SMUvTCU2010-01.jpg Families celebrated old and new traditions September 24-26 during Family Weekend, including barbecue on the Boulevard, Meadows Museum tours and cheering on the Mustangs in a packed stadium. Watch a video of the weekend’s activities from SMU News. video

“Families were able to see what their students do every day, to meet other SMU families and to experience great traditions,” says Elisabeth Knutzen, chair of the Student Foundation committee that coordinates the events and a junior accounting major in the Cox School of Business.

The weekend’s activities included a meeting with Ambassador James K. Glassman, founding executive director of the George W. Bush Institute, who discussed the institute’s activities with SMU and opportunities for students. Groundbreaking is set for November 2010 for the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which is home to the Bush library, museum and institute.

“Even before its opening in 2013, the Bush center is having an impact,” Glassman told families and students Saturday, September 25, in the Mack Ballroom of Umphrey Lee Center. “The presence of a presidential library on a university campus brings tremendous resources to the students.”

Opportunities for students have included classroom visits by the former president and internships at the Bush center. Students also have participated in symposia sponsored by the institute, including on educating the women and girls of Afghanistan and the use of technology by cyber-dissidents to promote democracy.

“The research materials, the visiting scholars and the public programs all can enrich immeasurably a student’s experience and make it truly unique,” Glassman said.

Watch a video of the weekend’s activities from SMU News. video
See a slideshow from SMU News. slide show
• Watch a welcome video from President R. Gerald Turner.
Mystery solved: The true story of the iron skillet
Join SMU Mothers’ and Dads’ Clubs
Guidelines for the Boulevard on SMU’s Live Responsibly site.

Families also had the opportunity to attend classes with their students and meet the faculty and deans of SMU’s schools. At the Collins Executive Education Center, families filled Crum Auditorium to hear an overview of the Cox School of Business.

“You can’t find a better place, if you’re interested in business, to go to school than Dallas, Texas, and SMU,” said Albert W. Niemi Jr., dean of the business school. Niemi noted that Dallas is second only to New York in publicly traded companies and is gaining ground. “They should start calling it the Dallas Stock Exchange,” he said jokingly.

Norman Bjornnes attended the session with his wife, Conni. Their daughter, Alex, is a first-year Cox BBA Scholar who plans to major in marketing. Bjornnes said the faculty demonstrated “how connected SMU is with the business community in Dallas-Fort Worth. … Dallas really is a vibrant business community with a bright future.”