By Billy Hightower
One of the many things that drew my eye about coming to SMU was the number of notable people that have attended SMU. There are accomplished former SMU in all types of different industries. In regards to politics SMU has had ten Congressmen, seven U.S. Ambassadors and two Senators. Laura Bush is one of our most connected alumni. We even have the Laura Bush Promenade, a gift given to our campus by George W. Bush as a tribute to his wife’s contribution to literacy and libraries. These close ties between the Bush Family and our campus have been immortalized through the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on campus last spring.
Over in the Business School there are CEOs and former CEOS from companies all over the world including Tom Thumb, Virgin America, Kroger, Texas Instruments and State Farm Insurance. SMU alumni have had very large impacts on science from, Willis Adcock, a chemist who helped develop the silicon transistor and James Cronin, a Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist. Mary Ellen Weber, a NASA Astronaut, did her M.B.A. at SMU.
In the performing arts there have been a plethora of former SMU students in popular culture. To all The Office fans out there Kathy Bates and Brian Baumgartner were both SMU students. The voice of Patrick on SpongeBob and Marshall Eriksen’s Father on How I Met Your Mother, Bill Fagerbakke, attended graduate school here. Barney was even created by a mustang. William Joyce, the creator of Rolie Polie Olie and creator of the conceptual characters for Toy Story, was also a SMUdent. In regards to big TV sitcoms Belita Moreno, otherwise known as Benny on the George Lopez show and Patricia Richardson, who portrayed Jill Taylor on Home Improvement, were both Mustangs.
Being a huge sports fan, the revere of SMU athletic alumni is in my opinion the coolest part about our alumni base. Jim Irsay, Owner and CEO of the Indianapolis Colts is a Mustang. Not only are there 5 SMU alumni in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the NFL record for rushing yards in a season is held by our own Eric Dickerson.
Now that you know SMU has had so many impactful students in the past, come be a part of the future. There are big shoes to feel but if anyone can do it a Mustang can!