SMU ranked among most beautiful campuses in America

The Jan. 29, 2016, edition of Conde Nast travel magazine ranked SMU sixth among the 20 most beautiful college campuses in America. The Conde Nast listing for SMU with photo follows. Read about the list and see the other campuses that made the top 20.

smu-description-conde-nastSMU_MainQuadAerial

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Tower Center selects students to join global policymaking program

Nine SMU sophomores pursuing minors in public policy and international affairs have been selected as 2016 Highland Capital Management (HCM) Tower Scholars for the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies.

After a competitive process, Tower Scholars are chosen for their knowledge of domestic and foreign affairs, national security and defense and international political economy. They will develop mentor relationships with public policy practitioners, work with clients on actual cases and have access to global and national leaders, local business leaders and Tower Center board members. Senior-year directed-research projects along with Dallas-based placements provide real-world policy experience, and opportunities for relevant study-abroad options exist.

The 2016 HCM Tower Scholars (SMU class of 2018) are:

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SMU celebrates Dream Week and Day of Service

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at SMU in 1966.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at SMU in 1966.

Fifty years after Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke on the campus of SMU, the visionary civil rights leader’s visit will be celebrated by the University community as part of the Jan. 15-21 Dream Week activities surrounding Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.

“This is an opportunity for us as an SMU community to join the rest of the country in celebrating and commemorating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” says Director of Multicultural Student Affairs Creston Lynch. “Whether it’s participating in the MLK Day of Service, parade, or any of the week’s programs, there are plenty of chances to reflect in different ways on the issues relating to social justice and equity that Dr. King stood for.”

Headlining the list of SMU Dream Week activities is an appearance by “Black Lives Matter” founder Alicia Garza, who will speak about the origins of the social justice movement at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hughes-Trigg Commons.

DREAM WEEK SCHEDULE

FRIDAY, JAN. 15
SMU presents Dallas Civil Rights Museum with memorabilia from 1966 MLK campus appearance

A contingent of SMU representatives, including Student Body President Carlton Adams, Association of Black Students President D’Marquis Allen and former Student Senate Chair Charles Cox, who introduced King before his speech at SMU, will present a transcript of the speech and a photo from the event to the Dallas Civil Rights Museum at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.

More about the presentation.

SATURDAY, JAN. 16
SMU Participates in Dallas’ 34th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration

SMU President R. Gerald Turner will participate in the MLK Community Center’s annual fundraiser by telling the story of how King was invited and came to speak at SMU’s McFarlin Auditorium on March 17, 1966.

Ticket Information: See “Celebration” at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center Dallas

MONDAY, JAN. 18
SMU Participates in the Dallas Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Parade

Starting Point: 10 a.m. at the intersection of Holmes St. and Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd.
About: SMU administrators, faculty and students will participate in the annual Dallas parade and celebration. Led by the Mustang Band, participants will include former SMU Student Senate Chair Charles Cox, who introduced King when he spoke at the University 50 years ago, and SMU President R. Gerald Turner. Alumni of SMU’s annual spring break Civil Rights Pilgrimage, members of the SMU Student Senate, incoming SMU Vice President for Student Affairs Pamela Anthony, SMU Vice President for Development and External Affairs Brad Cheves and SMU student athletes and coaches also will join the parade.

Dallas MLK Parade Route
More about SMU at the Dallas Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade

MLK Day of Service

About: SMU students, faculty and staff will join others across the country in a national day of service. Opportunities include building fun and educational environments for children at SPARK!, organizing and restocking a Brother Bill’s Helping Hand grocery store that provides free food to more than 300 families per week, building ramps at homes of those with physical disabilities and helping prepare items for the Dallas region’s homeless. Brunch and transportation provided. Co-sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and Community Engagement and Leadership.

Read more about MLK Day of Service at SMU.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 20
Commemorative Unity Walk on SMU campus 

Starting Point: Noon at Hughes-Trigg Commons, 3140 Dyer St., Dallas, 75205
About: SMU President R. Gerald Turner and student leaders will lead the annual Unity Walk, a demonstration of the University’s support of Martin Luther King Jr.’s work. All members of the SMU community are invited to join the walk, which will begin at Hughes-Trigg Student Center, continue around Bishop Boulevard and return to Hughes-Trigg. The time together is a demonstration of commitment as a university to the work of Dr. King.

An Evening with Alicia Garza

About: Alicia Garza is co-founder of the “Black Lives Matter” movement. At 5:30 p.m. at Hughes-Trigg, she will talk about the process of creating and spreading the hash tag that branded the movement, the controversy behind it, and her personal experiences in the social justice movement.

THURSDAY, JAN. 21
Film Screening: Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin

About: “Brother Outsider” examines the life of Bayard Rustin, King’s right-hand man and chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Rustin had a significant influence on the civil rights movement, but rarely served as a public spokesman due to his homosexuality and involvement in an interracial relationship. Sponsored by SMU’s Women & LGBT Center at 1:30 p.m. at Hughes-Trigg.

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Scenes from the Hilltop in 2015

CelebrationofLightsPhotoAs a historic year at SMU comes to a close, look back at some of the moments — big and small — that made 2015 special. Check out our favorite photographs of the year.

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Congratulations to new SMU graduates

Commencement Cap TossMore than 600 students from SMU’s seven schools graduated Saturday, Dec. 19, at the December Commencement Ceremony in Moody Coliseum.

Distinguished lawyer Michael M. Boone, an alumnus and chair of the SMU Board of Trustees, delivered the commencement address.

At the ceremony, 627 students and faculty in academic regalia entered Moody Coliseum with their respective schools, accompanied by music and applause from proud families. Each graduate was individually recognized.

Boone is a co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of Haynes and Boone, one of the nation’s largest and most respected law firms.

Boone has received numerous honors for his civic leadership, including Distinguished Alumni Awards from the University as well as from the Dedman School of Law and the Cox School of Business. He also has received the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award from SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, the Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award from the Methodist Health System Foundation and the Jack Lowe Sr. Award for Community Leadership from the Dallas Bar Association.

Boone earned a B.B.A. from the Cox School of Business in 1963 and a J.D. from Dedman School of Law in 1967. He serves on the executive boards of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences and Dedman School of Law, and formerly was an adjunct professor at the law school.

He served as vice chair for SMU’s Second Century Celebration Organizing Committee and as a member of the Leadership Council for The Second Century Campaign, which reached its $1 billion goal ahead of schedule in September 2015. Boone has served his community in numerous roles, including as president of the Highland Park School Board and chair of the Dallas Citizens Council.

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SMU to remain guns-free campus

A message to the SMU community from President R. Gerald Turner:

For the past several weeks, I have solicited input from students, faculty and staff regarding Texas Senate Bill 11, more commonly known as the “campus carry” law. The law contains an option for private universities to opt out and ban concealed handguns after initiating discussion within the campus community.

After hearing from more than 1,300 students as well as from faculty and staff, I can now inform you that SMU will remain weapons free, as it has been since at least 1994. Although the final decision rested with me, it was made in consultation with the SMU Board of Trustees.

The process we followed was inclusive. Representatives from the SMU Offices of Legal Affairs, Student Affairs, and Police met with the SMU Faculty Senate, SMU Student Senate and the SMU Staff Advocacy Council this fall. Additionally, the SMU Debate program sponsored a student debate on the topic, and many of you provided feedback in response to a campus-wide letter from me and one from Student Senate leaders.

The results were overwhelmingly in favor of SMU remaining weapons free when the law goes into effect Aug. 1, 2016. More than two-thirds of students who responded to the Student Senate letter said they favored SMU remaining a weapons-free campus. In addition, faculty, staff and students supported SMU remaining weapons free by 10 to 1 in their online responses. The Faculty Senate also supported opting out by a large margin, with 17 voting in favor, three against and three abstaining.

Thanks to those of you who participated in this discussion and especially to those of you who provided feedback. We can now move forward knowing that SMU will remain weapons free for many years to come.

Sincerely,

President R. Gerald Turner
Southern Methodist University

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Supporting students during final exams

With the end of the fall term quickly approaching, Deanie Kepler, the Director of Parent and Family Programs, and Christi Contreras, the Director of Parent Giving, share information from SMU resources about ways to support students during final exams and as they prepare for the spring semester:

Learning specialists at SMU’s Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center (A-LEC) encourage students to develop a plan for the end of the term, including setting realistic short-term goals, creating a daily study schedule, using library resources and meeting with professors during office hours.

If parents would like to show support for students during exams, the A-LEC suggests sending encouraging messages and a reminder of your student’s strengths and past successes. At the A-LEC, students can obtain free tutoring, take workshops and review essays with English faculty members.

Winter break is a good time to plan for learning experiences beyond the classroom, such as Engaged Learning projects, internships through the Hegi Family Career Development Center and SMU Abroad programs. The winter and summer breaks also offer opportunities to earn credits through SMU JanTerm, MayTerm and other Summer Studies courses, both on the main Dallas campus and at SMU-in-Taos. The University Advising Center can help students plan ahead.

Find more information from campus resources below:

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U.S. Department of State issues Worldwide Travel Alert

The U.S. Department of State has issued a Worldwide Travel Alert through February 24, 2016, that alerts U.S. citizens to possible risks of travel due to increased terrorist threats.

If students, faculty or staff are planning to travel internationally, please consult the travel alert and country-specific information.

The State Department says U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation; be aware of immediate surroundings; avoid large crowds or crowded places; and exercise particular caution at holiday festivals or events.

State Department security tips include:

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities. Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
  • Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
  • Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
  • Register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.

Follow updates from the U.S. Department of State on Twitter at twitter.com/travelgov or on Facebook.

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SMU’s Celebration of Lights makes holidays bright

Twinkling white lights will illuminate the SMU campus Nov. 30-Jan. 3 for Celebration of Lights, the University’s annual holiday celebration.

Beginning with the annual campus lighting ceremony on SMU’s Main Quad at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30,  the Dallas community is invited to enjoy SMU’s centennial holiday lighting, beginning at the SMU campus entrance on Bishop Blvd. to the landmark Dallas Hall.

The annual event is sponsored by SMU’s Student Foundation and supported by the SMU Centennial Host Committee and the Michael F. Miller Endowment for the Celebration of Lights.

Luminarias will line the sidewalks for the Nov. 30 ceremony, a favorite campus tradition for SMU students that will feature student musicians performing songs of the season, SMU President R. Gerald Turner reading the Christmas story from the New Testament, and lighting of the SMU Christmas tree. The celebration ends bathed in candlelight as participants light candles and sing “Silent Night.”

Although much has changed since students climbed ladders to decorate the six pillars of Dallas Hall for SMU’s first Celebration of Lights in 1977, its original intent has remained the same. “Student Foundation started Celebration of Lights to thank the community for its support for SMU,” said Vicki Sterquell ’78, chair of the first celebration committee.

celebration-of-lights-23228D_030_RT“Celebration of Lights continues to be an important tradition in the SMU community, bringing SMU and the community together for one night of celebration and service,” says SMU senior Jennifer Zotz, president of Student Foundation. This year, Student Foundation, SMU faculty and staff will support the Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Angel Tree. Dallas CASA volunteers advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children under the protective care of the state.

To enjoy SMU’s Celebration of Lights, enter the campus on Bishop Blvd. off Mockingbird Lane. Bishop Blvd. is horseshoe shaped and will bring drivers back to Mockingbird Lane. The holiday lights will shine each evening through Jan. 3.

Find more information here.

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SMU names new Vice President for Student Affairs

Pamela D. Anthony

Pamela D. Anthony

Pamela D. Anthony, dean of students at Iowa State University, has been named vice president for student affairs at Southern Methodist University effective February 1, 2016.

“As SMU’s new vice president for student affairs, Pamela Anthony brings varied experience in all aspects of programming and resources supporting the development of students,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “She has shown leadership in particular on issues related to student well-being, academic enrichment beyond the classroom, and multicultural affairs. She exhibits a dedication to students that will contribute greatly to improving the campus experience that we cherish as a critical part of the educational enterprise. I look forward to welcoming her to the University’s leadership team during this special time in our 100-year history.”

Dr. Anthony will oversee areas including the Office of the Dean of Student Life; Residence Life; women’s, LGBT, multicultural, volunteer and leadership programs; student activities; student conduct; campus ministries; health and wellness programs; career services; the Hughes-Trigg Student Center and the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports.

As dean of students at Iowa State since August 2012, Dr. Anthony has been responsible for supervising programs and services including academic support, multicultural student affairs, LGBT student support, judicial affairs, fraternity and sorority life, women’s programs, student legal services, student disability resources, recreation services, and parent and family involvement, among others. She also serves as chair of the university’s Critical Incident Response Team, Sexual Misconduct Leadership Committee and Student Affairs Diversity Committee, as well as co-chair of its Academic Enrichment Subcommittee and Student Experience Enhancement Council.

“I am beyond excited to be selected as the vice president for student affairs at a world-class institution in a world-class city,” Dr. Anthony said. “SMU offers a vibrant campus life experience, intentional opportunities for student engagement, and evidence that learning happens everywhere. I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues to enhance and create innovative partnerships within academic and student affairs that prioritize student success.”

“My visit to campus and interactions with students, faculty, staff, and alumni only increased my respect for SMU,” she added. “I appreciate the confidence of President Turner and the support of the search committee, and I eagerly anticipate becoming a Mustang! Together, we will continue to shape world changers.”

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