Staff Association

Celebrate SMU at the 2013 President’s Picnic May 23

SMUSA President's Picnic flyer 2013Even after Commencement, SMU staff members will have plenty of reason to party on the green University lawns: The Staff Association and President R. Gerald Turner invite all SMU staff members to the 2013 Staff Appreciation Day and President’s Picnic.

The traditional post-Commencement celebration takes place 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, May 23, on the south lawn of Clements Hall. The festivities will include picnic food favorites and several prize contests. Food will be served 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Visit the SMU Staff Association online

Staff Development Day 2013 takes place Thursday, March 21

SMU staff members can learn more about everything from PhotoShop to the Fondren Library media collection at the 2013 Staff Development Day Thursday, March 21 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

With a theme of “Celebrating SMU,” the event will feature a keynote overview of the ceremonies and commemorations surrounding the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in April.

> Learn more about 2013 Staff Development Day sessions

Martín Rico y Ortega (Spanish, 1833-1908), Rio San Trovaso, Venice, c. 1903.

Rio San Trovaso, Venice (ca. 1903) by Martín Rico y Ortega.

The 16 planned sessions include a workshop on tuition benefits, a look at SMU’s sustainability programs, and a docent-guided tour of the Meadows Museum’s latest major exhibition, Impressions of Europe: Nineteenth-Century Vistas by Martin Rico.

Dress code is casual, and SMU spirit attire is encouraged. For more information, visit the SMU Staff Association website.

SMU’s 2013 Staff Recognition Ceremony is Tuesday, Feb. 12

SMU Staff Recogntion Ceremony 2013 invitationThe SMU Staff Association presents its 12th annual Staff Association Assembly and Recognition Ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2013, in McFarlin Auditorium. A reception precedes the event at 10 a.m.

SMU President R. Gerald Turner will give his annual State of SMU speech, as well as the ceremony’s keynote address.

Winners of the 2013 Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins Award and Presidential Recognition Awards will be honored during the event. The event also honors staff members who are celebrating their 25th anniversary with the University.

>  Learn more at the Staff Association homepage

Nomination deadlines extended for 2012 SMU staff awards

Loretta O'Reilly Hawkins

Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins

This post was originally published Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012.

The nomination deadlines for SMU’s 2012 Presidential Staff Recognition Awards and Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins Award have been extended for one week. Nominations for all awards will now be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21.

The Presidential Staff Recognition Awards “recognize the contribution and excellence of staff employees to SMU,” and the nomination and selection process is managed by the Department of Human Resources.

The awards include $1,000 cash prizes, and each carries unique criteria:

  • New Employee Excellence Award, given to a staff member who has been with SMU for 1 to 3 consecutive years.
  • Continuing Excellence Award, given to a staff member who has been with the University for 4 or more consecutive years.
  • Outstanding Leadership Award, given to a staff member who supervises 1 or more benefit-eligible employees and who “demonstrates exceptional leadership ability within his or her unit or across the University.”
  • Innovation Award, 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 Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins Award is presented by the SMU Staff Association to permanent full-time employees “who have exemplified the qualities and characteristics of Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins as a member of the University community by demonstrating integrity, productivity and devotion to SMU and family.” The award was endowed by Dallas E. Hawkins II to honor his mother and her life as well as to benefit the university she served as a staff member from 1924 to 1961.

Hawkins Award nominees must have been permanent, full-time SMU staff employees for at least 5 five years as of the month of the nomination deadline and be in good standing with the University. The award includes a cash prize of $1,500.

Students, supervisors, employees, co-workers and colleagues are welcome to submit nominations for all awards. Honorees will be named at the 2013 Staff Recognition Ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 12.

Send Presidential Staff Recognition Award nominations to SMU Human Resources, to the attention of Rebecca Sampson, SMU Box 232. Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins Award nominations may be sent to Staff Association President Abigail Smith, SMU Box 335. Mark all nomination materials confidential.

> Download Presidential Award criteria and nomination forms from SMU Human Resources
> Find Loretta Hawkins Award criteria and nomination forms at the Staff Association homepage

SMU Staff Association 2012 toy drive continues through Dec. 20

Stock photo of a wrapped holiday giftIn keeping with annual tradition, the SMU Staff Association has organized a holiday drive to collect toys, games and other gifts for United Way partner Children’s Medical Center.

The Staff Association is accepting nonviolent, unwrapped toys ranging from dolls and action figures and related accessories, to board and handheld games and puzzles. All items should be new and unused, as well as appropriate for children.

Find more toy drive details at the SMUSA site

SMU community members may bring items to the SMUSA Holiday Luncheon, scheduled for 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center. In addition, toys can be dropped off at these designated donation locations through Thursday, Dec. 20:

  • Children's Medical Center logoBlanton Student Services Building, 1st floor by the elevator
  • Dallas Hall, Rotunda, 1st floor
  • Expressway Tower (East Campus), 2nd floor, Suite 200 (near Human Resources)
  • Expressway Tower, 1st floor, Parking and ID Card Services (Park ’N Pony)
  • Perkins Administration Building, 1st floor by the elevator

Additionally, Park ’N Pony is renewing its successful Toys for Tickets program, created in 2011 by Parking and ID Card Services Director Mark Rhodes. In a new twist added for 2012, each person who brings a toy directly to the Parking and ID Card Services Office for donation will be entered in a drawing to win $50 added to their Pony Express account.

Through Thursday, Dec. 20, SMU faculty, staff and students may pay off outstanding campus parking tickets with new, non-violent, unwrapped toys of a value equal to or greater than the cost of the tickets. The toys will be donated to Children’s Medical Center.

The program applies only to unpaid SMU parking tickets issued for unauthorized parking, parking without a permit, over-time parking or improper display of a permit. To participate, bring your parking tickets and a receipt for the toys to the Park ’N Pony office, Suite 101, Expressway Tower between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Visit the SMU Staff Association online

A little bit rock and roll: 2012 President’s Picnic is May 23

SMU Staff Association 2012 President's Picnic postcardFood, fun, tug-of-war…it’s that time of year again. The Staff Association and President R. Gerald Turner invite all SMU staff members to the 2012 Staff Appreciation Day and President’s Picnic.

The traditional post-Commencement celebration takes place 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 23, on the south lawn of Clements Hall.

In keeping with this year’s theme, “Country Rock and Roll,” staff members and departmental teams are encouraged to dress as their favorite music stars for the annual Spirit Contest. New attractions will include a photo booth and a bingo contest (first-come first-served and limited to 50 players per game).

The 2012 menu includes hamburgers and hot dogs, as well as veggie burgers, Frito pie, corn on the cob, watermelon and other treats. Food will be served 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Team competitions include the Mummy Wrap and the hotly contested Tug-of-War. RSVP online to register your 3-person team for the Mummy Wrap (log in with your 8-digit ID and e-mail password and click the “Respond to this survey” link).

Pick-up volleyball, horseshoes and frisbee golf will be played throughout the picnic. No team registration is required for these games. The Candy Count is back as well, with three prizes available for those who most nearly guess the number of candies in the jar.

Visit the SMU Staff Association online

Calendar Highlights: Commencement countdown 2012

Photo by Guy Rogers of SMU seniors in McFarlin Auditorium during the 2011 Baccalaureate serviceThe entire SMU community is preparing for Commencement 2012. Some major events at a glance:

Learn more at the Registrar’s Commencement 2012 website
RSVP online for the Faculty Breakfast and Processional
More about former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the 2012 Commencement speaker

(Right, SMU seniors file into McFarlin Auditorium for the Baccalaureate service. Photo from Commencement 2011 by Guy Rogers.)

Picnic time: Save the date now for the 2012 Staff Appreciation Day and President’s Picnic. The annual celebration takes place Wednesday, May 23, rain or shine. Stay up-to-date on picnic plans at the Staff Association website.

SMUSA hosts 2012 Staff Night at the Dallas Stars March 24

Dallas Stars logoThe SMU Staff Association has arranged discount tickets for a Dallas Stars hockey game to celebrate 2012 Staff Night at the Stars Saturday, March 24, in American Airlines Center. The Stars, currently in position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008, will take on the Calgary Flames with a puck-drop time of 1 p.m.

The Stars offer tickets for the following prices and seating areas:

  • Upper-level tickets ($15) in or near Section 324, at center ice or in the south end of the arena
  • Lower-level tickets ($45) in Section 104 or 109 (south or north end)
  • Platinum-level tickets ($50) in Sections 204-206 (south end)

To buy tickets, contact Thomas Arendt at the Dallas Stars, 214-387-5636, and mention SMU Staff Night March 24.

Pay parking is available at American Airlines Center or in the adjacent West End. Staff members can also ride DART Rail or the Trinity Railway Express to Victory Park. Visit the DART website for route and fare information.

> Study a seating map at
> Find your seat with the Stars 3D Seat Viewer

SMU’s United Way drive exceeds goals, with room to grow in 2012

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas logoSMU’s 2011 United Way campaign ended with $70,723 raised, exceeding its fund-raising goal of $70,000. Now a different kind of campaign is set to begin – one to create service opportunities for faculty and staff members and build year-round awareness of community needs.

The University’s United Way Committee is planning faculty-staff volunteer trips to partner agencies Goodwill Industries and Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind during the spring 2012 term, says Steve Edwards, professor of advertising and Faculty Senate president-elect. Edwards co-chaired SMU’s 2011 United Way campaign with Assistant Dean of Central University Libraries Bill Dworaczyk, Staff Association past-president.

“We want to give our campus community the opportunity not just to see how our money is being spent, but to further reach out and serve the communities in which we live,” Edwards says. “Faculty and staff members will bring their volunteer experiences back to the University, and we plan on sharing what we learn during these service opportunities in newsletters, videos, and at faculty and staff meetings around the campus. Our goal is to mobilize United Way supporters at SMU by letting them share the good works provided by this community’s donations.”

The 2011 campaign saw a 19.6% increase in SMU participation over the 2010 campaign, yet there is plenty of room for those numbers to grow, Edwards says. “We are making progress in getting the SMU community to recognize the value of the United Way. Still, for 2011, about 10% of our number made a monetary donation. That means we need to do a better job in communicating the needs that exist in the Dallas area and the important service that the United Way provides in making sure recipient agencies are using the money efficiently.”

Faculty and staff members can also increase participation by making some of their usual charitable contributions through SMU’s United Way campaign, Edwards adds. “Recently I spoke to a fellow faculty member who told me he had just discovered that Children’s Medical Center is a United Way partner. He told me that next year he will make his donation through SMU. This is the kind of information we must get out to the campus community.”

In 2011, SMU became the first United Way donor organization to use a text-to-give option in a campaign, an initiative spearheaded by Jennifer (JJ) Jones of Student Development and Programs. The new program – which allows donors to send $10 through a text message – achieved its goal of increasing student involvement, yet it was not the only successful new program for the year.

Toys collected for Children's Medical Center in SMU's 2011 Toys for Tickets holiday programThe campaign also achieved significant boosts from innovations such as Park ’N Pony’s  “Toys for Tickets” parking-citation forgiveness program, Edwards says. The initiative allowed SMU students, faculty and staff members to get waivers for outstanding parking fines in exchange for toys of value equal to or greater than the amount due. The toys (pictured left) were donated to United Way partner Children’s Medical Center.

“Between our toy-drive collection boxes on campus and the Toys for Tickets program, we had a Suburban and a Toyota filled to the brim with toys to deliver to Children’s,” says Darrah Rippy, senior manager of academic scheduling in the Office of the Registrar and SMUSA’s vice president of service and activities.

In addition to the toys, SMUSA also collected $240 in cash and gift cards, Rippy adds. “I know the staff at Children’s was thrilled to receive such a wonderful donation, and we felt really blessed to be able to bring a little Christmas cheer to the children who spent the holidays in the hospital.”

SMUSA plans to continue both its toy drives and Toys for Tickets “for as long as Children’s Medical Center remains a United Way Member Agency,” says Denton Bricker, McFarlin Auditorium manager and 2011-12 SMUSA president. “We always support a United Way agency to help with SMU’s campaign efforts.”

The campaign’s momentum came from the top as well, Edwards says. “Meeting with President Turner early in the campaign to secure his active support helped educate the SMU leadership and Council of Deans. Getting University administrators to understand the true impact of the United Way allowed them to become advocates for the campaign itself.

“These programs would not have been possible without the support of the SMU administrators heading up these units, and we thank them all,” Edwards says.

President Turner saluted the campaign’s success in his “State of SMU” address during the 2012 Staff Recognition Ceremony Feb. 16. “If we claim to be Dallas’ university – and during this centennial era we’re really affirming it – then we need to show that we can give as well as receive. This year is the first year we’ve passed $70,000, and I thank everyone involved for doing that.”

The United Way does not stop working just because the campaign is not active, Edwards points out. In response, the committee is planning a series of activities to engage the SMU community throughout the year.

“We want to share the success of the campaign and let people know that their contributions are appreciated,” Edwards says. “We want people to know what their money will buy.” Specifically, he says, almost $71,000 will change 710 lives in the following ways:

  • Provide routine dental care to 474 low-income children so they can avoid costly health problems later in life.
  • Provide financial education for 147 young mothers so they can raise their children in a stable home.
  • Provide tutoring and mentoring services to 89 low-income children so they can be the first in their family to attend college – and make sure they’re ready for the challenge.

The committee will share news about upcoming United Way service opportunities and profiles of partner agencies throughout the spring term.

Recognition ceremony kicks off 2012 Staff Development Day Feb. 16

2012 SMU Staff Recognition Ceremony invitationThe SMU Staff Association (SMUSA) will present achievement awards and recognize outstanding University employees during its 11th annual Staff Association Assembly and Recognition Ceremony beginning at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, in McFarlin Auditorium. A reception precedes the event at 10 a.m.

President R. Gerald Turner will give his annual State of SMU speech, as well as the ceremony’s keynote address. SMUSA will present the 2012 Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins Award and Presidential Recognition Awards. The event also honors staff members who are celebrating their 25th anniversary with the University.

The recognition ceremony will be followed by an afternoon of special events honoring Staff Development Day. Activities include:

Probably produced under the direction of Passchier Grenier, tapestry merchant, Tournai (Belgium), detail, 1470s, Fall of Tangier (detail),1475-1500, wool and silk

Detail, Fall of Tangier, 1475-1500, wool and silk, Diocese of Sigüenza-Guadalajara and Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Pastrana, Spain. © Fundación Carlos de Amberes. Photograph by Paul M.R. Maeyaert.

  • A docent-guided tour of the Meadows Museum Permanent Collection, 1:30-2:45 p.m., Meadows Museum
  • “Landscaping with Drought-Tolerant Plants,” presented by Ann Allen, University horticulturist, 1:30-2:45 p.m., Huitt-Zollars Pavilion, 115 Embrey Building
  • A docent-guided tour of The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries, 3-4:15 p.m., Meadows Museum
  • “Tuition Benefits and You,” presented by Valerie Parker, Human Resources, 3-4:15 p.m., Huitt-Zollars Pavilion, 115 Embrey Building
  • Spring Bloom Cooking Demonstration, a chef demo and Q&A presented by Claire Florsheim and Kyle Wilson, RFoC @ Lee, Umphrey Lee Center

Register online for the event of your choice. For more information, visit the SMU Staff Association homepage.

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