R. Gerald Turner

$2.5 million AT&T gift endows new virtualization research center at SMU

SMU  and AT&T have launched a new collaboration in a research center that will deliver solutions to critical industry needs, educate the next generation of virtualized network technology experts and support Dallas’ emergence as a global information technology hub.

A $2.5 million contribution from AT&T to SMU will endow the AT&T Center for Virtualization and fund its research to support the fast, reliable cloud-based telecommunications necessary for global connectivity. Through virtualization, functions that once required specialized hardware devices are now performed with software running on general-purpose hardware.

“SMU students will see tremendous advantage from participating in the interdisciplinary research of the AT&T Center for Virtualization,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Employers are looking for graduates who understand the technical, business and consumer environment. We are very pleased that this Dallas-based, global company has chosen SMU as its partner to advance research on cutting edge technology.”

The Center also offers an opportunity to draw and encourage more women to engage in technology.  While women’s participation in STEM fields continues to decline nationally, SMU has been a leader in successfully enrolling women in engineering studies. Within the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering, women have averaged more than 30 percent of incoming undergraduates since 2005 – exceeding the national average of about 20 percent.

“We believe innovation increases when there is diversity in the workforce. This new research center not only helps advance the latest technology solutions, but it also presents a way to tap a critical segment of tech leaders: women,” said Brooks McCorcle, President, AT&T Partner Exchange. “Like AT&T, SMU is committed to building and expanding the base of technology talent. AT&T’s endowment is a call to mobilize and activate the next generation of female technology leaders through educational opportunities, innovative research and mentorship.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

SMU gathers for All-University Holiday Celebration Monday, Dec. 19, 2016

Holiday Peruna with Tis the Season in lights

Prepare for merriment: President and Mrs. R. Gerald Turner host their annual All-University Holiday Celebration from 3:30-5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19, in the Martha Proctor Mack Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.

The SMU community gathers after December Commencement for refreshments, holiday music and conversation with friends old and new. See you there!

Dr. Bob Smith Health Center dedication to take place at SMU Friday, Sept. 16, 2016

Dr. Bob Smith Health Center, SMUSMU will dedicate a new facility to provide comprehensive medical care to its 11,000 students at 11:45 a.m., Friday, Sept. 16, 2016.

The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center – a two-story, 33,000-square-foot building completed over the summer – is the University’s new home for medical and counseling services, a full-service pharmacy and the health education program.

“SMU is committed to providing care for our students’ physical and mental health, as well as teaching students healthy habits that will influence the rest of their lives,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The professional, confidential and convenient care provided at the Dr. Bob Smith Medical Center will contribute to our students’ success.”

Named for a University alumnus and benefactor who was also a prominent Dallas medical leader, the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center was constructed on the site of the former Memorial Health Center. It features a sky-lit atrium, high ceilings, large windows and natural finishes. New technology enables students to check in to appointments with a swipe of their ID card and receive messages from the health center via e-mail and text.

“It is such a joy to see my father honored in this special way,” said Sally Smith Mashburn ’77. “He would be delighted to see this wonderful facility and staff members providing well-rounded and excellent care for SMU students.”

The first floor of the center houses medical services, the pharmacy and health education offices. The medical services area is staffed by board-certified physicians, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, registered nurses and medical technicians. It includes 10 newly equipped exam rooms, a treatment room for minor surgical procedures, two patient observation rooms, two patient consultation rooms and several private waiting areas. A medical laboratory and radiology facilities also are located in the medical services area.

The health center, accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care Inc., provides care to students for acute illnesses, infections, injuries, minor medical procedures, immunizations and allergies as well as diagnostic X-rays and laboratory tests. Specialists in sports medicine, gynecology and dermatology also treat students at the center. The full-service pharmacy provides prescription medications and patient counseling and supports a small convenience store.

Counseling Services, located on the second floor, are provided by licensed psychologists and counselors, psychiatrists, doctoral interns and post-doctoral fellows. The new health center includes 19 counseling offices as well as a separate area for sexual assault counseling. Professionals are available to see students for mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and relational disorders and their services include evaluations, medication consultations and individual and group therapy.

The health center also includes two comfortable rooms designed for support groups. Counseling and referral for drug and alcohol abuse are available, as is ongoing support for recovering students. SMU Counseling Services are accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services, Inc.

A multi-purpose classroom on the first floor of the new health center provides a dedicated space for educators to expand student health education to include more preventive, wellness and peer-education programs. SMU’s health education program includes student orientation programs, training for student peer health educators and student wellness programs. The health center also includes a testing center for administration of psychological testing as well as national tests such as the SAT, LSAT and GRE.

“We know the importance of supporting the whole student, and research shows that good physical and mental health is key to student success,” says Pamela Anthony, vice president for student affairs. “The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center is a reflection of the high value we place on our students’ well-being, and we are determined to make sure every student knows about the resources that are available to them there.”

Charles Robert “Bob” Smith earned a B.A. in psychology from SMU in 1944. He graduated from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, then returned to Dallas to begin his 30-year career as a pediatrician. Smith was a co-founder of Doctors Hospital in East Dallas, serving as its CEO from 1959 to 1984. He founded Doctors Healthcare Center, heading it from 1964 to 1994, and founded Arcady Health Services Corporation, a healthcare management company.

Together with his wife, Jean, Dr. Smith created the Dr. Bob and Jean Smith Foundation in 1985 to support higher education, medical education and research and health. At SMU, the foundation funded the Bob Smith M.D. Pre-Medical Studies Center in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, the Dr. Bob and Jean Smith Auditorium in Meadows Museum, and a challenge grant for the SMU Annual Fund.

Four generations of the Smith family have attended SMU, including Dr. Smith’s father, his brothers and two sisters, all five of Dr. and Mrs. Smith’s children, and several grandchildren.

> Read the full story from SMU News

SMU names Rakesh Dahiya treasurer and chief investment officer

Updated Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016


Rakesh Dahiya, SMU Treasurer and Chief Investment OfficerRakesh Dahiya
, CFA, an experienced investment manager with a strong background in higher education, has been named SMU treasurer and chief investment officer, effective Sept. 12, 2016.

The University will welcome Dahiya with a reception on Tuesday, Oct. 11, from 4-5 p.m. in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center. Faculty and staff members may RSVP online.

Dahiya will be responsible for oversight of the University’s $1.5 billion endowment, mineral interests and planned giving assets. He will work with the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees, setting agendas, developing policies, formulating investment strategies, as well as recommending specific investment managers and vehicles for carrying out the investment program.

“Rakesh Dahiya’s experience in higher education investment management, particularly with sophisticated institutional portfolios much like SMU’s, as well as his achievements in corporate finance, makes him an excellent fit as SMU’s chief investment officer,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “As we move forward in the University’s second century, Rakesh’s leadership and understanding of changing markets will ensure that SMU invests wisely with a close eye on the goals established by our Board of Trustees.”

“Current markets are complex and fast-moving. It was important that we find the best individual to monitor national and global markets and identify strategic opportunities that position the University for growth,” said Fred Hegi, chair of the Investment Committee of the SMU Board of Trustees. “I am pleased to say that we found that individual in Rakesh Dahiya.”

Since 2011, Dahiya served as Director of Marketable Strategies at the University of Florida Investment Corporation (UFICO), an independent investment management company with total assets over $2.7 billion. Prior to UFICO, he spent nine years at Washington University in St. Louis and six years at Ralston Purina.

Dahiya’s experience over the last 20 years includes working with investments of more than $3 billion in global equities and fixed-income markets. As Director of Marketable Strategies at the University of Florida, he was responsible for all hedge fund, traditional equity and fixed income strategies. At Washington University in St. Louis, a university with endowment assets over $5 billion, Dahiya oversaw the investment of $2.6 billion in global equities, fixed income and public real assets.

As a senior officer of SMU, Dahiya will serve on the President’s Executive Council and work with leadership on matters related to endowment spending and the communication of endowment strategy and performance. He will oversee investment research and analysis, implementation, risk management, accounting, performance measurement and reporting associated with the investment process, and with the management of real estate and mineral interests.

Dahiya graduated from Iowa State University with a B.B.A. degree in finance in 1994. He earned his M.B.A. from the University of Illinois in 1996.

> Read the full story from SMU News

SMU rises to 56 in U.S. News & World Report rankings; five-place increase is one of nation’s best

SMU rose to its highest ranking among the nation’s universities in the 2017 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges, released online Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. The University tied with the University of Texas-Austin with the second-highest ranking in the state.

Among 310 institutions classified as national universities, SMU ranks 56, up from 61 a year ago. The increase was one of the five largest among the top 100 universities.

Since 2008, SMU’s 11-place increase is one of the four largest among schools in the top 60. In other ranking categories, SMU ranks 32 as one of the best national universities for military veterans.

For the rankings, U.S. News considers measures of academic quality, such as peer assessment scores and ratings by high school counselors, faculty resources, student selectivity, graduation rate performance, financial resources and alumni giving. SMU ranks 24 among all national universities in alumni giving at 25 percent.

“It is gratifying for SMU to be recognized for its positive movement among the best national universities,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The ranking is an example of the momentum of the Second Century Campaign and the University’s Centennial Celebration.

“We appreciate external recognition of our progress and believe it’s valid, but we also know that rankings do not portray the whole picture of an institution and its strengths. We encourage parents and students to visit the institutions they are considering for a firsthand look at the academic offerings, the campus environment and the surrounding community to best gauge a university.”

The rankings of 1,374 institutions, including national universities, liberal arts colleges, regional colleges and regional universities, are available now online and on newsstands Friday, Sept. 23. Find the “Best Colleges 2017” guidebook in stores Tuesday, Oct. 4.

By | 2016-09-15T15:16:34+00:00 September 13, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |
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