Celebration of Lights 2014, Dec. 1, 2014

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Celebration of Lights 2014, Dec. 1, 2014

celebration-of-lights-by-clayton-smith

As Thanksgiving Break comes to an end, SMU continues to usher in the 2014 holiday season with the beloved annual tradition Celebration of Lights. Sponsored by the SMU Student Foundation, this year’s ceremony will take place Monday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m., on the Main Quad. 

The ceremony features 138,000 decorative lights, luminaries lining the sidewalks, seasonal songs performed by campus musicians, and SMU President R. Gerald Turner reading the Christmas Story. While Celebration of Lights is a celebration rooted in tradition, this year features some new additions.

  • Dallas CASA’s Angel Tree Program: This year Celebration of Lights is partnering with Dallas CASA’s Angel Tree Program to help sponsor a record high of 82 children affected by domestic violence.
  • Live Stream: In an effort to bring Celebration of Lights to the entire SMU Community, Student Foundation will feature this year’s celebration as a live stream on smu.edu/live.

“We realized that the SMU community was more than just the students and faculty in the Dallas area but also the parents and alumni who aren’t able to come out to Dallas on a Monday evening,” said Jack Murphy, Student Foundation, Campus Events Chair. “Therefore, we chose to live-stream the event much like SMU does for convocation and graduation because Celebration is a major SMU tradition.”

For more information regarding the ceremony, email the SMU Student Foundation or Jack Murphy.

November 24, 2014|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

Tune In: SMU takes the ‘It’s On Us’ pledge

The SMU community shows its support for It’s On Us, a nationwide campaign to end sexual assault and violence, in the latest video from Myles Taylor of SMU News.

Learn more from President R. Gerald Turner, basketball coaches Larry Brown and Rhonda Rompola, Student Body President Ramon Trespalacios and many more students, faculty, staff members and administrators – click the YouTube screen, or open this link to watch the SMU It’s On Us video in a new windowvideo

November 17, 2014|News, Tune In|

OE2C: President Turner updates campus on next phase

SMU President R. Gerald Turner updated the campus community on the progress of Project SMU: Operational Excellence for the Second Century (OE2C) in an e-mail and video released on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014:


Today, Project SMU: Operational Excellence for the Second Century (OE2C) is at an important turning point. During the diagnostic phase of the project, we looked deeply into our organization’s data and gathered insights through more than 230 interviews with faculty and staff across campus. Now we are turning our attention to the future with the design phase to make specific plans to improve the way we conduct operations at SMU.

To manage that effort, I’m pleased to announce that Julie Wiksten will be taking on a new role as Associate Vice President for Operational Excellence. Together with project coordinators Bill Detwiler and Julie Forrester, she will oversee the ongoing work of OE2C and make sure that we realize the full savings potential of this project. Read more about her new position and her work at SMU here.

As we close out the diagnostic phase of OE2C and transition to the solutions design phase, I want to share with you a short video that outlines our findings and describes next steps:

Several new items related to our transition to the design phase are now on our website, and I hope you will take time to review them. These include our vision for the ways OE2C initiatives will bolster SMU’s future and a pdf of the slides in the video with some additional details.

We will be moving quickly on our newest initiatives in the weeks to come, so check the OE2C website for updates or subscribe to receive updates as they are posted. We value your input and hope you will continue to provide feedback on specific initiatives and on the project in general via the comments form on the website.

Thank you for your continued support of this initiative. We know it is a challenging and complex undertaking, but one that will greatly strengthen the economic vitality of SMU, significantly support our academic mission and enhance our growing stature as an outstanding academic institution.


> Get the latest updates at smu.edu/OE2C

October 30, 2014|News, OE2C|

Award-winning author NoViolet Bulaweyo ’07 returns to SMU for 2014 Common Reading discussion Monday, Sept. 15

Acclaimed author NoViolet Bulawayo ’07 returns to the Hilltop to discuss We Need New Names – her award-winning first novel and the University’s 2014 Common Reading – with the Dallas community. Her talk will begin at 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 15, 2014 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater.

The lecture and Q&A are free and open to the public.

Bulawayo, known to many at SMU by her given name of Elizabeth Tshele, earned her master’s degree in English from the University in 2007 after receiving her bachelor’s in English from Texas A&M University-Commerce. In 2010, she received her M.F.A. in creative writing from Cornell as a Truman Capote Fellow. She recently completed a 2012-14 Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford.

Her pen name is a tribute both to her mother, who died when she was 18 months old (NoViolet means “with Violet” in her native Ndebele), and to her childhood home, the second-largest city in Zimbabwe.

“There’s a lot to be excited about,” says Senior Lecturer in English Diana Grumbles Blackman, director of SMU’s Discernment and Discourse Program and chair of the University’s Common Reading committee. “NoViolet is young, her star is rising, and we think students will be excited about where an SMU education might take them.”

Blackman never met Bulaweyo during her SMU student days, but “many, many of my colleagues are incredibly fond of her,” she says. “She has a lot of fans in the English Department, and they’re thrilled to see her back.”

SMU Magazine: Alumna traces career awakening to SMU

'We Need New Names' by NoViolet BulawayoWe Need New Names tells the story of 10-year-old Darling, a Zimbabwean girl whose unexpected opportunity to live in the United States turns out very differently from her fantasies. The semi-autobiographical first novel has received several prestigious awards and recognitions, including the 2014 PEN/Hemingway Prize for Debut Fiction, the 2014 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction, and the 2013 Etisalat Prize for Literature.

Additionally, Bulaweyo became the first black African woman to make the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize (in 2013) and made The New York Times’ 2013 Notable Books of the Year list, as well as National Public Radio’s “Great Reads of 2013.”

We Need New Names is only the second work of fiction chosen for the University’s Common Reading since the program began in 2004. The first, How to Be Good by Nick Hornby, was SMU’s Common Reading selection in 2007.

The novel is also the first Common Reading selection to be written by an SMU graduate.

Learn more from SMU’s Common Reading homepage: smu.edu/commonreading

September 15, 2014|Calendar Highlights, News|

Tune In: ‘Mustang Minute’ captures magic moments at SMU

A new series by SMU Video Communications Manager Myles Taylor captures the excitement of the academic year in 60 seconds or less. The Mustang Minute will explore every corner of the campus to offer Taylor’s unique view of University events, activities and people. Click the YouTube screen above to view an early hit: the making of the Class of 2018 photo.

The Mustang Minute is available in the University’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/SMUVideo as well as through the new Mustang Minute blog. It will soon be available as a podcast via SMU on iTunesU.

> Watch and subscribe at Mustang Minute

August 29, 2014|News, Site Spotlight, Tune In|
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