McFarlin Auditorium

SMU’s 2017 Honors Convocation and Hilltop Excellence Awards take place Monday, April 17

Honors Convocation 2016SMU’s annual celebration of high achievement in academics and community life takes place during the 2017 Honors Convocation and Hilltop Excellence AwardsMonday, April 17.

The 20th annual Honors Convocation begins at 5:30 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium, and the Hilltop Excellence Awards ceremony takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater.

> Coming April 17: Watch Honors Convocation live on the web at smu.edu/live

SMU reserves one Monday each April to celebrate the achievements of students, faculty, staff members, trustees and administrators in the two ceremonies. The Honors Convocation recognizes academic achievement at the University and department levels.

Read the full list of SMU’s 2017 Honors Convocation award and honors recipients

Jo GuldiThis year’s convocation speaker is Jo Guldi, assistant professor of history in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. A native Dallasite, Guldi studies the history of Great Britain and the British Empire, landscape history, legal history, property law, infrastructure, digital methods, international development, and agrarian studies. As a digital and data historian, she also oversees the lecture series “Data is Made Up of Stories: University-wide Futures From the Digital Humanities,” offered through the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute. Among other things, the series illustrates how text mining is used across different disciplines – from digital mapping of the transatlantic slave trade to an app that captures the inspiration for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Guldi is the designer of Paper Machines, a free, open-source software toolkit that allows users to visualize large amounts of text for historical and political analysis over time and space, without requiring special computational resources or technical knowledge. She is the author of Roads to Power: Britain Invents the Infrastructure State (2012, Harvard University Press) and co-author with David Armitage of The History Manifesto (2014, Cambridge University Press), currently being translated for publication in six languages. She graduated from Harvard with an A.B. degree in literature, earned her Ph.D. in history from the University of California-Berkeley and was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital History at the University of Chicago. She was also a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows and served a fellowship in the metaLAB (at) Harvard. Prior to joining SMU, she served as an assistant professor of history at Brown University.

Find more information on Honors Convocation

Retired and current faculty members will assemble for Honors Convocation in academic dress no later than 5:10 p.m. on the third floor of McFarlin Auditorium. The faculty procession will begin at 5:30 p.m. A reception will immediately follow the ceremony on the Main Quad.

Participating faculty members may RSVP online by Thursday, April 13, 2017. Faculty members with questions regarding the procession can e-mail ceremonies@smu.edu or call 214-768-3417.

Later, the University will present several awards for excellence – including its highest honor, the “M” Award – during the 2017 Hilltop Excellence Awards. The ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater. Hilltop Excellence Awards honorees will be listed in SMU Forum the day after the ceremony.

Follow SMU Student Activities @SMUStuAct for live updates from the ceremony, and share your Twitter and Instagram posts from the Hilltop Excellence Awards with the #HilltopExcellence hashtag.

Learn more about the Hilltop Excellence Awards from SMU Student Life

Humans of New York creator Brandon Stanton will speak in SMU’s 2016-17 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series Tuesday, March 7

Brandon Stanton, in colorBrandon Stanton, the creator and bestselling author of the Humans of New York series, will deliver the Ebby Halliday Companies Lecture in SMU’s Willis M. Tate Lecture Series Tuesday, March 7, 2017. The lecture will begin at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

Stanton studied at the University of Georgia and worked as a bond trader in Chicago before starting Humans of New York – a photography and storytelling blog – in the summer of 2010. What began as a project to photograph 10,000 people on the streets of New York City became much more as Stanton started to add quotes and interviews to his portraits and providing “daily glimpses into the lives of strangers.” Since then, HONY has built a following of close to 20 million fans across several social media platforms.

> Follow Brandon Stanton on Twitter: @HumansOfNY

In addition, Stanton has appeared on “Ellen,” “Good Morning America,” “Nightline,” MSNBC and CNN, and has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Mashable and dozens of other media venues.

He has also been named a “person of the week” on “The ABC Evening News with Diane Sawyer,” named to TIME Magazine’s “30 Under 30 Who Are Changing the World,” and has photographed President Obama in the Oval Office. He has taken his work to some of the world’s most remote and troubled regions, and has used the storytelling power of his site to raise money for several life-changing altruistic purposes.

Stanton is the author of two #1 New York Times bestsellers, Humans Of New York (2013) and Humans Of New York: Stories (2015), as well as the children’s book bestseller Little Humans (2014).

> Visit Humans of New York online: humansofnewyork.com

All SMU community members are invited to the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 7, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m. Tweet questions for Brandon Stanton to #SMUtate.

Tickets for the evening event are sold out. However, students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

> Follow the Tate Series on social media: Twitter – @SMUtate | Instagram – @smutate

> Participate in a student #HumansOfSMU project:

Astronaut Scott Kelly to deliver Tate Distinguished Lecture at SMU Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016

Captain Scott KellyCaptain Scott Kelly, the first American astronaut to complete a year-long mission in space, will speak at the Tolleson Lecture of the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016 in McFarlin Auditorium.

Kelly took flight on Expedition 46 to the International Space Station in March 2015. During his year in space, he helped lay the groundwork for the future of space travel and exploration. He also shared hundreds of pictures and messages with the world on Twitter and Instagram.

This historic mission also included a NASA study of twins in space: Kelly’s identical twin, retired NASA astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly, was stationed on the ground as a control model in an experiment to understand how space affects the human body.

> Follow Scott Kelly on Twitter: @StationCDRKelly

Kelly earned his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the State University of New York Maritime College in 1987 and a Master of Science degree in aviation systems from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1996. Before becoming an astronaut in April 1996, Kelly was a captain in the U.S. Navy.

Captain Kelly’s memoir, Endurance: My Year in Space and Our Journey to Mars, has been optioned by Sony Pictures and will be published in fall 2017.

All SMU community members are invited to the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m. Please tweet your questions for the forum to #SMUtate.

Tickets for the evening event are sold out. However, students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

> Follow the Tate Series on social media: Twitter – @SMUtate | Instagram – @smutate

Your invitation to Opening Convocation: Take part Sunday, Aug. 21

Guarding the University seal in the Dallas Hall Rotunda, SMU Opening Convocation 2010, photo by Jake Dean

SMU alumni guard the University seal in Dallas Hall during the Rotunda Passage at SMU Opening Convocation. | Photo credit: Jake Dean

Take part in one of SMU’s oldest traditions at the University’s 102nd Opening Convocation at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21 in McFarlin Auditorium. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven Currall will give the address.

Participating faculty members must assemble in academic regalia no later than 5 p.m. in the Perkins Administration Building. Faculty marshals will greet you and lead the faculty procession.

The ceremony will be preceded by the Rotunda Passage, a processional march through Dallas Hall for the incoming Class of 2020.

The festivities will be broadcast live by streaming video at smu.edu/live. Streaming is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.

For more information, visit the Registrar’s site at smu.edu/convocation.

SMU’s 2016-17 Tate Lecture Series opens Tuesday, Sept. 20 with Doris Kearns Goodwin, Tom Brokaw and David Gergen

Tom Brokaw, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David Gergen Tate Lecture Series 2016-17

Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and veteran journalist Tom Brokaw return to SMU Tuesday, Sept. 20 to kick off the 35th season of SMU’s Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series.

Goodwin and Brokaw will offer their insights on the historic 2016 U.S. election, moderated by political analyst and Tate Series veteran David Gergen. The trio will deliver The Linda and Mitch Hart Lecture program at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

Doris Kearns Goodwin by Eric Levin

Doris Kearns Goodwin | Photo credit: Eric Levin

After earning a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University, Doris Kearns Goodwin began her career as an assistant to President Lyndon Johnson in his last year in the White House. She later assisted President Johnson in preparation of his memoirs.

As a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of historical biographies, Goodwin has won praise for her meticulous, in-depth research and ability to chronicle both the public and private lives of her subjects. She has written six New York Times best-selling books.

Goodwin also worked with Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Studio to create the film Lincoln, based in part on her award-winning Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. The film grossed $275 million at the box office and earned 12 Academy Award nominations.

> Follow Doris Kearns Goodwin on Twitter @DorisKGoodwin

Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw is best known as the anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News” from 1982 to 2004. He has covered the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Challenger space-shuttle disaster, the 1989 Lorna Prieta earthquake, Hurricane Andrew and the 9/11 terror attacks. He now serves as a special correspondent for NBC News and can be heard every weekday on his radio segment, An American Story, on iHeartRadio.

In addition, Brokaw is the best-selling author of The Greatest GenerationThe Time of Our Lives: A Conversation About America, and A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope. His many awards and honors include several Emmys and Peabody Awards, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for excellence in broadcast journalism, the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in Media, and the Four Freedoms Award.

Brokaw was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014. He received his B.A. degree in political science from the University of South Dakota.

> Follow Tom Brokaw on Twitter @TomBrokaw

David Gergen

David Gergen

David Gergen is a senior political analyst for CNN, as well as professor of public service and co-director of the Center for Public Leadership in Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

In 1971, Gergen joined the Nixon White House as a staff assistant to a speech writing team and went on to presidential advisor for four former presidents. In addition to his political work, he was an officer in the U.S. Navy, worked at U.S. News & World Report and appeared on the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Gergen graduated with honors from both Yale University and Harvard Law School.

> Follow David Gergen on Twitter @David_Gergen

All SMU students, faculty and staff are invited to the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m., and seats may be reserved online.

The evening lecture is sold out. However, SMU students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible seating on a first-come, first-serve basis.

> Learn more about the 35th Tate Distinguished Lecture Series
> For additional information, e-mail the Tate Series

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