Celebration of Lights set for December 1

A scene from SMU's 2010 Celebration of Lights

SMU kicks off the 2014 holiday season with the post-Thanksgiving observance of one of the University’s most beloved annual traditions. Celebration of Lights 2014 is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 1, on the Main Quad.

The celebration features than 100,000 decorative lights, luminarias lining the sidewalks, musicians performing songs of the season, and SMU President R. Gerald Turner reading the Christmas story from the New Testament. Refreshments will be served.

Check out slideshows and video of past Celebration of Lights ceremonies, courtesy of SMU News. Photos

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Update: Missing Student Found Unharmed

Update: 1:45 p.m. November 20:

SMU student Connor Burrell, who had been reported missing Nov. 19, was found unharmed by Dallas Police, working with SMU Police, at about 1:15 p.m. today, Nov. 20, near Mockingbird Station in Dallas. SMU is grateful to members of the SMU and Dallas communities who provided assistance in locating our student.

Connor Burrell

November 19, 2014:

SMU Police are seeking help in locating SMU student Connor Burrell (see his photo below), who was last seen about 2:30 p.m. Nov. 18 on a sidewalk on the north side of North Park Mall in Dallas.

Burrell, a 21-year-old white male, is 5-feet, 11-inches tall, weighs 190 pounds, has brown hair and green eyes. He was last seen wearing a white hoodie, khaki pants and was carrying a dark-colored jacket or sweater. He may have been wearing a white baseball cap.

If you have information about Burrell, please contact the SMU Police Department at 214-768-3388.

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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, Title IX Coordinator Samantha Thomas, basketball coaches Larry Brown and Rhonda Rompola, Student Body President Ramon Trespalacios and Vice President Monica Finnegan, 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

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Homecoming 2014 Celebrates Pride and Tradition

SMU HomecomingSMU celebrates the “Year of the Faculty” during Homecoming, Nov. 13-16, honoring the contributions of the University’s esteemed faculty members as teachers and researchers. The Homecoming parade theme, “Dynamic Duos: Better Together,” salutes powerful partnerships, including SMU’s relationship with Dallas and the pairing of SMU students and faculty.

brian-baumgartner-135x100ratioSaturday’s events begin with actor Brian Baumgartner leading the traditional Homecoming parade, and tailgating on The Boulevard, followed by the traditional football game at Ford Stadium.

The complete schedule of Homecoming events is available online.

Homecoming Parade

The parade will feature iconic duos such as Batman and Robin; Mickey and Minnie; and Clark Kent and Lois Lane. Baumgartner, known for his iconic role as Kevin Malone in the TV series The Office, will serve as grand marshal. The new route featuring student floats, bands and entertainment will begin at SMU Boulevard and Bush Avenue. (Parade Map) * The parade will begin approximately three hours before game time, which will be determined by Nov. 3 when television schedules are announced.

Distinguished Alumni Awards Celebration

The annual DAA event will celebrate Mary Brinegar ’69, Frank M. Dunlevy ’71, John F. Harper ’68, and Emerging Leader recipient Alexandra Dillard Lucie ’05. The evening includes a seated dinner and ceremony. Purchase tickets online at  smu.edu/DAA or call 1-800-766- ALUM.

Centennial Lighting

This year’s Homecoming features a new tradition of ceremonial lighting that will extend across campus each evening throughout the weekend. Homecoming 2014 will also mark the debut of the illuminated SMU Mustangfeatured on SMU’s East Campus Expressway Tower.

SMU Museum Open Houses

Explore world-class art, presidential artifacts, interactive exhibits and library treasures at SMU’s Bridwell LibraryCentennial HallDeGolyer LibraryGeorge W. Bush Presidential Library and MuseumHeritage Hall and the Meadows Museum.

All visits are complimentary during Homecoming except for the Bush Presidential Library and Museum. For tickets to the Bush Library and Museum, visit georgewbushlibrary.smu.edu.

Tailgating on the Boulevard

Immediately following the parade, tailgating on Bishop Boulevard will begin with great food and fun activities. The Mustang Club Tent, with catering provided by Mi Cocina, will be located at the southeast corner of Bishop and Binkley on Mustang Alley. Adult admission is $10 per person in advance and $15 cash at the tent on game day. Children 8 and under are admitted for free. Other fun spots on the Boulevard include food trucks, Reunion Village and tents for Red, Blue and You alumni student leaders, SMU schools and other SMU groups.

Pigskin Revue

The 81st edition of Pigskin Revue will be at 8:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, in McFarlin Auditorium. The Pigskin Revue features SMU students in music, dance and comedy acts, with the Mustang Band playing new music as well as old favorites from past revues. Admission is free with an SMU ID or $15 without an SMU ID. A post-show reception will be held for band alumni and donors. For more information contact the band office at 214-SMU-BAND.

Homecoming Football Game

Support the Mustangs against the University of South Florida on Saturday, Nov. 15. Catch the spirit and tradition of Homecoming game day as the cheerleaders and Mustang Band lead fans from The Boulevard into Ford Stadium. Halftime will include a performance by the Mustang Band, a check presentation from the SMU reunion classes and crowning of the Homecoming King and Queen. Visit smumustangs.com for tickets. Kick-off time will be determined once television schedules are announced on Nov. 3.

SMU Men’s and Women’s Basketball Games

SMU Homecoming

The SMU Men’s and Women’s Basketball seasons will begin on Friday, Nov. 14. SMU Men’s game vs. Lamar is sold out, but tickets are still available for the 6 p.m. SMU Women’s game vs. Northern Colorado. For tickets visit smumustangs.com.

 

Reunion Gatherings

Reunion events are planned for the classes of ‘69 ’74, ’79, ’84, ’89, ’94, ‘99 ’04 and ’09. The Reunion Weekend kickoff celebration will begin on Friday, Nov. 14. Visit smu.edu/reunions for more information.

All- University Worship

Join the SMU community at this inspirational service at 11 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 16, in Perkins Chapel and remember classmates who are no longer with us.

– Ariel Monticure

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SMU Celebrates Veterans Day 2014

SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility will award special commemorative lapel pins to SMU Veterans at a luncheon hosted by the Office of the Provost from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom in the Umphrey Lee Center.

SMU service flag, 1917

SMU service flag, 1917

“With more than 170 military veterans enrolled at SMU, along with many other veterans among our faculty and staff, the University takes great pride in honoring their service to our country on Veterans Day,” said Paul Ludden, SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Colleges and universities across the U.S. are seeing a dramatic surge in veteran student enrollment and at SMU the number of military veterans using G.I. bill benefits has increased more than 250 percent since 2005.  SMU Military Veterans, an undergraduate group sponsored by the Maguire Center, has become an active part of SMU life, including participating in public service events and hosting a tent on the Boulevard on football game days.

“SMU is establishing programs that create a sense of community among our veterans and support them academically, professionally and socially,” said Candy Crespo, assistant director of the Maguire Center and a member of the SMU Veteran’s Advisory Board. “This fall we opened SMU’s first Veterans Center, an informal gathering space in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center.  We also have secured academic credit for vets seeking to apply their military training and experience as their required wellness credit.”

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Highlights from Family Weekend 2014

  • Relive the fun of Family Weekend 2014 with a video from SMU News’ Myles Taylor.
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SMU TollTag Available from North Texas Tollway Authority

Life is a highway for SMU TollTag owners.

SMU TollTagSMU fans can now display Mustang spirit wherever they go with an SMU-branded TollTag from the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA).

Leslie Melson, perennial fan and SMU Alumni Board Chair said, “I have been a TollTag owner since 1989 and I am thrilled to have a new SMU TollTag as I travel across Texas. I encourage all SMU friends, family and alumni to join me in this great opportunity to show Mustang pride on the road.”

Emblazoned with the University’s spirited pony mascot, Peruna, and traditional SMU red and blue colors, the limited edition TollTag can really take you places.

Existing TollTag customers can exchange old TollTags for SMU-branded tags at any NTTA service center for no additional cost. Visit ntta.org for service center locations or call: 972-818-6882 to request an exchange.

Anyone who does not yet have a TollTag can get an SMU tag at SMU’s Parking and ID Services, 6116 North Central Expressway, Suite 101, Monday – Friday from 8:30-5 p.m. TollTag accounts can be opened for a standard $40, or $20 for infrequent toll road drivers.

New SMU-branded tags are also available at NTTA service centers.

SMU TollTags can be used for parking at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field, and on any toll road in Texas and Oklahoma, including the new TEXpress Lanes.

Learn more about TollTag benefits at ntta.org.

SMU license plates are also available through myplates.com to showcase SMU spirit from every angle.

smu-texas-license-plate

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SMU Recommends Flu Shots and Other Preventive Measures

With the arrival of flu season across the country and in North Texas, SMU health officials are urging students, faculty and staff to take preventive measures to protect their health. Because flu can spread by contact with people who are ill, SMU health officials recommend getting a flu shot if you have not yet done so. Know the symptoms. Be prepared. Learn more . . . 

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Update on Ebola Situation in Dallas

Updated October 27:

We are providing updates to you and the campus community on developments related to the Ebola situation in Dallas, as we receive new information. Toward that end, we have informed the University community that two SMU graduate students have told University officials that they were passengers on the October 10 Frontier Airlines flight from Dallas to Cleveland that included a Presbyterian Hospital nurse, Amber Vinson, who later tested positive for the Ebola virus.  Neither SMU student was a passenger on the return flight to Dallas, when the nurse was reportedly showing symptoms. On Oct. 24, Vinson and another Presbyterian Hospital nurse, Nina Pham, were declared successfully treated and free of the virus.

Both graduate students are considered at extremely low risk, but out of sensitivity to the University community, both have volunteered to remain off campus at their homes in Dallas for the 21-day monitoring period, going above and beyond CDC requirements or recommendations. Along with other passengers on the flights taken by the nurse, they are being monitored as a precaution.

The two unrelated graduate students, both of whom live alone, are working closely with CDC and county officials. They are monitoring and reporting their temperatures and keeping in daily touch with health officials. They are working with their professors on arrangements to continue their studies, and SMU is providing assistance to facilitate their remaining home-bound.

If any other members of the campus community were on the flights in question between Dallas and Cleveland, they should contact the Centers for Disease Control at 1-800-232-4636 or the SMU Health Center at 214-768-2141 to determine if they should be monitored as a precaution. Information from the CDC about the two flights is posted online here.

At the same time, there is little risk to the University community from this situation, according to medical experts. As a reminder, the disease is developed only after close contact with the bodily fluids of a person who has developed symptoms.

In Dallas, 66 individuals who were being quarantined because of close contact with the first Ebola patient have been cleared to resume their normal activities; none has developed the disease. Most of the individuals still being monitored are health care workers who had contact with the first patient.

In addition, medical experts are urging against overreactions based on fear, rather than science. On Oct. 17, the 7,000-member Dallas County Medical Society said that “keeping all schools open, including schools that have children of parents who are being monitored, presents no risk to students or teachers and sends an important message of allaying fears in the community.”

Please see the University’s health information on the home page at www.smu.edu and related links to external health information sources. We are in close touch with health officials and are monitoring best practices. The SMU site also includes University health and counseling services available to all students.

Parents with questions may call 214-768-7501 or 1-866-768-1012 (toll free).

Parents who have not received updates by email are asked to update their contact information; instructions are provided online here.

We appreciate your patience and support, and we will do our best to keep you informed of any further developments on this matter.

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Oct. 18: Update on Ebola Situation

Updated October 18, 2014:

SMU understands the interest in developments related to the Ebola situation in Dallas. We want you to know that SMU is monitoring the situation, is sharing updated information with the campus community, and has protocols in place to deal with any threat of illness.

First, it is important to be aware of how the disease is spread — NOT through casual contact, but only through close contact with the body fluids of someone who is actively exhibiting symptoms of the illness. For this reason, the risk is low for members of the general population who have not had such close contact. We are aware that some SMU students live in the neighborhood of one of the nurses affected, but geographic proximity alone is not enough to put a person at risk. We encourage you to consult the information sources listed on SMU’s Health and Safety homepage or through the SMU Parents blog.

Because both Ebola patients have been transferred to hospitals outside Texas, there is currently no active case of Ebola in Texas, though some Dallas individuals who had previous close contact with those patients are being monitored as a precaution.

A core group of SMU officials — experts in health, security, and crisis management — is meeting daily and is in contact every day with local, state and federal health officials to guide SMU actions. Even though the risk of Ebola is low, SMU is taking some extra actions, most of which would normally be implemented at this time to prevent the flu, which is much more likely to affect our community.

Steps include:

  • Increased posting of information on campus about personal hygiene and health measures, such as careful hand washing and covering of coughs and sneezes.
  • Heightened sanitization measures across campus, such as frequent cleansing of buses and golf carts serving the campus, as well as high-touch surfaces in facilities; food-handling guidelines; immediate clean-up of spills using protective measures; availability of sanitizer dispensers in buildings.
  • More frequent cleaning of campus residential facilities.
  • Continuous training to address emerging needs.
  • Oversight of foreign travel involving SMU students, faculty and staff.  SMU also supports CDC travel advisories for universities. Currently the CDC has a Level 3 Warning urging all U.S. citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone because of the Ebola outbreak.

We appreciate the questions regarding SMU procedures for assisting students who are feeling ill. As always, SMU students experiencing symptoms of any illness are urged to seek assistance from the SMU Health Center or other nearby medical providers and to stay home from school or work.  In case of a health emergency, students should call SMU Police at 214-768-3333 or 911. Dallas Emergency Medical Services directs ambulances to area hospitals based on the circumstances of each case. At this time, there are no emergency transports to Presbyterian Hospital.

All students who contact the Health Center are screened through a series of questions related to risk factors, such as travel and other recent activities. If a student calls ahead for an appointment, and the phone screening indicates a possible risk of Ebola-like symptoms, the student will be instructed to isolate himself or herself and immediately call 911.  If a student goes in person to the Health Center and is thought to be at risk for Ebola, measures are in place to isolate the student immediately and contact 911. Safeguards and appropriate protective equipment, as needed, will be utilized during the patient encounter. If the screening shows no history of possible exposure to an Ebola patient, and the student shows symptoms of the flu, a nurse will take vitals, a physician will examine and treat the student, and the student will be advised to stay home until symptoms subside.

For students who would like to discuss this situation with professional counselors and other staff, several resources are available:

  • For health questions or concerns, please contact the SMU Health Center, 214-768-2141.
  • For confidential counseling, contact Counseling and Psychiatric Services, 214-768-2277, or the Chaplain’s Office, 214-768-4502.
  • Faculty or staff with concerns about students may contact the Office of the Dean of Student Life, 214-768-4564, or visit Caring Community Connections.

We are committed to helping our students, faculty and staff to continue their studies and work uninterrupted, while we monitor the situation and act on the basis of factual information.

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