Category Archives: News

SMU students follow the race for the White House

As the race between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump nears its end, students at SMU have been following the campaigns through a class on “Presidential Elections and American Politics” and through debate watch parties.

See the media reports:

Watch party: SMU Director of Debate Ben Voth hosted a non-partisan debate-watch party with SMU students for the third and final debate.

Political science class: Every four years, SMU political science professor Dennis Simon teaches a class titled “Presidential Elections and American Politics.”

SMU political experts have been providing analysis and commentary throughout the process. Click here for more information.

In addition, SMU has held a series events related to the fall campaigns.

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Dr. Bob Smith Health Center offers free flu shots

Stock photo of man receiving shotThe Dr. Bob Smith Health Center has scheduled several free flu shot clinics, open to students and benefit-eligible faculty, staff, SMU retirees and retiree spouses:

  • Oct. 6 – 2-6 p.m., Dedman Law School
  • Oct. 10 – 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Loyd All Sports Center
  • Oct. 17 – 1:30-3:30 p.m., Expressway Tower training room, East Campus
  • Oct. 26 – 2-6 p.m., SMU-in-Plano

Flu shots also are available at the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center, 6211 Bishop Blvd. Visit Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.

To keep your visit as brief as possible, please:

For the 2016-2107 flu season:

  • Only injectable flu shots are recommended for use this season.
  • Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses.
  • The recommendations for vaccination of people with egg allergies have changed.

> Dallas County influenza resources and updates available at

> Find statewide resources at

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Tune in: Family Weekend 2016, “Home in the Heart of Texas”

SMU Family Weekend, with a theme of “Home in the Heart of Texas,” was Sept. 23-25, 2016.

View a slideshow and watch a video from the weekend, which brought together Mustang families from around the world.

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SMU publishes Annual Security and Fire Safety Report

The following message from President R. Gerald Turner was sent to the campus community on September 30, 2016, regarding SMU’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report:

SMU is committed to maintaining an educational environment that supports safety and well-being through University policies, resources, education and prevention programs. Resources dedicated to campus safety include the SMU Police Department, which every year prepares and distributes a security report for the main SMU campus, SMU-in-Plano and SMU-in-Taos.

SMU’s annual security report is published in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. The security report, which includes SMU’s annual fire safety report, is available online at If you would like a paper copy, please contact the SMU Police Department at 214-768-1348 or e-mail

The report contains three calendar years of crime statistics, including incidents occurring on SMU campuses, at public areas adjacent to campuses and at certain non-campus facilities, including Greek houses and remote classrooms. Information also is gathered from the University Park Police Department, Highland Park Department of Public Safety, Dallas Police Department, Plano Police Department, Taos County Sheriff’s Department and SMU officials who serve as campus security authorities.

I encourage you to participate in campus security programs, including the SMU Police Department’s crime prevention training and the fire safety and emergency preparedness drills coordinated by the Office of Risk Management. During the past year on campus, digital security camera coverage has continued to expand, and enhanced access controls have been installed on all parking areas. In addition, all SMU Police officers have been equipped with body cameras, and work is in progress to enhance campus lockdown measures.

Two serious national health and safety concerns are sexual misconduct and substance abuse. Please carefully review the information provided. In addition to SMU Police, important resources are the SMU Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinators, Counseling Services, the Chaplain’s Office, the Office of the Dean of Student Life, the Office of Violence Prevention & Support Services, and the Women & LGBT Center. SMU strictly prohibits sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking. In case of sexual misconduct, all campus community members are urged to immediately call police. More information is online at

Thank you for the important role you play in campus security. All students, faculty and staff members can contribute by being aware of University policies and security measures. I hope you are able to participate in SMU’s National Night Out, which is from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 4 on the Main Quad. You will have the opportunity to participate in safety exercises and talk with SMU Police and other officials.

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Statement on deceased student found in Barr Pool

The University released the following statement shortly after noon Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016:

We are deeply saddened to report the death of an SMU student, who was found deceased in Barr Pool about 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 29.

Preliminary indications are that no foul play was involved, but an investigation is being conducted by SMU Police with assistance from the Dallas County Medical Examiner.

Counseling is being provided to students and will continue to be available through SMU Counseling Services and the Office of the Chaplain.

Our prayers and thoughts are with the family and other loved ones at this time.

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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

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 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 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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