commencement2014-08SMU celebrated the academic accomplishments of more than 2,100 students at its 99th annual Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 17, in the newly renovated Moody Coliseum.

“If we’re not celebrating today, we’re not living in this moment – and if we’re not living in this moment, we will not succeed when we’re in the depths of self-doubt,” said featured Commencement speaker Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “So live in this moment, graduates. Live in this moment, good parents…. Today, you can say you have done something very good.”

“Who and what are you going to choose to love?” continued Rawlings. “It’s a critical question, because it’s through passionate love that we take learning and leadership and focus it and really start to make a difference in the world. You will have to make that choice yourself. But I hope you choose to love the we and not the me. I hope you choose to love the good in the world and not the gold in the world. I hope you choose to love your family – the one that’s here today and the one that is coming in the future – and not fame.”

Elected mayor in 2011, Rawlings has created new strategies for growing the arts through the Mayor’s Business Arts Initiative, has used his visibility as mayor to organize a campaign against domestic violence and has put Dallas in the spotlight by taking a leading role with the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Read more about Mayor Rawlings.

During the ceremony, honorary degrees were conferred upon Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson, Methodist historian Richard P. Heitzenrater and SMU law professor Joseph W. McKnight.

Diploma presentation ceremonies were held by individual schools.

Read more from SMU News.