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George W. Bush Presidential Center breaks ground at SMU

Bush Presidential Center groundbreaking at SMU

More than 3,000 guests filled a massive tent on the site of the George W. Bush Presidential Center to celebrate groundbreaking for the building. Fifteen officials took up shovels to turn dirt, marking the official start of construction, with completion scheduled for 2013.

“Today is another milestone along a timeline that began for us in December 2000, when we began our effort to bring the George W. Bush Presidential Center to the University,” SMU President R. Gerald Turner told the crowd.

“We knew that this Presidential Center would benefit from its association with SMU because of the academic resources, vitality of dialogue and research programs we offer. Having the historic resources of the Library and Museum will provide remarkable opportunities for research and educational experiences for more than 200,000 K-13 students in the Metroplex,” Turner said.

George W. Bush welcomed the crowd, saying “To those of you who are not privileged to live in Texas, welcome to the great state. And welcome to one of the finest universities in the whole United States, Southern Methodist.” He said the groundbreaking “is an important milestone” and “the beginning of a journey. We take the first step toward the construction of this presidential center, which will be a dynamic hub of ideas and actions based upon timeless principles.”

Participating in the groundbreaking for the Bush Presidential Center were (left to right above) David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States; Ray Hunt, co-chair of the Bush Foundation Finance Committee, SMU trustee and chairman of Hunt Oil Company; Caren Prothro, chair of the SMU Board of Trustees; Alan Lowe, director of the Bush Presidential Library and Museum; Robert Stern, architect for the Bush Presidential Center; R. Gerald Turner, president of SMU; Condoleezza Rice, chair of the Bush Institute Advisory Board and former U.S. Secretary of State; George W. Bush; Laura Bush; Dick Cheney, former U.S. Vice President and former SMU trustee; Mark Langdale, president of the George W. Bush Foundation; Don Evans, co-chair of the Bush Foundation Finance Committee and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce; Michael Van Valkenburgh, landscape architect for the Bush Presidential Center; the Rev. Mark Craig, SMU trustee and pastor of Highland Park United Methodist Church; and Jake Torres, SMU student body president.

The Center includes the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the George W. Bush Institute.

> Read the whole story from SMU News
> Dignitaries visit with SMU students
> Watch video of the groundbreaking video
> See a slideshow of groundbreaking day slideshow
> Learn more about SMU and the Bush Center
> Visit the official Bush Center website

$2 million in gifts to provide scholarships for Chinese students

Two gifts totaling $2 million will provide SMU scholarships for outstanding students from China.

A gift of $1 million from Helmut Sohmen of Hong Kong, alumnus of SMU’s Dedman School of Law and a university trustee, will continue the endowed scholarship program he established for Chinese lawyers to study at the Dedman School of Law.

Sohmen is chairman of the BW Group of companies, one of the world’s largest privately owned shipping fleets.

And a $1 million gift from the Barachel Foundation of Dallas will establish a scholarship fund to enable Chinese undergraduate students to attend SMU.

“Providing leadership for a global society is critical, and these gifts will help advance SMU’s goal to educate international leaders,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Enabling students from around the world to study and share ideas together benefits all students – those from other countries as well as those from the United States.”

The Sohmen program provides scholarships covering tuition, fees and living stipends for Chinese lawyers pursuing master of law degrees in comparative and international law at the Dedman School of Law. The program has graduated more than 1,500 lawyers from 80 countries.

The $1 million gift from the Barachel Foundation will provide scholarships for outstanding Chinese undergraduate students who come primarily from rural areas of China. The goal of the Barachel Foundation Scholarship Fund at SMU is to educate Chinese leaders who will make important contributions to the future of their country.

> Read the full story from Bob Miller of The Dallas Morning News

Four named 2010-12 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors

SMU's 2010-12 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching ProfessorsFour outstanding educators have been named 2010-12 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors by SMU’s Center for Teaching Excellence. This year’s honorees are Johan Elverskog, Religious Studies, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; Randall Griffin, Art History, Meadows School of the Arts; Roy Heller, Old Testament, Perkins School of Theology; and Donald VandeWalle, Management and Organizations, Cox School of Business.

The four new members of SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers will join returning members Crista DeLuzio, History; Robert Howell, Philosophy, Thomas Knock, History; and Thomas Osang, Economics (all in Dedman College).

Each year since 2001, the Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Awards recognize four SMU faculty members for their commitment to and achievements in fostering student learning. “These are faculty whose concerns for higher education go beyond classroom boundaries and often the boundaries of their own discipline,” according to the CTE website. “They represent the highest achievement in reaching the goals of higher education.” The professorships are named for SMU Trustee Ruth Altshuler.

Each recipient receives a $10,000 award and membership in SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers for the two years of their appointment as Altshuler Professors. Members participate actively with other members of the Academy to address issues in classroom teaching.

Read more about the new Altshuler Professors under the link.

Above, the new Altshuler Professors were honored by the SMU Board of Trustees during its May meeting (left to right): Roy Heller, Johan Elverskog, SMU Trustee Ruth Altshuler, Donald VandeWalle and Randall Griffin.

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Research Spotlight: Four professors named 2010 Ford Fellows

SMU's 2010 Ford Research FellowsFour outstanding SMU researchers have received the University’s 2010 Ford Research Fellowships. This year’s recipients are Jaime Clark-Soles, New Testament, Perkins School of Theology; Ernie Jouriles, Psychology, Dedman College; Daniel Millimet, Economics, Dedman College; and Brent Sumerlin, Chemistry, Dedman College.

Established in 2002 through a $1 million pledge from SMU Trustee Gerald J. Ford, the fellowships help the University retain and reward outstanding scholars. Each recipient receives a cash prize for research support during the year.

Read more about this year’s recipients under the link.

(Above, the new Ford Research Fellows were honored by the SMU Board of Trustees during its May meeting (left to right): Brent Sumerlin, Jaime Clark-Soles, Daniel Millimet and Ernie Jouriles. Photo by Hillsman S. Jackson.)

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Four professors named Ford Research Fellows for 2009

SMU's 2009 Ford Research FellowsFour exemplary SMU researchers have received the University’s 2009 Ford Research Fellowships. This year’s recipients are Ben Johnson, History; Fred Olness, Physics; Larry Ruben, Biological Sciences; and Carolyn Smith-Morris, Anthropology. All of the new Ford Research Fellows teach in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Established in 2002 through a $1 million pledge from Gerald J. Ford, chair of SMU’s Board of Trustees, the fellowships help the University retain and reward outstanding scholars. Each recipient receives a cash prize for research support during the year.

Read more about this year’s recipients under the link. Right, the new Ford Fellows were honored by the SMU Board of Trustees during its May meeting (left to right): Gerald J. Ford, Ben Johnson, Carolyn Smith-Morris, Fred Olness, Larry Ruben, and SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

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Four 2009-11 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors named

SMU's 2009-11 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching ProfessorsFour outstanding educators have been named 2009-11 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors by SMU’s Center for Teaching Excellence. This year’s honorees are Crista DeLuzio, History; Robert Howell, Philosophy; Thomas Knock, History; and Thomas Osang, Economics. All four honorees teach in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

The four new members of SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers will join returning members Olga Colbert, Foreign Languages and Literatures (Spanish); Ian Harris, Statistical Science; Larry Ruben, Biological Sciences; and David Willis, Mechanical Engineering.

Each year since 2001, the Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Awards recognize four SMU faculty members for their commitment to and achievements in fostering student learning. “These are faculty whose concerns for higher education go beyond classroom boundaries and often the boundaries of their own discipline,” according to the CTE website. “They represent the highest achievement in reaching the goals of higher education.” The professorships are named for SMU Trustee Ruth Altshuler.

Each recipient receives a $10,000 award and membership in SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers for the two years of their appointment as Altshuler Professors. Members participate actively with other members of the Academy to address issues in classroom teaching.

Read more about the new Altshuler Professors under the link. Left, the new Altshuler Professors were honored by the SMU Board of Trustees during its May meeting (left to right): SMU President R. Gerald Turner, Thomas Knock, Thomas Osang, Crista DeLuzio, Robert Howell and Ruth Altshuler.

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Deadline for Student Trustee applications is April 15

SMU’s Board of Trustees is seeking student applicants to serve in a variety of positions. Interested students can apply online; the 2009 deadline is at noon April 16.

One student each year serves as the Student Member of the Board of Trustees, a full voting member of the Board. Eight students also serve as Student Members of the Board Standing Committees. In addition, the Student Trustee chairs a committee of the Student Representatives and the Student Body President. This committee enhances the effectiveness of the Representatives within their committees and facilitates communication between the Board of Trustees and the university community.

“Serving as the Student Member of the SMU Board of Trustees has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says current Student Trustee Lamar Dowling, a senior music major in Meadows School of the Arts. “Very few universities in the nation allow a student to sit on their board, and even fewer have a student as a full voting member. SMU provides this special opportunity, which demonstrates the board’s commitment to making this a better university for students.”

“I have had the opportunity to serve along with titans of the business, philanthropic and political world and learn from their amazing experiences,” he adds. “I even attended dinner at the White House with former President and Mrs. George W. Bush. This position has provided me with wonderful learning experiences and countless opportunities, all of which I am happy to be passing along to another student this May.”

By | 2009-04-06T10:35:28+00:00 April 6, 2009|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

‘Meadows at the Meyerson’ to honor Peggy and Carl Sewell

Meadows Symphony Orchestra strings

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will honor noted arts and civic patrons Peggy Sewell and SMU Board of Trustees Chair Carl Sewell (’66) in its 16th annual benefit concert. “The 2009 Meadows at the Meyerson” takes place at 7:30 p.m. April 1 in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora Street.

Under the direction of Paul Phillips, the Meadows Symphony Orchestra will perform Pohjola’s Daughter, Op. 49 by Sibelius, a musical interpretation of the Scandinavian folk tale about a magician trying to win the beautiful “daughter of the North.” The Meadows Chorale and Meadows Concert Choir will join the symphony in a performance of Fern Hill, a work by Pulitzer Prize- and Academy Award-winning American composer John Corigliano based on the poem of the same name by Dylan Thomas. Concluding the program will be Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.

Students from the Meadows School will also present performances and displays in the lobby before the concert.

“For the past 16 years, ‘Meadows at the Meyerson’ has been one of our most important annual events,” says Meadows Dean José Bowen. “Thanks to the generosity of many supporters, it has raised more than one million dollars to benefit our students, our programs and our educational mission. It also enables us to provide scholarship support for the Meadows Scholars program, which was inaugurated last year to recruit the brightest and most talented students to Meadows and SMU.

“We applaud Peggy and Carl, our first supporters of this program, for their commitment to provide scholarships for the next generation of creative leadership at SMU.”

Tickets range from $7-$13 and are available online or through the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

New look for Laura Bush Promenade

Laura Bush Promenade celebration at SMUSMU celebrated the completion of a new landscape for the Laura Bush Promenade in February 2009. The Promenade, a garden and seating area that intersects the University’s Fondren Library Center, was given in 1999 by then-Governor George W. Bush as a tribute to his wife’s contributions to literacy and libraries. Mrs. Bush (’68), the recipient of the 2008 Methodist Health System Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award, was surprised at the award ceremony with the announcement that the planting at the Promenade would be renovated courtesy of Lambert Landscape Company. Left to right, R. Gerald Turner, SMU president; April Box Chamberlain, president and CEO, Methodist Health System Foundation; Paul Fields, president and director of design, Lambert Landscape Company; Susan Byerly Nowlin (’67), co-chair, Folsom Leadership Award dinner; Carl Sewell (’66), chairman, SMU Board of Trustees; and Jim Koons, SMU associate vice president for campus planning and plant operations.

Mike Boone to receive J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award

Mike BooneDallas attorney and SMU Trustee Michael M. Boone has been chosen to receive the 2007-08 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award from the University’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility. Boone will be honored in a luncheon ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 12 at the Belo Mansion.

A 1967 graduate of SMU’s Dedman School of Law, Boone has more than 40 years of experience in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and securities transactions. As co-founder of Haynes and Boone L.L.P., he has been a catalyst for programs that promote diversity in the workplace and encourage participation in public service projects. In the Dallas community, Boone has served as president of the Dallas Citizens Council, as a leader at Preston Road Church of Christ and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Highland Park Independent School District. At SMU, Boone serves on the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee of the Dedman School of Law. He received the University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1996.

The Maguire Center annually presents the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award – named in honor of the former Dallas mayor – to individuals who “exemplify the spirit of moral leadership and public virtue.” Past winners include Curtis W. Meadows Jr., Dr. Charles C. Sprague, Stanley Marcus, William T. Solomon, Jack Lowe Jr., Dr. Ron J. Anderson, Tom Luce, Caren Prothro, Roger Staubach and Rev. Zan Wesley Holmes Jr.

Luncheon tickets are $50 each. For more information, contact Johnny Armijo, 8-4303.

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