Family Weekend 2015: Haunted on the Hilltop

Athletics Football Family Weekend SMU vs Memphis Boulevard

SMU Mothers’ and Dads’ Clubs

SMU family members from across the country are invited to join their students in celebrating a longtime Hilltop tradition Oct. 30-Nov. 1. Family Weekend is coordinated by the Student Foundation‘s Family Weekend Committee.

  • Register by October 18 for the weekend’s events on the SMU Student Foundation website and purchase tickets – including for the Family Luncheon, Taste of Dallas Dinner, Family Weekend Talent Show, Boulevard BBQ and football game.

For the third year, Student Foundation is partnering with Genesis Women’s Shelter, a Dallas organization devoted to ending domestic violence against women and children. Families and students are encouraged to bring household items to donate. Collection boxes will be available in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center and at other locations.

Below are weekend highlights. Find the full schedule here.

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Free flu shots available during SMU’s Fall 2015 clinics

Stock photo of man receiving shotThe SMU Health Center has scheduled several free flu shot clinics for October and November 2015.

Clinics will take place at various places around the main campus, as well as the East Campus and SMU-in-Plano. All clinics are open to students and benefit-eligible faculty, staff, SMU retirees and retiree spouses.

> Keep up with the latest flu information at

Update your vaccination during the following days and times at these locations:

  • Monday, Oct. 5 – 2-6 p.m., Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports lobby
  • Thursday, Oct. 8 – 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-6 p.m., Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports lobby
  • Wednesday, Oct. 14 (HR Fair) – 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Hughes-Trigg Student Center
  • Monday, Oct. 19 – 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m., Expressway Tower, East Campus
  • Tuesday, Oct. 20 – 2-6 p.m., Law School Pit, Underwood Law Library
  • Thursday, Nov. 5 – 4-6 p.m., SMU-in-Plano

> Dallas County influenza resources and updates available at

The University offers free flu shots for all SMU students and benefit-eligible faculty, staff, retirees and retiree spouses. To keep your clinic visit as short as possible, take these steps:

> Find statewide resources at

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SMU publishes Annual Security and Fire Safety Report

The following message from President R. Gerald Turner was sent to the campus community on October 1, 2015, regarding SMU’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report:

SMU is committed to maintaining an educational environment that supports safety and well-being through University policies, resources, education and prevention programs. Resources dedicated to campus safety include the SMU Police Department, which every year prepares and distributes a security report for the main SMU campus, SMU-in-Plano and SMU-in-Taos.

The annual security report is published in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. The security report includes SMU’s annual fire report, in keeping with the requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 and its accompanying regulations.

The University’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is available online at If you would like a paper copy, please contact the SMU Police Department at 214-768-1348 or e-mail

The report contains three calendar years of crime statistics, including incidents occurring on SMU campuses, at public areas adjacent to campuses and at certain non-campus facilities, including Greek houses and remote classrooms. Information also is gathered from the University Park Police Department, Highland Park Department of Public Safety, Dallas Police Department, Plano Police Department, Taos County Sheriff’s Department and SMU officials who serve as campus security authorities.

Read more below:
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SMU reaches $1 billion campaign goal

SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign has reached its $1 billion goal ahead of schedule, raising unprecedented funding for scholarships, academic positions and programs, facilities and other enhancements to campus life.

The campaign’s official completion date is Dec. 31, 2015; campaign gifts will continue to be counted to that date.

The campaign announcement was made Thursday, Sept. 24, at a gathering of volunteers, donors, alumni, civic leaders and other members of the campus and Dallas communities. The event in McFarlin Auditorium was the official celebration of the 100th anniversary of SMU’s opening on Sept. 24, 1915 – and a rally for its future. The centennial is being celebrated during a weekend of Homecoming and other special events.

“This is a doubly historic day for us,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of SMU’s opening, we are pleased to announce unprecedented new support for our future. Our founders were forward-looking leaders, and they’d be pleased to see that today’s supporters are generously investing in our next century of achievement. These donors are truly the founders of our second century.”

SMU joins 34 private universities nationwide to conduct a campaign to raise $1 billion or more through major gifts campaigns. The institutions range from Columbia University and the University of Notre Dame to Emory and Vanderbilt universities.

“By raising $1 billion to support academic excellence, SMU joins distinguished company within the higher education community,” said Gerald J. Ford, SMU trustee and convening co-chair of the campaign. “This stature underscores the reality of our growth in quality and reputation. SMU is proving to be a wise and worthy investment, not only among donors, but also among the young people who will invest their futures with us as students.”

Read more below and from SMU News.

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SMU to celebrate 100th birthday during Homecoming

IMG_2-710SMU’s opening on Sept. 28, 1915, was proclaimed a “day of jubilation.” This year’s “Hundredth on the Hilltop” Homecoming celebration, Sept. 23-26, also will draw a jubilant crowd to “Pony Up!” and party down at history-making events.

“This promises to be the biggest Homecoming ever,” says Peter Lodwick ’77, ’80, chair of the SMU Alumni Board. “Please join us for what is certain to be an unforgettable celebration at a unique time in SMU history. Highlights will include the new tradition of festively lighting Dallas Hall, lots of pregame family fun, special exhibits for the entire community, alumni activities galore and a fireworks extravaganza after the football game in Gerald J. Ford Stadium.”

Read more below about events for the whole community and especially for students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni.

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‘Station Eleven’ author to present lecture at SMU

Station-Eleven-North-American-coverEmily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven, the 2015 SMU Reads selection, will present a free lecture at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, at McFarlin Auditorium. The community is invited to attend.

SMU students are reading the book as part of the common reading program, an academic initiative, which includes small-group discussions about the book before classes begin.

Station Eleven is set in year 20 after a virus has killed almost all humanity. The main characters are a traveling troupe of actors and musicians who bring performances of Shakespeare to the small and struggling human settlements that remain. The novel tells the story of the global disaster in real time and of its survivors 20 years later.

Community members, alumni, book lovers and book clubs are invited to join SMU Reads and take part in other events planned by the University’s SMU Reads partner, the Dallas Public Library. Events include survivalist training at REI, urban emergency preparedness from Dallas County health leaders at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library and a pop-up performance of King Lear performed by Shakespeare Dallas. For more details about events and to preregister for Mandel’s lecture, visit

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Welcome, New Mustangs!

 SMU welcomed new Mustangs and their families on Move-In Day, August 19, 2015, kicking off Mustang Corral.


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Update: Virginia-Snider Commons and Lee Dining Hall open

Update Friday, August 28, 6 a.m.:

Repairs on campus have been completed. Virginia-Snider Commons will reopen for residents at 7:30 a.m. Friday, August 28.

Lee Dining Hall at the Umphrey Lee Center will reopen to serve dinner Friday and resume normal operating hours on Saturday. Other campus dining locations, including Arnold Commons and Hughes-Trigg, are open today. Mac’s Place will begin serving breakfast at 7 a.m.

SMU thanks campus community members for their patience. SMU Dining Services will serve a free barbecue picnic for students from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the Flagpole, while supplies last.

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Watch Opening Convocation at

Opening ConvocationAll new first-year and transfer students are encouraged to attend SMU’s 101st Opening Convocation at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, August 23. President R. Gerald Turner is serving as Convocation speaker.

Families and friends are invited to view a live webcast of the event at, beginning at 5 p.m. Sunday.

At Convocation, students are formally welcomed to the SMU community in a ceremony dating back to 1915. Highlights include the faculty in full academic regalia and the presentation of the new class of students to the president, SMU administrators and professors. An important part of Convocation is the Rotunda Passage, in which students pass through the Rotunda of Dallas Hall.

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New look for 25th Mustang Corral

corral-e1426110835258Mustang Corral turns 25 this year as the University turns 100, with a new schedule and new events designed to introduce incoming students to SMU, Dallas and each other. Not to worry, however, as favorite traditions like the Club Corral dance and candlelight closing ceremony remain part of Corral.

Update: See Tweets from Discover Dallas and photos on SMU Facebook.

Redesigned to better fit the new Residential Commons model of student housing at SMU, Corral 2015 is an extended five-day University orientation for first-year and transfer students. It begins on move-in day, Wednesday, Aug. 19 and ends with the close of Opening Convocation on Sunday, Aug. 23.

Corral traditionally includes an off-campus trip to a retreat center where students have been divided into groups and sent to different locations for several days. But the new plan calls for just for one night away from campus, with students grouped with their new neighbors from the residential commons community to which they have been assigned to live. Each Residential Commons develops its own unique traditions, gatherings and activities that build community and long-term bonds among residents.

“As we are planning Mustang Corral 2015, we are all keeping in mind the time-honored components which are held most sacred to SMU students, faculty, staff and alums,” says Nicki Fletcher, one of four Corral student leaders responsible for planning Mustang Corral and director of a new Corral program called “Discover Dallas.”

“We are taking traditions that have not been changed for several years and looking at ways to strengthen them so that they may become even more special and relevant to the SMU community,” Fletcher says. “We also have added new activities to make Corral even better.”

dallas-skyline-at-nightDiscover Dallas” will give new students the opportunity Thursday, Aug. 20, to select one of 26 Dallas field trips, guided by SMU faculty members, who will take students to some of their favorite places in the city SMU calls home. Students can join faculty as they explore the Mexican-American culture and history of Dallas, tour the Holocaust Museum with a human rights professor, or visit the Bishop Arts District studio of an artist and SMU advertising professor. A music professor is taking students to the Dallas zoo and an education professor is taking students to the Dallas Arboretum. Other student choices will include kayaking White Rock Lake, touring AT&T Stadium, and visiting the Dallas Federal Reserve and the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

“We know part of the reason students choose SMU is because of the opportunities Dallas offers,” says Jomita Fleming, associate director for student transitions. “We want to help connect students with the city of Dallas from the very beginning.”

Mustang Corral also will include the Mustang cookout for students and families on Wednesday, Aug. 19, and the class photo and an introduction to campus activities at “Night at the Club” on Saturday, Aug. 22. Sunday, Aug. 23, begins with University worship in the morning, and the Common Reading discussions of Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel, in the afternoon.

Mustang Corral ends and the official academic year begins Sunday evening with Rotunda Passage, a processional march through Dallas Hall’s Rotunda to Opening Convocation, the ceremonial gathering in McFarlin Auditorium where new first-year and transfer students are formally welcomed to SMU by faculty and administrators.

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