SMU continues its Centennial celebration during 2015 Founders’ Day Weekend April 16-18

R. Gerald Turner, President's Briefing, SMU Founders' Day 2012

R. Gerald Turner gives the President’s Briefing at SMU Founders’ Day 2012. The University celebrates the 2015 event from April 16-18.

The SMU community celebrates its fifth Founders’ Day Weekend with football, faculty talks, a President’s briefing, and a tribute to Meadows Museum’s 50th anniversary. The festivities take place April 16-18, 2015 around the main campus.

The weekend begins Thursday, April 16 with the annual Golden Mustang reunion as the University welcomes back alumni who graduated more than 50 years ago. It continues on Friday, April 17, with the extremely popular Inside SMU Powered by TEDxSMU, featuring thought-provoking presentations by faculty, alumni and students.

Also on Friday, SMU President R. Gerald Turner offers perspective on the University’s progress during the President’s Briefing at 7 p.m. in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center. In addition, the SMU Program Council presents the newest edition of a beloved tradition, Sing Song: EARTH, at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

Saturday, April 18 is SMU Community Day. This year features exhibitions and family activities at the Meadows Museum’s “Passport to Spain” plus spring football and opportunities to meet Head Coach Chad Morris and current and former SMU players at the Mustang Fan Fair.

The Meadows Museum 50th anniversary celebration includes programs and exhibitions documenting the history of the Museum and a special preview of the Abelló Collection, one of the world’s most renowned private collections that will be seen for the first time in the United States at the Meadows.

This year’s event  marks the final Founders’ Day Weekend of The Second Century Celebration. Designated as the third Friday in April each year, Founders’ Day recognizes “the visionary institutions, organizations and individuals that founded the University on April 17, 1911,” according to the SMU 100 website.

> Find a complete schedule at the SMU Founders’ Day website:

SMU celebrates Year of the Faculty during 2014 Homecoming Nov. 13-16

Brian Baumgartner

Well-known for his character “Kevin” on the Emmy-winning television series “The Office,” actor Brian Baumgartner ’95 is making the trip back to SMU for Homecoming weekend.

SMU celebrates the Year of the Faculty during 2014 Homecoming Nov. 13-16, honoring the contributions of the University’s esteemed faculty members as teachers and researchers. The Homecoming parade theme, “Dynamic Duos: Better Together,” salutes powerful partnerships, including SMU’s relationship with Dallas and the pairing of SMU students and faculty.

Saturday’s events begin with actor and alumnus Brian Baumgartner ’95 leading the traditional Homecoming parade, with tailgating on The Boulevard followed by the traditional football game at Ford Stadium.

> Learn more about Brian Baumgartner from SMU News

Other Homecoming highlights include season openers for the SMU men’s and women’s basketball teams on Friday, Nov. 14. The 8:30 p.m. men’s game vs. Lamar is sold out, but tickets are still available for the 6 p.m. women’s game vs. Northern Colorado. For tickets visit

Events at a glance:

Distinguished Alumni Awards Celebration, 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 13, Main Quad: honoring Mary Brinegar ’69, Frank M. Dunlevy ’71, John F. Harper ’68, and Emerging Leader recipient Alexandra Dillard Lucie ’05.

Pigskin Revue8:15 p.m., Friday, Nov. 14 McFarlin Auditorium: the 81st edition of the annual variety show featuring SMU students in music, dance and comedy acts, with the Mustang Band playing new music as well as old favorites from past revues. Admission is free with an SMU ID or $15 without an SMU ID.

• Tailgating on the Boulevard, 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 15, Bishop Boulevard: The Mustang Club Tent, with catering provided by Mi Cocina, will be located at the southeast corner of Bishop and Binkley on Mustang Alley. Adult admission is $10 per person in advance and $15 cash at the tent on game day. Children 8 and under are admitted for free.

• Homecoming Parade, 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 15, beginning at SMU Boulevard and Bush Avenue: The 2014 parade will feature iconic duos such as Batman and Robin; Mickey and Minnie; and Clark Kent and Lois Lane. Baumgartner, known for his iconic role as Kevin Malone in the TV series “The Office,” will serve as grand marshal. The new route featuring student floats, bands and entertainment will begin at SMU Boulevard and Bush Avenue. (Parade Map)

SMU Homecoming• Homecoming Football Game, 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 15, Gerald J. Ford
Stadium: Cheerleaders and the Mustang Band will lead fans from The Boulevard into Ford Stadium. Halftime will include a performance by the Mustang Band, a check presentation from the SMU reunion classes and crowning of the Homecoming King and Queen. Visit for tickets.

• All-University Worship, 11 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 16, Perkins Chapel: Join the SMU community at this inspirational service in Perkins Chapel and remember classmates who are no longer with us.

• Centennial Lighting, throughout the weekend:  This year’s Homecoming features a new tradition of ceremonial lighting that will extend across campus each evening throughout the weekend. Homecoming 2014 will also mark the debut of the illuminated SMU Mustang featured on SMU’s East Campus Expressway Tower.

• SMU Museum Open Houses, throughout the weekend: Explore world-class art, presidential artifacts, interactive exhibits and library treasures at SMU’s Bridwell Library, Centennial Hall, DeGolyer Library, George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, Heritage Hall and the Meadows Museum. All visits are complimentary during Homecoming except for the Bush Presidential Library and Museum. For tickets to the Bush Library and Museum, visit

• Reunion Gatherings, throughout the weekend: Reunion events are planned for the classes of ‘69 ’74, ’79, ’84, ’89, ’94, ‘99 ’04 and ’09. The Reunion Weekend kickoff celebration will begin on Friday, Nov. 14. Visit for more information.

SMU Homecoming includes more events for all ages. For the full schedule, visit

Written by Ariel Monticure ’15.

> Read the full story from SMU News

SMU prepares for 2013 Commencement May 17-18

Baccalaureate 2012 photo by Guy Rogers III

SMU observes its 98th Commencement May 17-18 with events for students, faculty, alumni and the entire community.

Former U.S. Senator from Texas Kay Bailey Hutchison will speak at the all-University ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 18, to be held on the University’s historic Main Quad. She will also receive an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from the University in recognition of her distinguished career in public service and support of higher education, especially in the areas of science and engineering. SMU expects to award approximately 1,500 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.

The ceremony will be simulcast live at

Follow SMU’s 98th Commencement weekend on Twitter at #SMUgrad2013

In 1993, Hutchison became the first woman to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate. She was re-elected three times. She also joined Margaret Chase Smith as one of only two women in Senate history to be elected to Republican leadership. As Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, she was the fourth-highest ranking Republican senator.

Hutchison served as the Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice and Science. She also chaired the Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee and served on Defense Appropriations for 16 years.

Throughout her career in the U.S. Senate, Hutchison worked to improve and expand higher education opportunities for students. She has championed advancements in science, technology, engineering and math education and helped thousands of Texans earn college degrees who could not have otherwise gained access to higher education. Through her efforts, research at Texas universities has grown to make the state among the top three for university research in the nation.

Hutchison’s efforts also helped bring more than $20 million in federal funds for research projects to SMU. Some of the projects that have been funded through her efforts include the Infinity Project, a math- and science-based engineering and technology education initiative; various NASA and national defense projects; high-tech visual equipment development; and biotechnology projects. In addition to science, technology, engineering and math projects, Hutchison has established the Ray and Kay Bailey Hutchison Scholarship at SMU’s Dedman School of Law and the Hutchison Legal Resource Learning Center.

Read more about Kay Bailey Hutchison from SMU News

The University will also confer honorary degrees upon four other individuals in recognition of distinguished contributions in their fields:

  • James Robert (Bob) Biard will receive the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, for his outstanding contributions in the field of optoelectronics. Biard received the world’s first patent for the light-emitting diode (LED) during his career with Texas Instruments.
  • Swanee Hunt will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for her efforts toward world peace and gender parity. Hunt, former U.S. ambassador to Austria, is founder and president of the Institute for Inclusive Security, which trains women peace builders around the globe.
  • Francis Christopher Oakley will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for his distinguished contributions to higher education as a scholar and administrator. Oakley is the Edward Dorr Griffin Professor of the History of Ideas and president emeritus of Williams College, where he led establishment of the tutorial form of instruction.
  • Bryan A. Stevenson will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for his efforts to achieve social equity through criminal justice reform. Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, which provides legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners who have been denied fair treatment in the legal system.

Read more about the 2013 honorary degree recipients

In addition, nine retiring faculty members will be recognized during Saturday’s Commencement Convocation:

  • William Beauchamp, associate professor of French, Dedman College
  • David Blackwell, William B. Hamilton Chair in Earth Sciences, Dedman College
  • Robert C. Davis, associate professor of mathematics, Dedman College
  • Margaret (Maggie) H. Dunham, professor of computer science and engineering, Lyle School of Engineering
  • Charles (Charley) Helfert, associate professor of theatre, Meadows School of the Arts
  • Robin W. Lovin, Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics and former dean of Perkins School of Theology
  • Bijan Mohraz, professor of civil and environmental engineering, Lyle School of Engineering.
  • Laurence (Larry) Scholder, professor of art, Meadows School of the Arts
  • Linda Brewster Stearns, professor of sociology, Dedman College

The weekend’s activities include the Baccalaureate service Friday, May 17, in McFarlin Auditorium. The service will be followed by Rotunda Recessional, a tradition in which seniors march through the Rotunda of Dallas Hall, marking the end of their undergraduate years and the beginning of their lifelong association with SMU as alumni.

More information at the SMU Registrar’s Commencement homepage

Some major events at a glance:

(Above, photo from Baccalaureate 2012 by Guy Rogers III.)

Calendar Highlights: Commencement countdown, May 13, 2013

Screen shot 2013-05-07 at 3.14.23 PM

Photos from SMU 2013 May Commencement Brochure

The entire SMU community is preparing for Commencement 2013. Here is a look at some of the big events:

Additional Information:

Tune In: SMU Homecoming 2012 in pictures

A face-painter at work in Peruna's Playground, SMU Homecoming 2012SMU’S 2012 Homecoming celebration provided several days of excitement, from reunions to Pigskin Revue to the parade (led by alumnus and TOMS Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie) to the Distinguished Alumni Awards. And to top it all off, the Mustangs delivered a 44-13 victory over the Memphis Tigers in Ford Stadium.

Gary Shultz of SMU News has posted dozens of images from the weekend. Visit his Homecoming 2012 page to see slide shows of all the action.

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