its most beloved annual traditions: the Celebration of Lights. Sponsored by the SMU Student Foundation, the 2017 ceremony took place Monday, Nov. 27, at 7 p.m. on the Main Quad.

The ceremony features thousands of decorative lights, luminarias lining the sidewalks, seasonal songs performed by student musicians, and SMU President R. Gerald Turner reading the Christmas Story. The public was invited to attend and to share cookies and hot chocolate with the campus community before the ceremony began.

The festivities continue with other beloved traditions:

  • Advent Worship ServiceSMU’s Perkins School of Theology celebrates its Advent Worship Service on Thursday, Dec. 7, at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. in Perkins Chapel. Both services, under the theme “Ero cras…I shall come tomorrow,” will feature the Seminary Singers, directed by Simon Hill ’17 and accompanied by Hannah Cruse. The 8 p.m. service will include a special performance by the Orpheus Chamber Singers, led by founder and Artistic Director Donald Krehbiel ’83. Readers for the service will be Perkins faculty and staff members including Charles L. Aaron, associate director, Intern Program; Carlos F. Cardoza Orlandi, director, Doctor of Ministry Program; Laura Figura, coordinator of student life; Craig C. Hill, dean; Tamara E. Lewis, assistant professor of the history of Christianity; Evelyn Parker, associate dean for academic affairs and Susanna Wesley Centennial Professor of Practical Theology; Margot Perez-Greene, associate dean for enrollment management; and Mark W. Stamm, professor of Christian worship.
  • All-University Holiday Celebration: President and Mrs. Turner invite all SMU faculty and staff members to their annual holiday reception Wednesday, Dec. 13, from 3:30-5 p.m. in the Martha Proctor Mack Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.
  • December Commencement Convocation: SMU celebrates its 2017 December Commencement Convocation Saturday, Dec. 16, at 10 a.m. in Moody Coliseum. Retired and current faculty members will assemble for procession in academic dress no later than 9:40 a.m. in the Miller Champions Club. The ceremony will be livestreamed at smu.edu/live beginning at 9:45 a.m.

Order Thanksgiving treats from SMU Catering by Friday, Nov. 17, 2017

Thanksgiving cornucopiaSMU Catering is taking orders for Thanksgiving pies, cakes, cookies and breads – but time is running short. Place your order by Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 for Thanksgiving week pick-up.

The annual offerings include pumpkin, buttermilk and Jack Daniel’s pecan pies. Also available are Mexican chocolate cake, white chocolate pumpkin cheesecake, almond citrus cake, pear tart (featuring champagne-poached pears with frangipane almond filling) and pumpkin dip with gingersnaps.

The kitchen is also taking orders for Mustang bread in both original and jalapeño cheese varieties. All baked goods are homemade by SMU Catering.

For pricing information and to place your Thanksgiving order, call SMU Catering at 214-768-2368, or fax your order to 214-768-2366 and include your contact phone number. Visa, MasterCard and checks (payable to SMU Catering) are accepted.

Thanksgiving dessert order forms are available in several campus food outlets, or you can download a printable form here.

Payment is due upon receipt of your order. All orders and payments must be turned into SMU Dining Services in 101 Umphrey Lee Center by 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. All prices include tax.

Thanksgiving baked goods are for pick-up only. Orders will be available from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 20 and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21 in the SMU Catering office, 101 Umphrey Lee Center. Products are guaranteed fresh until Sunday, Nov. 26, with the exception of Mustang bread, which is guaranteed fresh for 48 hours after order pick-up.

By | 2017-11-15T11:22:31+00:00 November 15, 2017|Categories: News, Save the Date|Tags: , , , , |

Seasonal stress: How to help students, co-workers, and ourselves

SMU students walking outside a residence hall, fall colors

As SMU enters both the holiday and exam seasons for Fall 2017, the Office of the Provost is asking that all University community members look out for signs of stress in themselves, as well as in co-workers and students.

The weeks from Thanksgiving to the end of finals are “a time of significant stress for many members of our community,” wrote Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven Currall in an e-mail message dated Nov. 13, 2017. “We ask each of you to be aware of signs of stress in yourself and those around you. In particular, I ask that you be aware of signs of stress among students, especially first-year students as they are experiencing their first round of final exams.”

In addition, Currall urged students “who feel the stress of the season and finals” to visit the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center and make use of the many health resources available to them.

Currall also urged faculty and staff members to become familiar with SMU’s Caring Community Connections page: “This website allows us to convey our concerns about students so that the University’s support staff are able to provide students with appropriate information, caring, and advice.”

If you have concerns about students and are not sure what to do, please refer to the Student Affairs brochure “Concerned About an SMU Student?” or contact the Dean of Student Life Office at 214-768-4564.

In addition, these SMU offices can help, either with advice or referrals:

  • Counseling Services, 214-768-2277
  • Dean of Student Life Office, 214-768-4564
  • Office of the Chaplain, 214-768-4502
  • SMU Police Department, 214-768-3388

Physical exercise is often a good antidote to stress, Currall added, “and SMU is fortunate to have the extraordinary resources of the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports available for faculty, students, and staff.  Please take advantage of these facilities even during these busy times.”

Currall ended his message by encouraging the SMU community to take care of each other. “If you have the opportunity, I urge you to reach out to an individual who is separated from family and friends during this time and invite them to share some of your traditions and goodwill of your family and friends,” he wrote.

SMU celebrates Veterans Day with luncheon, Toys for Tots collection Friday, Nov. 10, 2017

Arc of Service banner, Maguire Center Veterans Day Luncheon 2017, 800px

SMU will celebrate its veterans from across the generations at a luncheon in their honor on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The SMU Veterans Day Celebration, “Arc of Service,” will take place noon-1:30 p.m. in the Martha Proctor Mack Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.

President R. Gerald Turner and U.S. Military Veterans of SMU will provide remarks recognizing the contributions and achievements of University service members. SMU Trustee Emeritus Milledge A. (Mitch) Hart III will deliver the keynote.

SMU Veterans pinThe luncheon will also feature live entertainment from the Meadows School of the Arts Brass Quintet, as well as the annual presentation of SMU Veterans lapel pins (pictured right).

In addition, the event will serve as a collection point for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s annual Toys for Tots drive. All members of the SMU community can drop off new, unwrapped toys and other holiday gifts for underprivileged children and teens. (Toys for Tots prefers not to accept realistic-looking toy weapons or gifts that include food items, according to the organization’s FAQ.)

Organizers are compiling a service slideshow featuring photos of SMU veterans. If you have photographs taken during your service period and would like for them to be included in the presentation, please send the photos and your service dates to the Maguire Center.

The event is presented by SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility. Thanks to a generous gift, Veterans Day luncheon tickets are complimentary for all SMU faculty, staff and students.

The Center also invites families, friends and loved ones of campus veterans to attend. Please RSVP by Monday, Nov. 6, 2017.

Attendance is free – but seating is limited, and registration is required. Sign up at the link below, or contact the Maguire Center, 214-768-4255.

> Register at Eventbrite to attend SMU’s 2017 Veterans Day luncheon

’Tis the season for 2017 SMU holiday cards – preorder by Friday, Nov. 10

SMU Holiday Card 2017, 400 pxThe holidays are approaching quickly, and now is the time to preorder your 2017 SMU holiday cards. Quantities are limited, so place your order by 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. If you are paying by personal check, your payment must be received by this deadline.

This year’s card features an image of Dallas Hall taken during the University’s Celebration of Lights, with “Season’s Greetings” on the front and the greeting “Wishing you and yours holidays that are Merry and Bright” on the inside. Cards can be ordered with a blank signature line or with “Southern Methodist University” preprinted.

The cost is $1.50 per card, sold in packages of 25, with envelopes. Cards are scheduled to arrive Wednesday, Nov. 22, and can be collected in G02 Perkins Administration Building. You will receive an e-mail notifying you when your cards are ready for pick-up.

For more information, contact Karen Hart in SMU Public Affairs.

> Find details, more views and an online order form at the SMU Development and External Affairs website

SMU books: Great holiday reads for 2016

Still shopping for the holidays? Complete your gift list with books published in 2016 by the SMU community, including faculty, staff members, trustees, alumni, libraries and museum.

From history to art to science to the Southwest, this year’s compilation by SMU News’ Cherri Gann has selections to please readers of poetry, personal and spiritual enrichment, young adult fiction and celebrity memoir. There’s a southern-themed cookbook for foodies, an uproarious card game based on the language of the Bard, and an arty crime caper filled with mystery and intrigue.

Some selections are available at the SMU bookstore, but all are available via online booksellers unless otherwise noted. Authors are listed alphabetically.

> Find the full list at SMU News

SMU Guildhall students choose 2016’s top 10 video games

Final Fantasy XV screen cap

Vivid characters and deeply detailed worlds are longstanding elements of the Final Fantasy game series. The latest installment, Final Fantasy XV, has been voted one of 2016’s top 10 games by students in the SMU Guildhall digital game development program.


SMU Guildhall students in art, programming, level design and production have named 10 outstanding titles – from the augmented-reality mobile adventure Pokémon GO to a reboot of the genre-defining first-person shooter Doom – as the Top Video Games of 2016.

The students – all Master of Interactive Technology or Professional Certificate candidates in digital game development – each chose their five favorites from a list of 50 of the year’s most talked-about games of every type and for any platform, says Marc Mixon of the Guildhall Student Activities Committee. Results were tabulated with an instant-runoff scoring system, in which descending numerical values were assigned for each place from first to fifth.

Overwatch screen cap

In Overwatch, a motley six-person crew fights missions together in colorful locations ranging from the Temple of Anubis to the Rock of Gibraltar to a Hollywood backlot.

Winning first place easily was the critical and commercial hit Overwatch, a shooter in which players form six-person teams online and complete missions together in a colorful, diverse and lived-in world. The reimagined edition of the classic Doom, once again created by Dallas-based iD Software, was not far behind. The remaining titles were closely grouped, with each receiving several votes.

There are many different measures for what makes a game great, Mixon says, whether a well-balanced experience for multiplayer titles or a compelling story for a single-player game. The students’ game choices reflect the best of their respective genres, he adds.

Video games continue to rake in consumers’ entertainment dollars, according to the industry’s largest lobbying group, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). Total U.S. revenues for the industry hit $23.5 billion in 2015, which represented 5% growth over the previous year. ESA data show that more than 150 million Americans play video games and 63 percent of households are home to at least one person who plays video games regularly (at least three hours per week).

Fortune: Level Up! Video Game Revenues Soar in 2015

Following is the complete list, in descending order, of the SMU Guildhall’s Top 10 for 2016. Descriptions include the developer/publisher, genre or genres, play mode, ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) rating and the game platform or platforms on which it runs. (Note that the ESRB does not rate online interactions for multiplayer online games.)

1. Overwatch
Blizzard Entertainment
Genre: First-person shooter
Mode: Team-based multiplayer
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Platforms: MS Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

2. Doom (2016)
iD Software/Bethesda Softworks
Genre: First-person shooter
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
Platforms: MS Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

3. Pokémon Sun and Moon
Game Freak/The Pokémon Company
Genre: Role-playing
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Platform: Nintendo 3DS

Dark Souls 3 screen cap

The “withered beauty” aesthetic and heart-pounding combat of Dark Souls III earned it a place among the SMU Guildhall’s top games of 2016.

4. World of Warcraft: Legion
Blizzard Entertainment
Genre: Massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG)
Mode: Multiplayer
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Platforms: MS Windows, OS X

5. Dark Souls III
FromSoftware/Bandai Namco Entertainment
Genre: Action role-playing
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
Platforms: MS Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

6. Pokémon GO
Niantic Labs/The Pokémon Company
Genres: Augmented reality, location-based
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Platforms: iOS, Android, Apple Watch

SMU Pokestops

The SMU campus is a map of Pokéstops – with Dallas Hall as a Pokémon gym – in a screen from the augmented-reality game Pokémon GO, which makes real-world landmarks a part of the gameplaying action.

7. Stardew Valley
ConcernedApe/Chucklefish Games
Genres: Simulation, role-playing
Mode: Single-player
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Platforms: Linux, MS Windows, Nintendo Switch, OS X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

8. Final Fantasy XV
Square Enix
Genre: Action role-playing
Mode: Single-player
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One

9. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Naughty Dog/Sony Computer Entertainment
Genre: Action-adventure
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Platforms: PlayStation 4

10. Battlefield 1
EA DICE/Electronic Arts
Genre: First-person shooter
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
Platforms: MS Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

By | 2016-12-20T15:14:23+00:00 December 19, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

SMU gathers for All-University Holiday Celebration Monday, Dec. 19, 2016

Holiday Peruna with Tis the Season in lights

Prepare for merriment: President and Mrs. R. Gerald Turner host their annual All-University Holiday Celebration from 3:30-5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19, in the Martha Proctor Mack Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.

The SMU community gathers after December Commencement for refreshments, holiday music and conversation with friends old and new. See you there!

Tune In: #HilltopHolidays in SMU’s Residential Commons

The more than 2,000 students, faculty and staff members in SMU’s Residential Commons are using the power of community to celebrate the winter holidays and to prepare for a successful finals season.

A new video by SMU News’ Myles Taylor show how each residential college is celebrating its bonds, from a Ware Commons gourmet treat-tasting to a rooftop dinner sponsored by Loyd Commons donors Paul and Penny Loydvideo [Watch in a new window]

The University is sharing its holiday spirit on social media, too. Follow the #HilltopHolidays hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the SMU website – and use it share your own media and memories from campus celebrations.

> Find more, including photos and slideshows, at SMU News

By | 2016-12-12T12:18:57+00:00 December 12, 2016|Categories: Tune In|Tags: , , , , , |
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