SMU celebrates historic 100th Commencement May 15-16, 2015

SMU Centennial

SMU celebrates historic 100th Commencement May 15-16, 2015

December Commencement 2013, blue mortarboards in Moody Coliseum, SMU

SMU will celebrate its 100th Commencement May 15-16, 2015 with an address by former President George W. Bush and a weekend of events for faculty, alumni, community members and more than 2,000 graduating students.

The 43rd president of the United States will speak at the all-University ceremony, which begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 16, in Moody Coliseum. Guests are urged to arrive early. Security screening will be in place, and seating in the coliseum is limited to four guests per student. Doors will open at 7 a.m.

The ceremony will be simulcast live at the following locations; no entry ticket is required:

  • Bolin Plaza, at the west entrance of Moody Coliseum (outdoor screen)
  • Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports
  • Crum Auditorium, Collins Executive Education Building
  • McFarlin Auditorium

The ceremony will also be webcast live at smu.edu/livevideo

Follow SMU’s 100th Commencement weekend on Twitter at #SMU2015

SMU will confer three honorary degrees during the 2015 Commencement ceremonies:

  • Meave Leakey will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for her achievements as one of the world’s most distinguished paleoanthropologists. She is a research associate at the National Museums of Kenya, director of Plio-Pleistocene research at the Turkana Basin Institute, Nairobi, and research professor in anthropology at Stony Brook University, New York. In 2002 she was named a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. Leakey is a foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and an honorary fellow of the Geological Society of London.
  • Irene Hirano Inouye will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for her leadership in international relations. While still in her 20s, she began tailoring her career toward service as director of a Los Angeles medical clinic providing affordable care for poor and uninsured women. She helped build the Japanese American National Museum, which opened in 1992, and became the founding president of the U.S.-Japan Council in 2008. Inouye currently serves as chair of the board of the Ford Foundation. She also serves on the executive boards of Independent Sector, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Smithsonian Institution, the American Association of Museums, and the President’s Committee.
  • Helen LaKelly Hunt will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, both for her work for healthy marriages and family and her efforts in helping to build the global women’s funding movement. The SMU alumna is the founder of The Sister Fund, a private foundation that supports women’s social, political, economic and spiritual empowerment. She has helped establish several other organizations, including Dallas Women’s FoundationNew York Women’s Foundation, Women’s Funding Network and Women Moving Millions. Her books include Faith and Feminism: A Holy Alliance, as well as seven books on intimate relationships and parenting co-authored with her husband, Harville Hendrix.

Make plans to attend the 2015 Honorary Degree Symposia Friday, May 15

The weekend’s activities include the Baccalaureate Service Friday, May 15, 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: smu.edu/commencement

Some major events at a glance:

  • May 15 – Free public symposium honoring Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa recipient Helen LaKelly Hunt, 10:30 a.m.-noon, Smith Auditorium, Meadows Museum
  • May 15 – Free public symposium honoring Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa recipient Meave Leakey, 2-4 p.m., McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall
  • May 15 – Free public symposium honoring Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa recipient Irene Hirano Inouye, 3:30-5 p.m., Hillcrest Appellate Courtroom and Classroom, Underwood Law Library
  • May 15-16 – Class of 1965 Golden Reunion, various times and locations
  • May 15 – Baccalaureate Service for undergraduates with SMU Associate Professor of Communication Studies, founding partner of Mustang Consulting and ordained minister Maria Dixon Hall delivering the featured speech, followed by Rotunda Recessional, 8 p.m., McFarlin Auditorium
  • May 16 – Faculty Breakfast and Distinguished University Citizen Awards presentation, 7:45 a.m., Champions Club, Miller Events Center, Moody Coliseum (for RSVPed faculty members only – walk-ups cannot be accommodated)
  • May 16 – All-University Commencement, 9 a.m., Moody Coliseum
  • May 16 – Commencement Buffet Luncheon, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Arnold Dining Commons
  • May 16 – School and departmental diploma presentations, various times and locations

> Find a full schedule of events at the SMU News homepage

May 14, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News, Year of the Student|

Save the date: The 2015 SMU Staff Association President’s Picnic takes place Thursday, May 21

The SMU Staff Association and President R. Gerald Turner invite all University staff members to the 2015 Staff Appreciation Day and President’s Picnic. The traditional post-Commencement celebration takes place 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, May 21 on the south lawn of Clements Hall.

This year’s event will include a commemorative Centennial photo, to be taken at 11:15 a.m., and special T-shirts exclusively for Centennial photo participants. Register online at smu.edu/picnic to ask for your T-shirt size. For more information, contact Staff Association President Kristi Kaiser Trail, 214-768-8283.

> Visit the SMU Staff Association online: smu.edu/staffassociation

May 4, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

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.edu/foundersday

April 16, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

SMU to honor three global leaders with honorary degrees during its 100th Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 16, 2015

SMU has chosen three extraordinary women to receive honorary degrees at its 100th Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 16, 2015.

The honorees are Meave Leakey, standard-bearer of a family of anthropologists whose research in Africa has revealed important clues to humans’ earliest ancestors; Irene Hirano Inouye, who helped build the Japanese American National Museum and is the founding president of the U.S.-Japan Council; and Helen LaKelly Hunt, a donor-activist, author and SMU alumna whose life focus has been to empower women and educate people about the value of healthy, intimate relationships. All three will receive from SMU the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Information about symposia presented by the honorary degree recipients will be released at a later date.

“One of the great privileges for SMU is conferring honorary degrees upon recipients who have excelled in their fields and contributed to society in diverse ways,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “They show our students how to change the world through education, service and philanthropy – and also illustrate the value of lives well-lived.”

> The history of honorary degrees at SMU, including honorees by name, year and degree

Meave LeakeyMEAVE LEAKEY has established herself as one of the most visible and distinguished scientists in a highly competitive profession through her field and laboratory research in paleoanthropology. Her research interests focus on East African mammalian evolution over the past 30 million years, with emphasis on primate and human evolution. Together with colleagues, Leakey has described new species of early apes, monkeys and human ancestors, including Australopithecus anamensis, the earliest known australopithecine (an extinct genus of early African hominids), and Kenyanthropus platyops (also extinct, the species name means “flat-faced man of Kenya”). These findings provide evidence of diversity in the human fossil record 3.5 million years ago.

Having retired as head of the Department of Palaeontology at the National Museums of Kenya, Leakey is now a research associate in the museum’s Palaeontology Division. She also is a research professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Stony Brook, New York, and director of Plio-Pleistocene research at the Turkana Basin Institute, Nairobi. In 2002, she was named a National Geographic “Explorer-in-Residence” in honor of the 50-year relationship between the National Geographic Society and the Leakey family.

Leakey is author of numerous groundbreaking scientific publications in prestigious journals and the author of several monographs documenting her research in Turkana. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including two honorary degrees from Stony Brook University and the University College of London, and was a recipient of the Academy of Achievement Award in 2004. In 2011 she was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Geological Society of London. In 2013 she was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., as a Foreign Associate, and the same year she became a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences.

Leakey received a B.S. in zoology and marine zoology from the University of North Wales in 1965 and a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of North Wales in 1968.

Irene Hirano Inouye IRENE HIRANO INOUYE became the executive director of T.H.E. (To Help Everyone) Clinic in Los Angeles at the age of 27. Founded by medical volunteers, T.H.E. aspired to bring affordable healthcare to poor and uninsured women. In 1988, she was appointed president and CEO of the Japanese-American National Museum (JANM), which opened in 1992. She would develop it as one of the preeminent resources in America on the immigrant experience. Its high-profile exhibitions, community connections, research projects and eventual affiliation with the Smithsonian have helped the museum build a reputation for excellence while encouraging young people to acknowledge and connect with their Japanese-American heritage. Inouye has played a foundational role in getting the World War II Japanese internment camp experience into history textbooks, and in gaining public attention for exceptional Japanese-Americans.

Inouye became the founding president of the U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) in 2008, the same year she married U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye. The USJC builds upon her work at the Japanese American National Museum and seeks to create networks of Japanese-Americans at the top levels of business, government, education, and the non-profit sector. After the 2011 tsunami in Japan, she became the guiding force in the Tomodachi Initiative, which supports Japan’s recovery from the disaster as a joint project of the USJC and the American embassy in Tokyo.

Inouye currently serves as chair of the board of the Ford Foundation, and she previously chaired the board of the Kresge Foundation. She also serves on the executive boards of Independent Sector, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Smithsonian Institution, the American Association of Museums, and the President’s Committee.

Inouye earned two degrees in Public Administration from USC: her B.S. in 1970 and her M.P.A. in 1972.

Helen LaKelly Hunt HELEN LaKELLY HUNT is a donor-activist, author and SMU alumna who has been recognized for both her work for healthy marriages and family and her efforts in helping to build the global women’s funding movement. She is the founder of The Sister Fund, a private foundation that supports women’s social, political, economic and spiritual empowerment. Hunt has helped establish several other organizations, including Dallas Women’s Foundation, New York Women’s Foundation, Women’s Funding Network and Women Moving Millions.

Her books include Faith and Feminism: A Holy Alliance, as well as seven books on intimate relationships and parenting co-authored with her husband, Harville HendrixTheir joint publications have sold more than two million copies and have been translated into more than 50 languages. With Hendrix, Hunt helped to develop Imago Relationships International, a nonprofit organization formed as a guide for transforming relationships and building better marriages. Imago Therapy is practiced by more than 1,900 therapists in more than 20 countries. Over the last two years, they have been disseminating in South Dallas and West Dallas “Safe Conversations” skills through a program called Family Wellness Dallas!

In recognition of her leadership in the women’s funding movement, Hunt has received Gloria Steinem’s Women of Vision Award from the Ms. Foundation for Women, the Equity Leadership Award from Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW), the National Creative Philanthropy Award from the National Network of Women’s Funds, and the Laura Parsons Pratt Award for Outstanding Achievement on Behalf of Women and Children from the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies. In addition, Hunt has been an Honoree of the Center for the Elimination of Violence in the Family and has been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Hunt received three degrees from SMU: a B.A. in Secondary Education in 1971, an M.L.A. in 1976 and an M.A in Counseling in 1979. Hunt earned a Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary in 2004, her focus of study being the religious foundations of American Feminism.

> Learn more about SMU’s Commencement ceremonies, events and traditions at smu.edu/commencement

April 1, 2015|For the Record, News, Save the Date|

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|
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