John Attanasio

For the Record: Summer 2009

Linda Eads, Dedman School of Law, received the 2009 Lola Wright Foundation Award from the Texas Bar Foundation in June, which included $5,000 to donate to the charity of her choice. The award recognizes “outstanding public service in advancing and enhancing legal ethics in Texas.” Past recipients include Berry Crowley, James Holmes III, Lloyd P. Lochridge, Jim Sales, Louise Raggio, Guy Harrison, Richard C. Hile, Justice Douglas S. Lan and Scott J. Atlas.

John Attanasio, Dean, Dedman School of Law, participated in a panel of law deans moderated by ESPN legal analyst Roger Cossack at the 2009 State Bar of Texas annual meeting June 25-26 in Dallas. Other speakers at this year’s meeting included historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, former FBI director William S. Sessions, Southern Poverty Law Center founder Morris Dees and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Anthony Cortese, Sociology, Dedman College, served as a panelist to evaluate proposals in sociology, anthropology, American studies, ethnic studies and psychology for the 2009 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships competition in Washington, D.C. He also served as commentator in a special session, “Racial Minorities in Popular Media,” at the annual meetings of the Association of Black Sociologists in New Orleans. In addition, he presented “Affirmative Action: Who’s Benefitting from it and Why” at the annual meetings of the American Sociological Association Aug. 8-11 in San Francisco.

Mary Vernon, Art, Meadows School of the Arts, will present a solo exhibition, Mary Vernon: Still Lifes and Tables, Aug. 28-Sept. 26, 2009, at the Valley House Gallery in Dallas. The show features work inspired by her recent trip to China.

Kamal Saggi, Economics, Dedman College, gave a keynote speech at the Valuing International Trade Rules Conference June 17-19, 2009, near Zurich, Switzerland. The conference was organized by the Swiss National Science Foundation and The World Bank. In addition, he was an invited discussant in the American Law Institute World Trade Organization Case Law Project, which met June 8 at the WTO in Geneva.

Members of SMU's student AAPG chapterSMU finished 10th nationally and first in Texas in the Excellence in Management Cup presented by Texas A&M’s Laboratory for the Study of Intercollegiate Athletics. The Cup determines which athletic departments win the most conference and national championships while having the lowest expenses. SMU won five conference championships in 2008-09, including cross country, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, women’s tennis and women’s basketball. Read more.

SMU’s student chapter of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists has received the national organization’s highest honor: the Domestic Student Chapter of the Year. The recognition includes a $1,000 scholarship from oil and gas industry supplier Schlumberger. SMU’s was the first AAPG student chapter in the nation; Hamilton Chair in Earth Sciences David Blackwell, Dedman College, is its faculty sponsor. Read more. (Left, student chapter members Jason Bell, Andrés Ruzo and Philip Klintmalm at a Barnett Shale drilling site.)

Faculty in the News: April 27, 2009

John Attanasio, Dean, Dedman School of Law, provided expertise for a U.S. News and World Report feature on the value of part-time law schools published in the April 22, 2009 edition.

Brian Bruce, director of the ENCAP Investments & LCM Group Alternative Asset Management Center, Cox School of Business, talked about the importance of safeguarding investments by diversifying them with The San Diego Union-Tribune April 19, 2009.

Kumar Venkataraman, Finance, Cox School of Business discussed who proprietary trading companies, or “prop shops,” have thrived on market volatility with The Austin American-Statesman April 19, 2009.

Judge’s family endows SMU law school deanship

SMU Law Dean John B. AttanasioSMU’s Dedman School of Law has became one of the few law schools in the country with an endowed deanship, through a $4 million gift from the Noel family of Houston in honor of the late Judge James L. Noel Jr.

The Noel gift is matched with $1 million from the Dedman family of Dallas, for a total endowment of $5 million. John B. Attanasio (right), dean of the Dedman School since 1998, will hold the Judge James Noel Deanship and Professorship of Law.

“Judge Noel was a distinguished alumnus of the SMU School of Law, and we are honored to have the school’s deanship bear his name,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “We are deeply grateful to the Noel family, many of whom are SMU graduates, for their investment in the future of SMU’s law school.”

“This is a wonderful way to honor Judge Noel and a truly historic moment for Dedman School of Law,” said Dean Attanasio. “Only a small number of law schools in the country have endowed deanships, and even fewer are endowed at the $5 million level.”

Noel earned an LL.B. from SMU’s School of Law in 1938, after receiving two undergraduate degrees from SMU – a B.S. in civil engineering in 1931 and a B.S. in commerce in 1932. He worked as an assistant district attorney in Dallas County while in law school and upon graduating became an assistant Texas attorney general.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Noel joined the U.S. Navy and served as a legal officer in Hawaii during World War II. Following his military service, he returned to the Texas attorney general???s office as the lead oil and gas lawyer before joining the Houston law firm of Butler, Binion, Rice & Cook. He later established his own law firm. In 1961 President John F. Kennedy appointed Noel to the federal district court bench in Houston, where he served until 1976.

Read more from SMU News

By | 2008-12-05T14:28:51+00:00 December 5, 2008|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

SMU tops Texas law schools in bar exam passage rate

The Umphrey Lee Cenotaph in SMU's law quadSMU’s Dedman School of Law has scored the state’s highest passing rates for first-time test takers on the July 2008 bar exam, according to the Texas Board of Law Examiners. The school earned a 93.97 percent success rate, with 218 of 232 alumni passing the bar exam on their first attempt.

Overall, 85 percent of first-time test takers passed the bar exam. Passing the exam is required to become a licensed lawyer.

SMU had the second-highest passing rate last year. Bar passage rates have increased since the Dedman School expanded its curriculum a few years ago to increase its focus on the basics of law and legal writing, says Law Dean John B. Attanasio.

Read more from The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By | 2008-11-13T14:25:49+00:00 November 13, 2008|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

For the Record: Nov. 15, 2007

Ed Fox, Marketing, helped design a survey of major grocery chains in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for The Dallas Morning News. He is featured in an article on the survey’s results that appeared in the Morning News Nov. 11, 2007.

John Attanasio, Law Dean, discussed the mission of the law school in an article on the growing number of Christian-based law schools in the Houston Chronicle Nov. 9, 2007.

Elaine Heath, Theology, and Mark Chancey, Religious Studies, have received Sam Taylor Fellowships from the Division of Higher Education, United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Heath’s Fellowship will support her research on emerging neo-monastic communities in the United States, which will result in a book to be published next year. Chancey’s Fellowship will support travel to archaeological sites in Galilee and the Golan Heights to research his upcoming book on the archaeology of Palestine in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, from Alexander the Great through Constantine.

George Martinez, Law, discussed an Irving, Texas lawsuit to force the adoption of single-member City Council districts and what it may mean for minority representation with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Nov. 8, 2007.

Dennis Cordell, History, was lauded for receiving SMU’s 2006-07 Faculty/Staff Volunteer of the Year award in the Summer/Fall 2007 issue of LifeLines, the newsletter of AIDS Arms Inc. He is chair of the agency’s Program Services committee, which oversees programs including operation of its medical and legal clinic, maintenance of testing and counseling centers, and partnerships with Latino and black community services.

Tihda VongkothSenior music major Tihda Vongkoth (right) has won the 2007 Keroupe Zildjian Concert Percussion Scholarship. College undergraduate percussionists worldwide participated in the competition, sponsored annually by the Zildjian Company, a renowned maker of cymbals and percussion instruments. Vongkoth is a student of Douglas Howard, Kalman Cherry and Drew Lang; she performs with the Meadows Percussion Ensemble, the Meadows Symphony Orchestra and the Meadows Wind Ensemble. Read more.

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