Dedman College honors ‘Mr. SMU’ Marsh Terry at 2011 celebration

master plan

Dedman College honors ‘Mr. SMU’ Marsh Terry at 2011 celebration

Marsh Terry at a booksigning for 'The Memorialist'After more than 50 years at SMU, Marshall Terry still regularly visits his office in the Department of English in Dallas Hall. But his influence reaches throughout the University.

Terry – the E.A. Lilly Professor of English, founder of SMU’s Creative Writing Program, and former director of public relations and assistant to SMU President Willis M. Tate – was honored March 23 with the Dedman College Distinguished Graduate Award for his contributions to SMU.

Terry first stepped onto the SMU campus as a student, graduating in 1953 with a bachelor’s degree in English and in 1954 with a master’s degree. He stayed as a member of the faculty, chairing English for two terms and initiating the University’s award-winning creative writing program and the long-running Literary Festival.

A mentor and friend to his students, Terry helped launch the careers of novelists Joe Coomer, Douglas Terry, Tracy Daugherty and Lewis Shiner, among others.

“I took great joy in starting the creative writing program,” he says. “I’ve worked with wonderful students through the years.”

In addition to his academic career, Terry played an important role as an administrator in shaping SMU’s future. As director of public relations and assistant to President Tate, he wrote in 1963 SMU’s first Master Plan – the framework for the University’s current Strategic Plan.

“Looking back, I consider the opportunity to work on the Master Plan as one of the most rewarding parts of my career. That plan is central to everything that has happened at SMU since then,” says Terry, who has been known as “Mr. SMU” to his colleagues for years.

The author of nationally praised short story collections and novels such as Old Liberty, Tom Northway, My Father’s Hands and The Memorialist, Terry has received highest honors from the Texas Institute of Letters and PEN Texas. His histories of SMU, From High on the Hilltop: A Brief History of SMU, and its third edition, Marshall Terry’s History of SMU with Various Essays by His Colleagues, are important resources as SMU celebrates the centennial of its 1911 founding and 2015 opening.

The Dedman Distinguished Graduate Award honors outstanding graduates of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences whose lives demonstrate integrity and outstanding accomplishments.

Written by Nancy George

> Visit the Dedman College website

March 22, 2011|News|

Tune In: Simmons Hall construction, in just over a minute

Through rain, snow and Texas sun, SMU Multimedia and Web Development Manager Ian Aberle captured the construction of Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall, the new centerpiece of the University’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Check out his video compiling time-lapse photography of the construction site from September 2009 to September 2010 – just click the Vimeo screen. video

September 29, 2010|Tune In|

Board of Trustees approves new Residential Commons plan

Students on Main QuadThe SMU Board of Trustees on Sept. 10 approved changes to the campus master plan to include the construction of new residence halls to accommodate a sophomore residency requirement at SMU. First-year students are already required to live on campus.

Five new halls will contain 1,250 beds and will be constructed on the main campus north of Mockingbird Lane near the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports. The halls will be configured as Residential Commons, including not only housing but also space for classrooms, dining, social and cultural activities, and live-in faculty and staff. Additional parking also would be provided.

Students would continue their relationship with the Commons throughout their SMU years through activities sponsored by the Commons, giving them an ongoing campus connection even if they live off-campus in their final years. The plan is to adapt most existing halls as Residential Commons. Under guidelines to be developed, students living in Greek houses their second year would meet the residency requirement. Each Commons would include a combination of first-year and sophomore students; upper-class students would be accommodated as space allows.

“Providing more students with the opportunity to live on a campus that is architecturally beautiful, student-friendly and filled with academic, cultural and recreational resources supports SMU’s goal to provide our students with the best possible campus experience,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

The Residential Commons model “enriches the living and learning environment by emphasizing academic and social balance,” said SMU Provost Paul Ludden. “This intellectual and social community will be appealing to the high-achieving students we seek in greater numbers. The presence of faculty in Residential Commons will create greater opportunities for sharing ideas, informal interactions and mentoring.”

“There is definitely a correlation between multi-year student housing and academic success,” Turner added. Sophomore housing on campuses been linked to higher retention rates and a greater sense of camaraderie among students. The sophomore residency requirement has been recommended by several recent SMU advisory groups, among them the Honors Task Force and the President’s Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention. Campus planners gathered information from several other universities with multi-year housing, including Rice, Vanderbilt, Washington University and the University of Southern California.

“No private university in the U.S. News & World Report Top 50 lacks the capacity to house all second-year students on campus, and no private university in that group has less than a 90 percent retention rate of first-year students, or less than an 80 percent 6-year graduation rate,” said Ludden. SMU’s first-year retention rate is 88 percent, and its 6-year graduation rate is 77 percent.

The cost of the five new halls will be $134.5 million and will be funded from multiple sources, such as bond proceeds, private donations, and rent revenue. Construction is expected to begin in 2012 and be completed in 2014.

> Read more from SMU News

September 14, 2010|News|

SMU to improve property south of Mockingbird Lane

Map of North Central Expressway and Mockingbird LaneSMU has received a Municipal Setting Designation (MSD) as part of plans to improve University property south of Mockingbird Lane between Airline Road and North Central Expressway.

The property to be improved will include the site of the former Mrs. Baird’s bakery and adjacent businesses on the south side of Mockingbird. SMU’s plans are for non-commercial campus development that “will result in an attractive enhancement of this space,” says Paul Ward, SMU vice president for legal affairs and government relations.

> FAQ: The Mrs. Baird’s site redevelopment

Under current University plans, the redeveloped property will contain facilities such as tennis courts and a throwing field for SMU athletic activities. The southern tip of the property will house a University data center and an enclosed, partially below-grade electrical substation. Structures and landscaping “will reflect the level of quality characteristic of the SMU campus,” Ward says.

The Dallas City Council approved SMU’s application for an MSD on Aug. 11. At a later date, the city councils for Highland Park and University Park will vote on related resolutions.

Demolition of the site’s buildings is expected to begin in October 2010. Construction of new facilities on the site is expected to begin in 2011.

> Read more from SMU News

August 24, 2010|News|

SMU dedicates new Mustang Plaza and Mall Sept. 4

Mustang statue at Moody ColiseumThe entire SMU community is invited to the dedication of the new Mustang Plaza and Mall at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 4 in front of Moody Coliseum.

The mall opens the area in front of the coliseum to pedestrian traffic and is designed to be the main thoroughfare to and from proposed new sophomore housing as laid out in the University’s Centennial Master Plan.

See the Centennial Master Plan map
See President Turner’s invitation at SMU News

September 3, 2009|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|
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