Category Archives: News

Family Weekend 2016: Home in the Heart of Texas

boulevardSMU family members from across the country are invited to join their students in celebrating a longtime Hilltop tradition Sept. 23-25. Family Weekend is coordinated by the Student Foundation‘s Family Weekend Committee. Find the full schedule here.

Registration for several events has closed. However, limited quantities of Boulevard BBQ tickets will be on sale at the Sept. 23 event from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Clements Hall South Lawn. Football tickets for the 7 p.m. game against TCU Sept. 23 may be purchased by calling 214-768-GAME or by visiting the Athletic Department website.

Clear bag policy at Ford Stadium: Please be aware that the only bags permitted on Game Day are those made of clear plastic, vinyl or PVC that do not exceed 12-by-6-by-12 inches, one-gallon clear plastic freezer bags (Ziploc or similar), or small clutch bags (about the size of a hand) with or without a strap. See the complete list of SMU Ford Stadium Game Day policies.

Learn more in these FAQs on the SMU Student Foundation website.  If you have additional questions, please contact Student Foundation at 214-768-4400 or email sf@smu.edu.

Student Foundation is partnering with Family Gateway, an organization that provides transitional housing and services for homeless families with children in Dallas County.  Collection boxes for household items will be available in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center and at other locations.

Parking:  Campus maps are available online. On Friday, Game Day parking is in effect. Refer to www.smu.edu/athletics for a map. Please plan ahead as parking is highly restricted.

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SMU climbs to 56 in ‘U.S. News & World Report’ rankings

SMU rose to its highest ranking among the nation’s universities in the 2017 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges, released online Tuesday, September 13.

Among 220 institutions classified as national universities, SMU ranks 56, up from 61 a year ago.

The new ranking again places SMU in the first tier of institutions in the guide’s “best national universities” category. In Texas, only Rice University ranks higher. SMU and the University of Texas-Austin were tied. Among private national universities, SMU ranks 39.

SMU’s increase was one of the five largest among the top 100 universities. Since 2008, SMU’s 11-point increase is one of the four largest among schools in the top 60.

For the rankings, U.S. News considers measures of academic quality, such as peer assessment scores and ratings by high school counselors, faculty resources, student selectivity, graduation rate performance, financial resources and alumni giving. SMU ranks 24 among all national universities in alumni giving at 25 percent.

In other ranking categories, SMU ranks 32 as one of the best national universities for veterans.

“It is gratifying for SMU to be recognized for its positive movement among the best national universities,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The ranking is an example of the momentum of the Second Century Campaign and the University’s Centennial Celebration.

“We appreciate external recognition of our progress and believe it’s valid, but we also know that rankings do not portray the whole picture of an institution and its strengths. We encourage parents and students to visit the institutions they are considering for a firsthand look at the academic offerings, the campus environment and the surrounding community to best gauge a university.”

The rankings of 1,374 institutions, including national universities, liberal arts colleges, regional colleges and regional universities, are available online and on newsstands Sept. 23. Find the “Best Colleges 2017” guidebook in stores Oct. 4.

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Tune in: It all starts at Mustang Corral!

SMU welcomed new students to the Hilltop in August with five days of learning, bonding and exploring their new home. Throughout the week, University reporters and photographers captured the Class of 2020 at Mustang Corral and in the Discover Dallas program.

Opening Convocation

Now their photos, social media posts, and a new video by SMU News’ Myles Taylor are gathered at one link. Visit SMU News for many more dispatches from Move-in Day, Camp Corral, the 2016 Opening Convocation, the making of the class photo and more.

> Relive the SMU Class of 2020’s week of welcome here

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A Mustang welcome to the Class of 2020!

29020094786_b5f86c76cb_zSMU welcomes new students to campus Wednesday, August 17, at Mustang Corral 2016, a five-day University orientation for first-year and transfer students. It begins on move-in day, Wednesday, Aug. 17, and ends with the close of Opening Convocation on Sunday, Aug. 21.

Wednesday, Aug. 17,
Move-in Day for First Year Students, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

First-year students check in at their residential commons any time between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., then unload at the designated area for each commons. Orientation leader Jac Mann-McCullick offers tips for a smooth move-in. Expect to be greeted by friendly volunteers with giant rolling bins ready to be filled with living essentials. Volunteers will help unload cars and roll students’ belongings to their rooms.

Orientation leader Sara Whiteley suggests incoming Mustangs remember seven key items for commons living: rain boots and umbrella, shower shoes, desk lamp, step stool, extra long phone charger, detergent pods and – excitement! Click here to learn more.

After move-in, families are invited to family barbecues at Arnold Dining Commons, Umphrey Lee Dining Commons and the Mack Ballroom in Umphrey Lee.

Corral kick-off officially begins at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Moody Coliseum. Time for families to say good bye and for students to meet their Corral Round Up group – 12 to 15 fellow students from their residential commons and an upper class student leader. Later students will gather at their residential commons to kick off each commons’ unique traditions, gatherings and activities.

Thursday, Aug. 18, 19
Discover Dallas and Camp Corral

First thing Thursday morning students will load buses for “Discover Dallas,” 24 different tours to introduce entering students to their new hometown. Students select destinations ranging from the Dallas Zoo to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science to explore on a morning field trip. Kayaking on White Rock Lake and touring the AT&T Stadium are among the most popular. Students also can select community service sites, including the North Texas Food Bank and Goodwill. Here is a sample of the places students will visit:

  • Visiting Paul Quinn College neighborhood farm
  • Ice skating at Dallas Stars Center
  • Touring Dallas Federal Reserve and meeting Dallas Fed official
  • Visiting Sixth Floor Museum
  • Racing go-karts as a lesson in physics
  • Exploring the Dallas Arts District
  • Experiencing the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Thursday afternoon after Discover Dallas, students will head to Camp Corral, a two-day, one-night camp at a retreat center just outside of Dallas. Students will have the opportunity to interact with other incoming and upper class students while learning about the SMU community. Highlights are the opportunities to meet faculty and staff, getting to know one another, the Club Corral dance and, this year, a giant slip n’ slide. Camp Corral wraps up back on campus Friday, Aug. 19, at Ford Stadium with a candlelight ceremony.

class-of-2020-photo-135x100ratioSaturday, Aug. 20,
Class photo, Night at the Club

The Class of 2020 will gather on Saturday morning on the main quad for a class photo in the shape of a giant 2020. The day wraps up with Night at the Club at the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports, an introduction to the hundreds of clubs, community service groups and campus activities for students. Still wondering about Corral? Orientation leader Taylor Vinson explains at “It All Starts at Corral.”

Sunday, Aug. 21,
University Worship, Common Reading, Rotunda Passage and Convocation

Sunday is the grand finale of Mustang Corral.  It begins with University worship in the morning, and the Common Reading discussions of Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson, in the afternoon.

Common Reading is a back-to-school tradition at SMU, which includes small group discussions about a different book selected each year by SMU faculty and staff. Corral leader Jacqueline Mann-McCullick urges, “Read it because the book has something valuable to teach you.” She has shared in a blog post her experience reading Just Mercy and being prepared for discussion as the first academic assignment of a student’s career. Author Bryan Stevenson will present a free lecture on campus at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, at McFarlin Auditorium.

Mustang Corral ends and the official academic year begins Sunday evening at 5:30 p.m. 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. Steven C. Currall, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs, will present remarks.

For More Information:

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Dr. Bob Smith Health Center opens Monday, August 8

SMU is pleased to announce that the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center, located at 6211 Bishop Boulevard, will open to begin serving students Monday, August 8.

The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center’s physicians, registered nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, counselors, psychiatrists and other staff members provide comprehensive outpatient care, including:

Beginning Monday, the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. To make an appointment, call 214-768-2141 or visit studenthealth.smu.edu. Same-day appointments for medical services are available.

For after-hours care, visit the Health Center website for area clinics, hospitals and emergency resources. In case of an emergency, call 911 or SMU Police at 214-768-3333.

Through Friday, August 5, health care services will continue to be provided at the Health Center’s temporary location at Perkins Hall, 6004 Hillcrest Ave. Call 214-768-2141.

The new facility will be dedicated at 11:45 a.m. September 16, followed by an open house.

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SMU remains weapons-free under ‘campus carry’ law

SMU prohibits the possession of any dangerous weapon (either openly or in a concealed manner), or facsimiles of dangerous weapons such as water guns or toy guns and knives, on all University property, athletic venues, passenger transportation vehicles and any groups or building on which University activities are conducted.

Student-owned sporting firearms or other weapons (including all BB and pellet guns) are the responsibility of the owner and must be stored at an appropriate location off campus.

SMU has been a weapons-free campus since at least 1994. See smu.edu/policy for the full policy.

Any violation of this policy is considered a serious offense. If you have questions about this policy, please contact the SMU Police Department at 214-768-3388.

SMU has opted out of “campus carry,” Texas Senate Bill 11

In accordance with Texas Senate Bill 11, also known as the “campus carry” law, SMU opted to ban concealed handguns on campus after discussion with the campus community.

When the law goes into effect August 1, 2016, SMU will remain a weapons-free campus.

The open carry of handguns or other firearms on Texas university campuses continues to be prohibited.

Read more about SMU’s decision to opt-out of Texas Senate Bill 11 online here.

signConcealed handguns prohibited

Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (Trespass by License Holder With a Concealed Handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (Handgun Licensing Law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun.

Prohibidas las armas de fuego ocultas

Conforme a la sección 30.06, de código penal (traspasar portando armas de fuego ocultas), personas con licencia bajo del sub-capítulo h, capítulo 411, código de gobierno (ley de licencia de armas), no deben entrar a esta propiedad portando armas de fuego ocultas.

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Global Ranking Places SMU Among Top 15 Percent of Universities Worldwide

Dallas Hall from Bishop Boulevard, SMUThe Center for World University Rankings once again this year placed SMU among the top 15 percent of 1,000 universities ranked worldwide.

SMU ranked No. 142 overall and No. 27 in the alumni employment category, which is assessed by the number of alumni who have held CEO positions since 2011 at the world’s top 2,000 public companies that are listed on the Forbes Global 2000 list.

The Center for World University Rankings, which ranked SMU No. 142 last year as well, analyzes the world’s top 1,000 universities (from 25,000 worldwide) based on eight factors, including quality of education, alumni employment and quality of faculty, related to the size of the school.

In addition to the strength of its alumni employment ranking, other key factors reflected positively on SMU including its quality of education, measured by the number of alumni who have won major international awards, and the quality of its faculty, which was determined also by the number of major international awards received. Faculty also were measured by publications, influence, citations, broad impact and patents.

• Find the full list of CWUR rankings online
Learn more about the CWUR at their homepage: cwur.org

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A message to the SMU community from President Turner

The following message was sent to the SMU community from President R. Gerald Turner on July 8:

We are all shocked and discomforted by the events of last evening in downtown Dallas. Although these terrible outcomes did not occur on campus, they deeply affect us all. The SMU community will once again need to pull together, provide comfort and support for each other, and continue our work to be a supportive, vibrant community.

As we continue to send our condolences and support to the family of SMU PD Officer Mark McCullers, we now broaden our support and prayers for the families of those Dallas officers killed or injured during last night’s horrible attack. The gratitude of the entire Dallas community for the sacrificial service of these officers, both on and off campus, needs to be underscored in our comments and actions today and into the future.

We are contacting current students and potential students and their parents to reassure them of the support available on our campus in both normal and stressful times.

SMU grieves with our Dallas community for the officers lost and injured. The university asks that campus community members join with Dallas in observing a moment of silence at noon.

Support services are currently available for members of the SMU community at SMU Counseling Center (214/768-2277) and the Chaplains office (214/768-4507).

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Summer send-off parties for new SMU families

4149573At send-off parties across the country this summer, incoming SMU students and their parents can connect with fellow SMU families who live in or near their hometowns.

Parties are planned in cities from San Francisco to Kansas City to New York. Find more locations and dates, and register online here: http://blog.smu.edu/events/summer-send-off-parties/

If you would like more information, please contact Kate Moreland at 214-768-4737 or kmorelan@smu.edu.

More information for new SMU families:

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Incoming students and SMU community to read ‘Just Mercy’

just-mercy-book-jacketIncoming SMU students will examine tough questions about justice, equality and poverty in their first college reading assignment — attorney Bryan Stevenson’s book Just Mercy (Random House, 2014).

Students will read the book as part of the University’s Common Reading Program, an academic initiative that includes small-group discussions about the book before and after classes begin. Parents, community members, alumni, book lovers and book clubs are invited to join SMUReads to take part in other smu.edu/smureads events surrounding the book.

Author Stevenson’s free campus lecture is open to the public at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, at McFarlin Auditorium, 6405 Boaz Lane. Preregistration is requested at smu.edu/smureads.

Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson founded the Equal Justice Initiative in 1989 in Montgomery, Ala., as a young lawyer recently graduated from Harvard Law School. As executive director, he leads a legal staff dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need — the poor and the wrongly condemned. One of his first cases was to defend Walter McMillian, who was sentenced to die for a highly publicized Alabama murder he insisted he didn’t commit. In Just Mercy, Stevenson describes how the case transformed his understanding of mercy and justice.

“The true measure of our commitment to justice, the character of our society, our commitment to the rule of law, fairness and equality cannot be measured by how we treat the rich, the powerful, the privileged, and the respected among us,” Stevenson writes in the book. “The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned.”

More information for new SMU families:

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