Stephen Rankin

SMU honors fallen 9/11 first responders with honor guard, bell ceremony at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9, 2016

Scene at the SMU flagpole on Sept. 11, 2001

Scene at the SMU flagpole on Sept. 11, 2001.

The SMU Police Department and first responders from the surrounding community will commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11 with a solemn ceremony honoring the police officers and firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty during the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

University police officers, along with members of the Highland Park and University Park Police and Fire Departments, will participate in a combined honor guard and bell ceremony for the fallen. The ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, at the flagpole on the Main Quad. The event is free and open to the public.

To symbolize the first responders’ devotion to duty, the bell ceremony includes a special signal of three rings, three times each, representing the end of duty and a return to quarters. The signals ring out that “those who have selflessly given their lives for the good of their fellow man, their tasks completed, their duties well done … are going home.”

The remembrance will also feature remarks from SMU President R. Gerald Turner and Police Chief Rick Shafer and a benediction by University Chaplain Stephen Rankin, as well as bagpipe performances of “Amazing Grace” and “America the Beautiful.”

“We welcome the community to come and help us remember those who gave their lives while protecting those they served,” said Chief Shafer.

The remembrance ceremony is one of several opportunities for campus community members, both in-person and virtual, to reflect on and remember the events of Sept. 11, 2001:

> Christina Rancke and Osama Bin Laden’s death
> Journal entries written by the SMU community 15 years ago

Chaplain Rankin to deliver 2012 Willson Lecture March 28

Rev. Dr. Stephen Rankin, SMU chaplainRev. Dr. Stephen Rankin, SMU chaplain, will speak on “Imagining a 21st-Century University” as the next event in the 2012 Willson Lecture Series Wednesday, March 28.

The noon lecture in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum is preceded by a reception at 11:30 a.m. A light lunch will be provided.

The Willson Lecture Fund was established in 1957 to fund a lecture during SMU’s Religious Emphasis week. The Willson Lecture Series is sponsored by the Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life and focuses on issues of religion and faith. For more information, contact Katie Lewis, 214-768-4502.

Calendar Highlights: Dec. 13, 2011

Stock photo of a blue ornamentAs the days dwindle down to a precious few, here are some notable dates for the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012:

  • Dec. 16The Guildhall at SMU Cohort 14 Exhibition and Graduation, SMU-in-Plano. Paul Barnett, senior creative director of BioWare Mythic and the guiding force behind the critically acclaimed MMO game Warhammer Online, will deliver the graduation keynote speech.
  • Dec. 17: Last day of term and official date for conferral of degrees.
  • Dec. 17: All-University December Graduation Ceremony, 10 a.m., Moody Coliseum. Business and civic leader and SMU Trustee Carl Sewell (’66) will give the address. Faculty members may RSVP online for the Faculty Breakfast and processional.
  • Dec. 26, 2011-Jan. 2, 2012: University holidays.
  • Jan. 3-12J Term 2012 at SMU-in-Plano.

Stock photo of a wrapped holiday giftSMUSA plays Santa: The SMU Staff Association continues to collect gifts for United Way partner Children’s Medical Center of Dallas until Dec. 14, 2011. The Staff Association is accepting “ABCs” – action figures and dolls or their accessories; board games or handheld games and puzzles; and cards (as in gift cards, to child-friendly stores). Check the most current list of drop-off locations for the one nearest you.

Fine forgiveness: The Central University Libraries 2011 Food for Fines drive is on through Friday, Dec. 16. Every gift of a can or package of nonperishable food for the North Texas Food Bank equals a $2 credit toward outstanding library fines assessed from November 2011 onward. The waiver applies to materials from Fondren Library CenterHamon Arts Library and the ISEM Reading Room and for all SMU faculty, staff and students. Drop off donations at any listed library.

Book cover of 'Aiming at Maturity: The Goal of the Christian Life' by Stephen W. RankinCelebration station: President and Mrs. R. Gerald Turner host the 2011 All-University Holiday Party 3:30-5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19, in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.

Signed and sealed: SMU Chaplain Steve Rankin will sign his new book, Aiming at Maturity: The Goal of the Christian Life, from 2-4 p.m. Dec. 20 at Logos Bookstore, 6620 Snider Plaza. In this work, published by Wipf and Stock, Rev. Dr. Rankin draws from the Scriptures, from popular biblical interpretation, and from his own work as a teacher and minister to make the case for spiritual maturity. For more information, call the Chaplain’s Office at 214-768-4502.



Calendar Highlights: Mar. 7, 2011

Dr. RankinMost important Wednesday of the year: SMU’s Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life will lead the 2011 Ash Wednesday service at noon Wednesday, March 9 in Perkins Chapel. All are welcome to attend.

Rescheduled lecture: As posted in Calendar Highlights before the epic February snowstorms, Dr. Stephen Rankin (pictured) will present a Willson Lecture titled “Seeking a Better Way: SMU as a Leader in Church-Affiliated Higher Education.” The rescheduled lecture will take place at noon Thursday, March 10 in the Hughes-Trigg Ballroom. The lecture is free for all to attend; lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. For more information, visit the a Office of the Chaplain’s website.

A concert for the road: Meadow Symphony Orchestra is putting together one more concert this week before Spring Break begins. At 8 p.m. Thursday, March 10, in the Meyerson Symphony Center, the MSO will present Mozart’s Symphony No. 38, also known as “The Prague.” Also included will be Austrian composer Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 5 in its entirety. Tickets are available through both the Meadows box office and the Meyerson itself. Prices are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $7 for SMU faculty, staff and students. For more information, call the Meadows box office at 214-768-ARTS (214-SMU-ARTS).

Sun MaskCreate treasure from trash, receive new bike: SMU’s 2011 Art of Recycling Contest is officially open to all participants. For one week, people with a mind towards unusual art can create made up of items that would otherwise end up in the trash can as a reminder of what can be recycled in this world but often isn’t. Among the rules: 75% of the artwork must consist of reused items that would otherwise be regarded as trash; the artwork should not exceed 4 feet by 4 feet; and each entry should include a list of the reused materials and its theme (if applicable), title and artist contact information. The submission deadline is Friday, March 11. All entries and related information should be brought to the first floor of the Laura Lee Blanton Building. Winners will be notified by March 21, and their artwork will be on display at the RFoC cafeteria at Umphrey Lee. The SMU Sustainability Committee, who is sponsoring the event, will donate one Dahon Folding Bike (valued at $500) to the winner of the contest. For more details about the Art of Recycling Contest, contact Kelly Milazzo, 214-768-0495. (Pictured right: “Big Sun Mask” by Diane Kurzyna, an entry from last year’s contest.)

There will be no Calendar Highlights for the upcoming Spring Break week. Have a safe and fun holiday, wherever you may end up!

Calendar Highlights: Jan. 25, 2011

T.D. JakesTate returns: 2011’s first Tate Distinguished Lecture features “America’s Best Preacher,” Bishop T.D. Jakes (pictured right), who isn’t shy about his feelings on the growing polarization in today’s politics. Jakes’ topic for the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 25 is “Seeking Common Good in the Midst of Growing Diversity,” in which the leader of the Dallas-based Potter’s House megachurch (30,000+ members) will tackle the increasing heat in American politics. The lecture will be held at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium. Students who want to attend are advised to meet in the McFarlin basement at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available for the lecture and can be purchased by calling the Tate office at 214-768-8283.

Never forget: The Office of the Chaplain and the Embrey Human Rights Program will jointly host a memorial service for the victims of the Holocaust to commemorate the liberation of prisoners from the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. The service will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27 in Atriums C-D, Hughes-Trigg Student Center. For more information, visit the Embrey Human Rights Program website at smu.edu/humanrights.

Football eternal: As the Packers and Steelers prepare to end the NFL season with a trip to Cowboys Stadium for Super Bowl XLV, Meadows Museum hosts a concurrent exhibit for football lovers to get their fix as the offseason approaches. Acclaimed photographer Laura Wilson‘s 11-year study of a popular regional variation of America’s sport will be highlighted in “Grit and Glory: Six-Man Football,” a portfolio of Texas’ minimalistic approach to the game covered from 1991 to 2002. Wilson’s unassuming, close-up technique for this collection parallels the intensity of the small sport and traces its historical significance within the state. The exhibit will open Sunday, Jan. 30th and will run through April 23. Admission is free and open to the public, and the exhibit will be available during normal Meadows Museum hours. For more information, call 214-768-2516.

Leading the way: The Rev. Dr. Stephen Rankin, University chaplain since 2009, will speak on “Seeking a Better Way: SMU as a Leader in Church-Affiliated Higher Education” in the next installment of the Willson Lecture Series Wednesday, Feb. 2 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. The event begins with lunch at 11:30 a.m.; the lecture follows at noon. For more information, contact the Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life, 214-768-4502

Time to celebrate: Commencement 2010 at a glance

Candidate assembly, SMU Commencement 2009.jpg

SMU observes its 95th Commencement May 14-15 with events for students, faculty, alumni and the entire community.

U.S. Trade Representative and former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk will speak at the all-University ceremony at 9:30 a.m. May 15 in Moody Coliseum. The University expects to award nearly 2,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.

Some major events at a glance:

  • May 14-15 – Class of 1960 Golden Reunion
  • May 14 – Honorary Degree Symposia honoring Jorie Graham, Karinna Moskalenko and Saul Perlmutter
  • May 14 – Baccalaureate, featuring an address by University Chaplain Stephen Rankin, and Rotunda Recessional
  • May 15 – Faculty Breakfast and Distinguished University Citizen Awards presentation
  • May 15 – All-University Commencement
  • May 15 – School diploma presentations

> Learn more about Ron Kirk
> Find times and locations for the 2010 Honorary Degree Symposia
> See who’s speaking at the school and department diploma ceremonies
> Read student stories from SMU News
> Visit the Registrar’s May Commencement homepage

Calendar Highlights: Feb. 16, 2010

Showing their work: SMU graduate students will present their research in engineering and the natural and social sciences – and get valuable experience working with the formats they will use as professionals – during the University’s 2010 Research Day Feb. 16 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Poster presentations take place 2-4:30 p.m., and oral presentations from 12:30-4 p.m. An award of $250 will be given to the best presentation from each department with more than three presenters in attendance. Sponsored by Dean James Quick, Office of Research and Graduate Studies. For more information, contact Phyllis Payne, 214-768-4336.

Ash Wednesday service: The 2010 Lenten season begins with SMU’s ecumenical Ash Wednesday service beginning at 12:05 p.m. Feb. 17 in Perkins Chapel. University Chaplain Stephen Rankin will deliver the day’s message, “Testing Our Treasure.” The service is open to the entire SMU community. For more information, visit the Chaplain’s Office website.

Test your metal: SMU’s Meadows Wind Ensemble kicks off its spring performance schedule with “Heavy Metal,” an evening of works written for metal instruments. The program includes music by Gunther Schuller, Augusta Read Thomas, John Cage, Johann Hummel and SMU Professor Martin Sweidel – with a possible encore featuring the music of Metallica. The show begins at 8 p.m. Feb. 19 in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. Tickets are $7 each for SMU faculty, staff and students. Buy tickets online or contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

Clements Center 2010 Symposium poster artClements Center Public Symposium: The family histories of the American West will be the focus of the 2009-10 Annual Public Symposium presented by SMU’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies. “On the Borders of Love and Power: Families and Kinship in the Intercultural American West” is cosponsored by the Center for the Southwest at the University of New Mexico, the Institute for the Study of the American West at the Autry National Center and the Clements Center. It will take place 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Feb. 27 in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. Register online or contact the Clements Center for Southwest Studies, 214-768-3684.

Installation ceremony for Chaplain Rankin takes place Sept. 14

SMU Chaplain Stephen RankinThe installation of new University Chaplain Stephen Rankin takes place at 4 p.m. Sept. 14 in Perkins Chapel. A reception will follow the ceremony in Jones Hall, Meadows Museum.

Rankin joined SMU in July 2009 as chaplain, minister to the University and adjunct professor of church history and ministry in Perkins School of Theology. Previously, he was campus minister and Kirk Chair Professor of Religious Studies at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas.

Read more about Chaplain Rankin
Visit the SMU Chaplain’s Office online

Stephen Rankin to become SMU’s new chaplain

Rev. Dr. Stephen Rankin, SMU chaplainRev. Dr. Stephen Rankin will become SMU’s new chaplain and minister to the University effective July 1, 2009. He also has been appointed adjunct professor of church history and ministry in SMU’s Perkins School of Theology.

His predecessor, Rev. Will Finnin, retired from SMU December 31, 2008, after 28 years as chaplain.

Rankin comes to SMU from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, where he is the campus minister and Kirk Chair Professor of Religious Studies. He received his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University, a Master of Divinity from Saint Paul School of Theology, a Master of Theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in religious studies from Northwestern University and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.

He holds Elders Orders and full membership in the Kansas West Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Rankin’s prior experience includes faculty and instructor appointments at Saint Paul School of Theology and Bethany College. He has held pastoral appointments in Rome and Florence, Italy; Chicago; and Winfield, Kansas. In 1997, the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Higher Education and Ministry honored Dr. Rankin with an Exemplary Teacher Award. Earlier in his career, he earned a John Wesley Fellowship.

In addition, Rankin spent 6 years of his boyhood in Texas, including summer visits to SMU while his minister father studied at the Perkins School. He is married to Joni Leeper; they have four children and one grandson.

As Chaplain and Minster to the University, Rankin has responsibilities for:

  • pastoral care and counseling;
  • university worship;
  • religious life advising and programming;
  • close interaction with the dean of Perkins School of Theology and other religious leaders in the community; and
  • working with faculty, students, administrators and staff “to create a campus environment that supports the University’s commitment to spiritual growth, ethical behavior, intellectual and academic exploration of religion and spirituality, and the rich diversity of religious faiths and traditions,” as stated by the Office of Student Affairs.

Visit the Chaplain’s Office online