Former President George W. Bush will deliver address at SMU’s 2015 Commencement Saturday, May 16

Patricia Ann LaSalle

Former President George W. Bush will deliver address at SMU’s 2015 Commencement Saturday, May 16

George W BushGeorge W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, will deliver the address at SMU’s Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 16, in Moody Coliseum on the main campus.

“This Commencement is especially noteworthy because 2015 is the 100-year anniversary of SMU’s opening. So it is fitting that we should hear from a president who led our nation and the world during historic times and is a valued member of the campus community,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

SMU expects to award more than 2,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees in the University-wide ceremony.

This is the first time that an SMU Commencement speaker has returned for a second presentation. Mr. Bush’s first Commencement speech at SMU was in 1999, when he was governor of Texas.

George W. Bush has been a long-time member of the SMU family through his marriage to Laura, an SMU alumna, who is currently a member of the SMU Board of Trustees. However, since his 2007 decision to locate his Presidential Center at SMU, he has become an active member of the University community, attending events and visiting classes.

“The Presidential Center and SMU are enjoying numerous partnerships through joint programming and faculty research as well as internships for SMU students,” Turner said. “Through the Center, more than 700,000 people have visited SMU, most of whom never before would have come to our campus. We are grateful for the resources and benefits of the Presidential Center and President Bush’s participation as Commencement speaker during this special time.”

George W. Bush received his bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School. After a successful career in business, including as an owner of the Texas Rangers, he was elected governor of Texas in 1994. When he was re-elected in November 1998, he became the first governor in Texas history to be elected to consecutive four-year terms. He is the author of two New York Times number one bestsellers, Decision Points and 41: A Portrait of my Father.

Following the University-wide Commencement, SMU’s schools and departments will hold individual ceremonies throughout the day to present degrees and honor graduates.

Written by Patricia Ann LaSalle

> Read more from SMU News

March 3, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News, Year of the Student|

Five staff members receive awards at 2012 Recognition Ceremony

SMU President R. Gerald Turner, Cyndi Heath, Cindy Gautreaux, Patricia Ann LaSalle, Niraj Bhagat and Tommy Newton at the 2012 Staff Recognition CeremonyFour exceptional SMU staff members received 2011 President’s Staff Recognition Awards during the 2012 Staff Recognition Ceremony in McFarlin Auditorium. The honors recognize individuals who have shown outstanding performance, commitment, and ability.

In addition, the Staff Association presented the 2011 Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins Award to Tommy Newton, director of recruiting in Meadows School of the Arts. The award was endowed in 2005 by Loretta’s son, Dallas E. Hawkins II, to recognize and reward outstanding performance among University employees.

This year’s President’s Award recipients are:

  • Cyndi Heath, certified medical assistant in the Memorial Health Center, received the President’s Award for New Employee Excellence, given to an individual who has been with SMU for one to three consecutive years.
  • Cindy Gautreaux, project coordinator in Central University Libraries, received the President’s Award for Continuing Excellence, given to an individual who has been with the University for four or more consecutive years.
  • Patricia Ann LaSalle, associate vice president and executive director of public affairs, received the President’s Award for Outstanding Leadership, given to a staff member who supervises one or more benefit-eligible employees and who “demonstrates exceptional leadership ability within his or her unit or across the University.”
  • Niraj Bhagat, manager of information systems and environmental health and safety in the Office of Risk Management, received the President’s Award for Innovation, given to a staff member whose “creative, innovative ideas … significantly improve a work process or system or greatly increase the efficiency of an operation or unit.”

The event also honored the following staff members who celebrated their 25th SMU anniversaries this year:

  • Carol Baker, Central University Libraries/Fort Burgwin Library, SMU-in-Taos
  • Steve Collins, Head Coach, Women’s Swimming
  • Patricia Feldman, Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center
  • Janelle Hampton, Registrar/Academic Services, Perkins School of Theology
  • Sam Ratcliffe, Central University Libraries/Jerry Bywaters Special Collections
  • Billy Townsend, Special Events/Facility Services
  • Michael Washington, Mail Central

Left in photo, SMU President R. Gerald Turner honored the winners at the 2012 Staff Recognition Ceremony (left to right): Cyndi HeathCindy Gautreaux, Patricia Ann LaSalleNiraj Bhagat and Tommy Newton.

February 23, 2012|For the Record, News|

The view “From High on the Hilltop”

'From High on the Hilltop' coverSMU alumnus, author and Professor Emeritus Marsh Terry shared a Homecoming Week panel with Journalism Professor Emeritus and Dallas historian Darwin Payne to celebrate a new edition of Terry’s classic 1993 history of SMU. The 2008 release of From High on the Hilltop: Marshall Terry’s History of SMU with Various Essays by his Colleagues features 14 essays on topics such as the state of Dallas at SMU’s founding, the University’s early women leaders, sports traditions, student life and SMU-in-Taos.

The essayists include SMU President R. Gerald Turner, English Professor Jack Myers, Associate Vice President and Executive Director of Public Affairs Patricia Ann LaSalle and the late James Caswell, former vice president of student affairs. The book also includes historical photos, some newly culled from the SMU Archives especially for this edition.

“The essays are a good cross section and make a nice balance,” says Terry (’53, ’54), E.A. Lilly Professor Emeritus of English in Dedman College and a recipient of SMU’s 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award. “All the writers have SMU experience from which to draw.”

Terry, who retired in 2007 after 52 years as a teacher and administrator, says he enjoyed telling the SMU story because he lived it. “I knew of so much that happened throughout the different eras of the presidents from Willis M. Tate to R. Gerald Turner,” he says.

“SMU is an important part of higher education in the United States, Texas and Dallas,” says Payne, also a contributor to the book. “It’s always important to know your past.”

The new edition of the book is published as SMU prepares to celebrate the centennial of its founding in 2011 and opening in 2015. It is available from the SMU Bookstore, publisher Three Forks Press and Amazon.com.

The SMU Faculty Club will host a book-signing with Terry 4-6 p.m. Nov. 19 in the Faculty Club. Wine and cheese will be served. RSVP by Nov. 17 to Dee Powell, 8-3012.

November 13, 2008|News|
Load More Posts