staff news

Five honored with 2015 Faculty Senate Outstanding Staff Awards

The SMU Faculty Senate honored five staff members for exceptional performance with its 2015 Faculty Senate Outstanding Staff Awards. The honors were presented during the Senate’s last meeting of the 2014-15 academic year on Wednesday, May 6.

This year’s winners:

  • Karen Click, Women and LGBT Center
  • Dee Darwin, Theatre, Meadows School of the Arts
  • Kate Livingston, Extended Learning/SMU-in-Plano
  • Jordan Morrison, Education Policy and Leadership, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development
  • Dan Sly, Café 100, Hughes-Trigg Student Center

In addition to award trophies, each honoree received a tote bag containing gifts ranging from season tickets to museum memberships, donated by SMU Athletics, the SMU Bookstore, SMU Dining Services, Meadows Museum and the Meadows Division of Theatre.

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

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

SMU Relay For Life 2015 exceeds fund-raising goal

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SMU Relay for Life 2015, April 10-11, raises approximately $176,400 benefitting the American Cancer Society.

SMU held its 12th annual Relay for Life on Saturday, April 10-11, from 6:30 p.m.-11:30 a.m. During the overnight fundraising walk, tables and tents filled the Boulevard as more than 1,500 students and community members came out to raise awareness and funds in the fight against cancer.

The event raised approximately $176,400 benefitting the American Cancer Society, well exceeding the goal of $158,000. Two standouts in the fundraising efforts were the SMU Kappa Alpha Theta team and SMU senior Katie Schaible.

The Thetas topped the leader board for team fundraising this year, collecting more than $38,761. After a junior in the SMU Theta pledge class was diagnosed with cancer during the Fall 2014 term, the Relay for Life movement became the perfect platform for the sorority to make a difference in the fight against cancer. The entire chapter actively came together to support her, raise funds and bring awareness to the fight.

SMU senior Katie Schaible raised over $100,000 for the American Cancer Society during her four years

SMU senior Katie Schaible raised more than $100,000 for the American Cancer Society during her four years at SMU.

For her fourth consecutive year, Katie Schaible made the individual fundraiser leader board. Schaible truly embodies the spirit of Relay for Life. After losing her father to melanoma at the age of 14, Schaible joined Relay for Life during her freshmen year and has raised over $100,000 for the American Cancer Society since.

Prior to the on-campus event, SMU Relay For Life won the title of number one college Relay in an online event on February 23-25, 2015. Competing against the top 25 American Cancer Society college Relays for Life, SMU Relay for Life took the top spot raising $45,534. Collectively the online event raised $315,654 benefiting the American Cancer Society.

“The SMU community rose to new heights with the unbelievable success they had during the Number One Relay Challenge,” said Rebecca Wood, staff partner for the Relay. “I am so proud of the student-led committee and the community as a whole.”

For more information or to donate to the cause, visit the SMU Relay For Life webpage or the SMU Relay For Life Facebook page.

Nomination deadline for Staff Recognition, Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins Awards extended to Feb. 6, 2015

UPDATE: The SMU Staff Association has announced an extension of the deadline for staff award nominations to 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, 2015.

Originally published Monday, Jan. 26, 2015.

Loretta O'Reilly Hawkins

Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins

The SMU Staff Association is accepting nominations for the 2014 Presidential Staff Recognition Awards and Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins Award until 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, 2015.

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 will be presented at the 2015 Staff Recognition Ceremony scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, March 5. Each Presidential award includes a $1,000 cash prize, and each carries unique criteria:

  • The Gretchen C. Voight New Employee Excellence Award, given to a staff member who has been with SMU for 1 to 3 consecutive years.
  • The Continuing Excellence Award, given to a staff member who has been with the University for 4 or more consecutive years.
  • The 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.”
  • The 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.”

> Review the criteria for the Presidential Staff Recognition Awards

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.

> Learn more about Loretta and about the award bearing her name

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.

Find lists of past Presidential and Hawkins award winners

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 Darrah Rippy, SMU Box 181. Mark all nomination materials confidential.

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

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