SMU prepares for 2013 Commencement May 17-18

honorary degrees

SMU prepares for 2013 Commencement May 17-18

Baccalaureate 2012 photo by Guy Rogers III

SMU observes its 98th Commencement May 17-18 with events for students, faculty, alumni and the entire community.

Former U.S. Senator from Texas Kay Bailey Hutchison will speak at the all-University ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 18, to be held on the University’s historic Main Quad. She will also receive an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from the University in recognition of her distinguished career in public service and support of higher education, especially in the areas of science and engineering. SMU expects to award approximately 1,500 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.

The ceremony will be simulcast live at smu.edu/livevideo

Follow SMU’s 98th Commencement weekend on Twitter at #SMUgrad2013

In 1993, Hutchison became the first woman to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate. She was re-elected three times. She also joined Margaret Chase Smith as one of only two women in Senate history to be elected to Republican leadership. As Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, she was the fourth-highest ranking Republican senator.

Hutchison served as the Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice and Science. She also chaired the Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee and served on Defense Appropriations for 16 years.

Throughout her career in the U.S. Senate, Hutchison worked to improve and expand higher education opportunities for students. She has championed advancements in science, technology, engineering and math education and helped thousands of Texans earn college degrees who could not have otherwise gained access to higher education. Through her efforts, research at Texas universities has grown to make the state among the top three for university research in the nation.

Hutchison’s efforts also helped bring more than $20 million in federal funds for research projects to SMU. Some of the projects that have been funded through her efforts include the Infinity Project, a math- and science-based engineering and technology education initiative; various NASA and national defense projects; high-tech visual equipment development; and biotechnology projects. In addition to science, technology, engineering and math projects, Hutchison has established the Ray and Kay Bailey Hutchison Scholarship at SMU’s Dedman School of Law and the Hutchison Legal Resource Learning Center.

Read more about Kay Bailey Hutchison from SMU News

The University will also confer honorary degrees upon four other individuals in recognition of distinguished contributions in their fields:

  • James Robert (Bob) Biard will receive the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, for his outstanding contributions in the field of optoelectronics. Biard received the world’s first patent for the light-emitting diode (LED) during his career with Texas Instruments.
  • Swanee Hunt will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for her efforts toward world peace and gender parity. Hunt, former U.S. ambassador to Austria, is founder and president of the Institute for Inclusive Security, which trains women peace builders around the globe.
  • Francis Christopher Oakley will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for his distinguished contributions to higher education as a scholar and administrator. Oakley is the Edward Dorr Griffin Professor of the History of Ideas and president emeritus of Williams College, where he led establishment of the tutorial form of instruction.
  • Bryan A. Stevenson will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for his efforts to achieve social equity through criminal justice reform. Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, which provides legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners who have been denied fair treatment in the legal system.

Read more about the 2013 honorary degree recipients

In addition, nine retiring faculty members will be recognized during Saturday’s Commencement Convocation:

  • William Beauchamp, associate professor of French, Dedman College
  • David Blackwell, William B. Hamilton Chair in Earth Sciences, Dedman College
  • Robert C. Davis, associate professor of mathematics, Dedman College
  • Margaret (Maggie) H. Dunham, professor of computer science and engineering, Lyle School of Engineering
  • Charles (Charley) Helfert, associate professor of theatre, Meadows School of the Arts
  • Robin W. Lovin, Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics and former dean of Perkins School of Theology
  • Bijan Mohraz, professor of civil and environmental engineering, Lyle School of Engineering.
  • Laurence (Larry) Scholder, professor of art, Meadows School of the Arts
  • Linda Brewster Stearns, professor of sociology, Dedman College

The weekend’s activities include the Baccalaureate service Friday, May 17, in McFarlin Auditorium. The service will be followed by Rotunda Recessional, a tradition in which seniors march through the Rotunda of Dallas Hall, marking the end of their undergraduate years and the beginning of their lifelong association with SMU as alumni.

More information at the SMU Registrar’s Commencement homepage

Some major events at a glance:

(Above, photo from Baccalaureate 2012 by Guy Rogers III.)

May 14, 2013|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

2013 honorary degree recipients take part in symposia May 17

Two of SMU’s five 2013 honorary degree recipients will participate in public symposia in their honor during Commencement week. Both events are scheduled for Friday, May 17, and both are free and open to the entire community.

The five individuals who will receive honorary SMU degrees on Saturday each have made distinguished contributions in their fields:

  • James R. BiardJames Robert (Bob) Biard will receive the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, for his outstanding contributions in the field of optoelectronics. Biard received the world’s first patent for the light-emitting diode (LED), now ubiquitous in devices ranging from digital clocks and remote controls to television screens and traffic lights. He holds more than 75 patents for his inventions. Biard is an adjunct professor of electrical engineering at Texas A&M.
  • Swanee HuntSwanee Hunt will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for her efforts toward world peace and gender parity. Hunt was ambassador to Austria during the Balkan War and helped host programs aimed at stabilizing the neighboring Balkan states. She is founder and president of the Institute for Inclusive Security, which trains women peace builders around the globe. She also is a lecturer in public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
  • Kay Bailey HutchisonKay Bailey Hutchison will receive the degree of Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa, for her distinguished career in public service and support of higher education. Hutchison is the first woman to represent Texas in the United States Senate, serving from 1993 to 2012. During her years in the Senate, she expanded higher education opportunities for thousands of Texans and championed advancements in science, technology, engineering and math education. Hutchison helped bring to SMU more than $20 million in federal research funds.
  • Francis Christopher OakleyFrancis Christopher Oakley will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for his distinguished contributions to higher education as a scholar and administrator. Oakley is the Edward Dorr Griffin Professor of the History of Ideas and president emeritus of Williams College, where he led establishment of the tutorial form of instruction. He has written 13 books and served as president of the American Council of Learned Societies.
  • Bryan A. StevensonBryan A. Stevenson will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for his efforts to achieve social equity through criminal justice reform. Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, which provides legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners who have been denied fair treatment in the legal system. Stevenson also is a professor of clinical law at New York University School of Law.

Bob Biard will participate in an 11 a.m. symposium in his honor Friday, May 17, in the Huit-Zollars Seminar Room, Embrey Engineering Building. The public seminar will describe the events leading up to the invention of the first LED by Biard and Gary Pittman at Texas Instruments in 1962. (Pittman received a B.S. degree in chemistry with honors from SMU in 1953.) Also included will be a discussion of continuing developments in semiconductor light-emitting devices leading to the Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser (VCSEL).

Francis Oakley will participate in a symposium in his honor at 1:30 p.m. on Friday in the Texana Room, DeGolyer Library. The symposium is open to the public, and Oakley will respond to remarks made by Charles Curran, SMU’s Elizabeth Scurlock University Professor of Human Values; Texas A&M Professor Cary Nederman, an expert in medieval political thought; Bruce Basington, Regents Professor at West Texas A&M; and Willard Spiegelman, SMU’s Dwaine E. Hughes, Jr., Distinguished Professor of English, who was one of Oakley’s undergraduate students. A reception will follow at the home of Jeremy Adams, Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor in the William P. Clements Department of History.

Swanee Hunt will be featured at an invitation-only luncheon and symposium in her honor from noon to 3 p.m. Friday in the Dedman School of Law’s Karcher Auditorium, Storey Hall. The symposium is titled “Demand Abolition” and will address the topics of sex trafficking and prostitution.

> More about SMU’s 2013 Commencement from SMU News
Visit the Registrar’s May Commencement homepage

May 14, 2013|Calendar Highlights, News|

Deadline for 2013 honorary degree nominations is Sept. 26

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with SMU President R. Gerald Turner

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (pictured with President R. Gerald Turner) received an honorary Doctor of Laws from SMU during its 2012 Commencement ceremony. Photo: Hillsman S. Jackson.

SMU’s Faculty Senate is seeking nominations for the honorary degree class of 2013. Nominees should be individuals “whose uncommon personal accomplishments at home or abroad have served society and the public good, or who enlarge human understanding and enrich human life, in any field of endeavor.” The deadline to nominate is Wednesday, Sept. 26.

Nominations should include:

  • a note identifying your membership in the SMU community
  • a 1-2 page statement detailing the nominee’s contributions
  • supporting biographical documentation
  • contact information for the nominee

Check SMU’s criteria for honorary degree selection (PDF format), and send nominations via e-mail or regular mail to Faculty Senate Secretary Steven Vik, SMU Box 750241.

> Read the honorary degree criteria
Find a list of previous recipients at the Registrar’s homepage

September 4, 2012|News, Save the Date|

SMU prepares for 2012 Commencement May 11-12

SMU Commencement 2011 banner bearers, photo by Jake Dean

SMU observes its 97th Commencement May 11-12 with events for students, faculty, alumni and the entire community.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will speak at the all-University ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 12 in Moody Coliseum and will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University. SMU expects to award approximately 2,100 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.

> Follow SMU’s 97th Commencement weekend on Twitter at #SMUgrad2012

Dr. Rice has achieved prominence in both government service and higher education. She currently holds three positions at Stanford University: professor of political economy in the Graduate School of Business, Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, and professor of political science.

Rice earned her Bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Denver, a Master’s from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Her academic career began in 1981 when she joined the Stanford faculty. A dedicated teacher, she has received two of the university’s highest teaching awards. She rose through the faculty ranks to serve as Stanford provost from 1993-99, the first woman and first African American to hold that position.

Rice served for two years on the National Security Council staff under President George H.W. Bush. She was the president’s special assistant for national security affairs during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and reunification of Germany. She served on the staff of President George W. Bush as national security adviser from 2001-05. She then served from 2005-09 as the nation’s 66th secretary of state, the second woman and the first African American woman to hold the post.

Rice currently serves as chair of the Board of Advisers of the Bush Institute, part of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the SMU campus.

> Read more about Condoleezza Rice from SMU News

During the Commencement ceremony, SMU will also confer an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree upon Nancy Cartwright, considered one of the most important and influential contemporary philosophers of science.

Cartwright is a professor in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics. The author of seven books, she has produced path-breaking work on issues such as the nature of physical laws, causation and scientific reasoning. She is a pioneer of today’s practice-based philosophy of science and helped develop the philosophy of social policy, economics, sociology, medicine, epidemiology and political science.

Cartwright is a Fellow of the British Academy and a member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the German Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina) and a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

> Read more about Nancy Cartwright from SMU News

The weekend’s activities include the Baccalaureate service Friday, May 11, in McFarlin Auditorium. The service will be followed by Rotunda Recessional, a tradition in which seniors march through the Rotunda of Dallas Hall, marking the end of their undergraduate years and the beginning of their lifelong association with SMU as alumni.

More information at the SMU Registrar’s Commencement homepage

Some major events at a glance:

(Above, banner bearers from SMU’s individual schools and colleges gather prior to the all-University Commencement Convocation. Photo from Commencement 2011 by Jake Dean.)

May 7, 2012|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

Condoleezza Rice will be SMU’s 97th Commencement speaker

Condoleezza RiceFormer U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will deliver the address at SMU’s 97th Commencement ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 12, 2012, in Moody Coliseum.

SMU expects to award approximately 2,100 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees in the University-wide ceremony. Rice will receive one of two honorary degrees to be conferred in the ceremony.

Rice has achieved prominence in both government service and higher education. She currently holds three positions at Stanford University: professor of political economy in the Graduate School of Business, Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, and professor of political science.

“Dr. Rice has led a distinguished career as a scholar, academic administrator and public official,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “As a public official, she served our country during a time of unique challenges. As a teacher-scholar, she is devoted to the education of talented young people. She is well suited to provide compelling and wide-ranging perspectives as SMU’s Commencement speaker.”

Rice earned her Bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Denver, a Master’s from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Her academic career began in 1981 when she joined the Stanford faculty. A dedicated teacher, she has received two of the university’s highest teaching awards. She rose through the faculty ranks to serve as Stanford provost from 1993-99, the first woman and first African American to hold that position.

Rice’s first experience in government service came in 1989, when she left Stanford for Washington to serve for two years on the National Security Council staff under President George H.W. Bush. She was the president’s special assistant for national security affairs during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and reunification of Germany.

After returning to Stanford in 1991, Rice served as provost for six years before again joining public service on the staff of President George W. Bush. She was the president’s national security adviser from 2001-05. She then served from 2005-09 as the nation’s 66th secretary of state, the second woman and the first African American woman to hold the post.

Rice currently serves as chair of the Board of Advisers of the Bush Institute, part of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the SMU campus.

Philosopher Nancy CartwrightDuring the 2012 Commencement ceremony, SMU will confer an honorary Doctor of Laws degree upon Rice and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters upon Nancy Cartwright (right), considered one of the most important and influential contemporary philosophers of science. Cartwright, who earned her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, is a professor in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics.

The author of seven books, Cartwright has produced path-breaking work on issues such as the nature of physical laws, causation and scientific reasoning. She is a pioneer of today’s practice-based philosophy of science and helped develop the philosophy of social policy, economics, sociology, medicine, epidemiology and political science.

> Read the full story from SMU News
> Visit the Registrar’s Commencement homepage

March 28, 2012|Calendar Highlights, For the Record, News|
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