SMU will celebrate its 100th Commencement May 15-16, 2015 with an address by former President George W. Bush and a weekend of events for faculty, alumni, community members and more than 2,000 graduating students.
The 43rd president of the United States will speak at the all-University ceremony, which begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 16, in Moody Coliseum. Guests are urged to arrive early. Security screening will be in place, and seating in the coliseum is limited to four guests per student. Doors will open at 7 a.m.
The ceremony will be simulcast live at the following locations; no entry ticket is required:
- Bolin Plaza, at the west entrance of Moody Coliseum (outdoor screen)
- Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports
- Crum Auditorium, Collins Executive Education Building
- McFarlin Auditorium
The ceremony will also be webcast live at smu.edu/live.
SMU will confer three honorary degrees during the 2015 Commencement ceremonies:
- Meave Leakey will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for her achievements as one of the world’s most distinguished paleoanthropologists. She is a research associate at the National Museums of Kenya, director of Plio-Pleistocene research at the Turkana Basin Institute, Nairobi, and research professor in anthropology at Stony Brook University, New York. In 2002 she was named a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. Leakey is a foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and an honorary fellow of the Geological Society of London.
- Irene Hirano Inouye will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for her leadership in international relations. While still in her 20s, she began tailoring her career toward service as director of a Los Angeles medical clinic providing affordable care for poor and uninsured women. She helped build the Japanese American National Museum, which opened in 1992, and became the founding president of the U.S.-Japan Council in 2008. Inouye currently serves as chair of the board of the Ford Foundation. She also serves on the executive boards of Independent Sector, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Smithsonian Institution, the American Association of Museums, and the President’s Committee.
- Helen LaKelly Hunt will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, both for her work for healthy marriages and family and her efforts in helping to build the global women’s funding movement. The SMU alumna is the founder of The Sister Fund, a private foundation that supports women’s social, political, economic and spiritual empowerment. She has helped establish several other organizations, including Dallas Women’s Foundation, New York Women’s Foundation, Women’s Funding Network and Women Moving Millions. Her books include Faith and Feminism: A Holy Alliance, as well as seven books on intimate relationships and parenting co-authored with her husband, Harville Hendrix.
The weekend’s activities include the Baccalaureate Service Friday, May 15, 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.
Some major events at a glance:
- May 15 – Free public symposium honoring Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa recipient Helen LaKelly Hunt, 10:30 a.m.-noon, Smith Auditorium, Meadows Museum
- May 15 – Free public symposium honoring Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa recipient Meave Leakey, 2-4 p.m., McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall
- May 15 – Free public symposium honoring Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa recipient Irene Hirano Inouye, 3:30-5 p.m., Hillcrest Appellate Courtroom and Classroom, Underwood Law Library
- May 15-16 – Class of 1965 Golden Reunion, various times and locations
- May 15 – Baccalaureate Service for undergraduates with SMU Associate Professor of Communication Studies, founding partner of Mustang Consulting and ordained minister Maria Dixon Hall delivering the featured speech, followed by Rotunda Recessional, 8 p.m., McFarlin Auditorium
- May 16 – Faculty Breakfast and Distinguished University Citizen Awards presentation, 7:45 a.m., Champions Club, Miller Events Center, Moody Coliseum (for RSVPed faculty members only – walk-ups cannot be accommodated)
- May 16 – All-University Commencement, 9 a.m., Moody Coliseum
- May 16 – Commencement Buffet Luncheon, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Arnold Dining Commons
- May 16 – School and departmental diploma presentations, various times and locations