Category Archives: News

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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College grads, take heart: You’re entering a strong job market

The following is from the May 23, 2016, edition of The Dallas Morning News. Regina James, an associate director at SMU’s Hegi Family Career Development Center, and Bernard Weinstein, an economist and associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute at SMU’s Cox School of Business, provided expertise for this story.

By JILL COWAN
Staff Writer, Dallas Morning News

On a recent Tuesday afternoon, the denizens of Southern Methodist University’s campus seemed to move at a leisurely pace.

searchA few cyclists clicked along the pathways and the stately brick buildings, with their bright white colonnades, were quiet. Commencement had taken place a few days earlier.

But for Regina James, the busy season was getting into full swing.

“There are still students who are in transition. They’re either waiting to hear back about offers — there’s a little anxiousness there — or they’re students that maybe just didn’t get around to the search, so they’re starting to reach out and say, ‘I don’t have anything yet,’” she said. “Those students, we’ll be helping throughout the summer.”

James is the associate director for employer relations at SMU’s Hegi career center.

Experts say newly-minted college graduates in the Dallas area are entering one of the best job markets they’ve seen. But James said that’s no excuse to slack off in the hunt.

“We encourage students to have multiple internships for a number of reasons,” she said. “You’ve got to think about it as, not only are you competing against your peers here, you’re competing against peers from other institutions in the area, you’re competing against institutions nationally [whose students] may desire to live in the Dallas area.” . . .

In Dallas-Fort Worth — one of those metro areas with a low unemployment rate — there’s extra momentum, said Bud Weinstein, an economist and associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute at SMU’s Cox School of Business.

The region’s economy is more diverse than it’s ever been. And more companies are relocating or expanding in North Texas — in part because they’re attracted by the area’s talent pool.

“Dallas-Fort Worth probably has the strongest job market in the nation among large metropolitan areas — maybe not in absolute numbers, but certainly in percentage terms,” Weinstein said. “I think the job market has never looked better, particularly for college graduates.”

Read the full story.

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Mustang Minute: Meet Pamela Anthony

In this Mustang Minute video, Pamela Anthony, the new vice president for Student Affairs, talks about working with students and what attracted her to SMU. video

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SMU Commencement celebrates academic achievement

SMU will celebrate the academic accomplishments of more than 2,500 students at its 101st annual Commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 14, in Moody Coliseum.

Guests are urged to arrive early as seating in the coliseum is limited to four guests per student. Additional seating will be available for a simulcast of the event at Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports, Crum Auditorium and McFarlin Auditorium. The ceremony also will be broadcast outside Moody Coliseum on Bolin Plaza, and there will be a live webcast of the ceremony at http://www.smu.edu/live.

 

Commencement guests are urged to familiarize themselves with the University’s security policy for Moody Coliseum, also known as the “clear bag policy.” The requirements are designed to support public safety through restricting items that may be carried in to the coliseum.  Read more about security and the clear bag policy below.

Prior to the start of the ceremony, the digital screens in the center of Moody Coliseum will periodically share social media posts shared by graduates and their guests. Attendees can use the hashtag #SMUgrad on any Twitter or Instagram post to possibly have their post shared on the big screen and show their pride in reaching graduation day.

Technology and civic leaders Richard and Mary Templeton will share the delivery of the SMU Commencement address. Richard Templeton, a member of the SMU Board of Trustees, is president and CEO of Texas Instruments, and Mary Templeton is a philanthropist and community volunteer who had a 14-year career with General Electric before moving to Dallas. Under Mr. Templeton’s leadership, TI and the TI Foundation have invested generously in programs designed to strengthen global education programs, including K-12 STEM teaching and student achievement. Click here to read more about Richard and Mary Templeton.

During the ceremony, an honorary degree will be conferred upon medical researcher Groesbeck Parham, a leader in cancer prevention in Third World countries. Parham will lead a symposium, “Creating Impact in Global Health,” at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, at Harold Simmons Hall. The symposium is free and open to the public.

Diploma presentation ceremonies will be held at individual schools. Click here for the commencement schedule.

The Baccalaureate Service for undergraduate candidates and their guests will be held at 8 p.m. Friday, May 13, in McFarlin Auditorium. It will be broadcast live at http://www.smu.edu/live.

For a map of the SMU campus, visit www.smu.edu/maps.

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Police report arrest in April 23 robbery, announce increased patrols

The following message was sent to the campus community May 5.

We’d like to update you that a suspect has been arrested in the April 23 robbery at CVS Pharmacy on the east edge of campus near Central Expressway. SMU Police were notified today that Dallas Police made the arrest May 5.

This report follows the April 22 arrest by Dallas Police of a suspect in the April 17 robbery on SMU Boulevard. SMU thanks our neighboring police departments for their work on these two cases.

In regard to the crime alert sent May 6, SMU Police are continuing to investigate a robbery reported at 11:30 p.m. May 5 near Owen Arts Center and Mary Hay and Peyton halls, as well as an attempted robbery reported at 3 a.m. April 21 in this area. SMU Police had increased patrols in this area and now are adding a patrol unit dedicated to this location at night, in addition to other security measures.

Anyone with information about these two cases is asked to call SMU Police at 214-768-3333 or report anonymously through the SMU Police Department’s Silent Witness Program by calling 214-SMU-2TIP or online at www.smu.edu/2tip.

Increased patrols and other security measures

In response to these cases, SMU Police have been conducting extra car and bike patrols at night throughout campus, in addition to their normal 24/7 patrols. Campus community members are urged to be aware of their surroundings and call police immediately if they see or hear anything suspicious. Because the SMU campus sits at the intersection of several police jurisdictions, 911 calls made from a cell phone can reach any one of them, depending on the caller’s location. For this reason, campus community members are asked to program the SMU Police Department’s direct line, 214-768-3333, into their cell phones.

Please also take note of the location of blue-light emergency phones, which connect directly to SMU Police, across campus and in parking lots and garages. Security cameras also are located across campus and in buildings, and are equipped to digitally record activity.

Campus community members are urged to call for a security escort at night:

  • Giddy-Up, 214-768-1111, offers free rides on campus from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m.
  • SMU Police, 214-768-3333, can provide campus rides when Giddy-Up is not available.
  • SMU Rides, 214-768-7433, provides service 24 hours a day with an SMU ID; the full cost of the ride is charged to the rider’s SMU account.

SMU Police are available to provide crime prevention education and self-defense training to student groups. Call 214-768-3333 for information.

Campus resources

In addition to SMU Police, resources available to support students who may have concerns or questions include:

  • SMU Counseling Services for confidential counseling, 214-768-2277 (an emergency contact is available 24/7)
  • SMU Chaplain’s Office for confidential counseling, 214-768-4502
  • Office of the Dean of Student Life, 214-768-4564
  • Residence Life and Student Housing, 214-768-2407

Students, faculty and staff may submit confidential concerns about any student’s well-being to the Caring Community Connections program, through which students will be connected with campus resources. Information about that program is posted here: http://www.smu.edu/StudentAffairs/StudentLife/CCC

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Spirit squads shine at NCA Collegiate National Championship

SMU Cheerleaders, 2016 NCA Champions, 400px

SMU cheerleaders react after being named 2016 NCA Champions

The SMU cheer squad had plenty to cheer about after winning first place at the NCA Collegiate National Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida – the first time the team has captured the title. The 20-member team competed against 17 other teams in the Intermediate Small Coed Division in the two-day April event.

“Last year we placed second by .08, so this team was laser-focused on winning,” said SMU cheer and pom coach Tiffany Fettinger. “The students performed a perfect routine at finals. I am so proud of them.”

Qualifying for the competition began during cheerleading camp at SMU in summer 2015 when the team was offered the highest bid to the championship after its performance. In the time between qualifying for the competition and winning the championship, the SMU cheer squad supported SMU football, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball teams as well as appearing at numerous other SMU events.

SMU Pom Squad, 3rd place, NCA 2016, 400px

The SMU Pom Squad at Daytona Beach

Members of the winning squad include Jessie Abernathy, Sarah Almeida, Tess Balentine, Charleigh Berry Meg Bres, Hanna Clarke, Austin Copeland, Reid Burkett, Ashton Chmielewski, Blaise Graham, Stefanie Henger, Isaac Huerta, Kendall Kramer, Camille Monette, Brandon Niven, Janie Pascoe, Lindsey Ray, Colette Rushing, Morgan Silva, Sydney Tomlinson and Nathan Williams.

SMU Pom also performed well at the competition, placing third in Pom Division I.

Pom team members include Natalie Brock, Caroline Carter, Rachel Cocke, Shannon Flaherty, Emma Hill, Lisa Ingham, Jenny Katlein, Alexis Kopp, Katherine McGowan, Karlie Morris, Erika Olsen, Brooke Peterson, Morgan Peterson, Blake Ann Seeker, Rachael Seidl, Grace Stokes, Blair Welch, Jordan Woodruff, Megan Young and Ashley Jo Zaccagnini

The National Cheerleaders Association has its roots at SMU, founded in 1948 by former SMU cheerleader and creator of the “Herkie” jump, Lawrence Herkimer ’48.

Nancy George

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Weather Alert for North Texas, including SMU

SMU Alert: The National Weather Service office for Dallas-Fort Worth is forecasting severe weather conditions for North Texas for this evening and tonight, including a tornado watch until midnight. You should monitor weather-related broadcasts by local radio and television stations. For campus information, see SMU Twitter and the SMU homepage. Also see NWS information at http://www.srh.noaa.gov/fwd/

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SMU Aware: Increased police patrols throughout campus

Updated April 23, 2016:

SMU would like to make parents aware of two recent robberies and another attempted robbery on campus, and the University’s response to those incidents.

Posted at the bottom of this update are the campus alerts that were distributed via email to students and the rest of the campus community after each incident.

In the first case, which occurred at approximately 2 a.m. on April 17 on SMU Boulevard, a suspect was arrested April 22 in East Dallas by Dallas Police and was booked into the University Park jail, with more arrest warrants pending. Detectives from Dallas, SMU Police and the Richardson Police Department assisted in the University Park Police investigation.

The attempted robbery of a student at 3 a.m. April 21 near Hillcrest Avenue on the west edge of campus remains under investigation by SMU Police.

University Park Police are investigating a 2 a.m. April 23 robbery at a CVS Pharmacy on the east edge of campus near Mockingbird Lane and Central Expressway. No students were involved in this case.

The safety of the SMU community always is the University’s first concern. These cases are unusual for our community, with three robberies previously reported on campus in the last six years. Earlier this week SMU Police, who patrol campus 24/7, added additional car and bike patrols at night throughout the campus to provide extra security for the University community in the wake of these incidents.

Campus community members are urged to be aware of their surroundings and call police immediately if they see or hear anything suspicious. Because the SMU campus sits at the intersection of several police jurisdictions, 911 calls made from a cell phone can reach any one of them, depending on the caller’s location. For this reason, we ask students to program the SMU Police Department’s direct line, 214-768-3333, into their cell phones.

Blue-light emergency phones that connect directly to SMU Police are located throughout campus, including in parking garages and parking lots. In addition, security cameras are located across campus and in buildings, and are equipped to digitally record activity.

Students are urged to call for a security escort at night:

  • Giddy-Up, 214-768-1111, offers free rides on campus from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. during the fall and spring terms.
  • SMU Police, 214-768-3333, can provide campus rides when Giddy-Up is not available.
  • SMU Rides, 214-768-7433, provides service 24 hours a day with an SMU ID; the full cost of the ride is charged to the rider’s SMU account.

SMU Police also provide crime prevention education and self-defense training to student groups, and are available upon request. Call 214-768-3333.

In addition to SMU Police, resources available to support students who may have concerns or questions include:

  • SMU Counseling Services for confidential counseling, 214-768-2277 (an emergency contact is available 24/7)
  • SMU Chaplain’s Office for confidential counseling, 214-768-4502
  • Office of the Dean of Student Life, 214-768-4564
  • Residence Life and Student Housing, 214-768-2407

Students, parents, faculty and staff also may submit confidential concerns about any student’s well-being online to the Caring Community Connections program, through which students will be connected with campus resources.

We ask that SMU students remember that information may be reported anonymously through the SMU Police Department’s Silent Witness Program by calling 214-SMU-2TIP or online at www.smu.edu/2tip.

Please see, below, the text of the campus alerts that were distributed via email to the campus community after each incident.

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SMU recognizes outstanding achievement by students, faculty, staff

2013 laurelsSMU students, faculty, staff and administrators were recognized with teaching awards, service honors and the University’s highest commendation, the “M” Award, at the 2016 Hilltop Excellence Awards Monday, April 18.

> Read the list of award winners from Honors Convocation 2016

On the same day, the University honored its best students at the 19th Honors Convocation. The address was delivered by Fred Chang, director of SMU’s Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security, the Bobby B. Lyle Endowed Centennial Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security and professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering.

An internationally renowned expert in cyber security and former director of research of the National Security Agency, Chang is also a Senior Fellow in the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences and a Distinguished Scholar in the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas at Austin.

Congratulations to SMU faculty, staff and students who were recognized at the 2016 Awards Extravaganza on Monday, April 18.  Click below for the list of honorees.

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SMU celebrates Founders’ Day Weekend 2016 April 15-16

Peruna mascot at SMU Founders Day 2015SMU Founders’ Day Weekend will kick-start the University’s second century April 15-16, 2016 with a celebration of renovated library facilities, a new book on SMU history, the dedication of a new campus walkway, and a Mustang-sized finale to the Second Century Campaign.

Saturday’s community activities will include faculty talks at Inside SMU, opportunities to explore and create at the Meadows Museum, and an afternoon of fandom and Mustang football.

> Read the full story from SMU News

“We look forward to celebrating our beginnings at Founders Day each year, but in 2016 we also celebrate a very happy ending – the April 15 finale of the $1.15 billion fundraising campaign that has changed the trajectory of SMU,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “All of the opportunities the campaign has opened for SMU ultimately become community assets that we want to share.  We hope our North Texas neighbors will come explore the Hilltop and enjoy Community Day with us on April 16.”

FRIDAY, APRIL 15

• SMU will celebrate the renovation of Fondren Library, including the Fondren Foundation Centennial Reading Room, at 12:30 p.m. Friday.

• A 1 p.m. open house will honor the release of the new book from SMU historian Darwin Payne ’68One Hundred Years on the Hilltop: The Centennial History of Southern Methodist University.  Signed copies are available for order online and will be shipped to purchasers after Founders’ Day Weekend.

• At 6 p.m., the University will celebrate the campaign finale on the South Plaza of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center with a salute to the campaign’s major and leadership donors, the dedication of the Crain Family Centennial Promenade and the unveiling of a campaign major donor monument, including plaques listing major donors to the Second Century Campaign. During the reception that follows, guests can stroll the promenade and view their engraved pavers.

Read some of the stories behind the Crain Family Centennial Promenade bricks

• The day ends with Sing Song, the annual musical theater performance competition for SMU students hosted by SMU Program Council.  Scheduled for 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium, the performances are centered on this year’s theme of “Twisted Tales.”  Tickets are available online.

> Celebrate Peruna’s Birthday during Founders’ Day Weekend 2016, Friday, April 15

SATURDAY, APRIL 16 – SMU COMMUNITY DAY

All SMU Community day activities are open to the public.

Guitarist in Meadows Museum, SMU Founders' Day 2015Inside SMU, scheduled for 8:30 a.m.-noon in Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall, is a full morning of topical discussions delivered by SMU faculty and students. The plenary session at 9 a.m. features Darwin Payne ’68, SMU historian and professor emeritus of communications, sharing “Ten Stories You Should Know about SMU.”

Community Day at the Meadows Museum is from 10-1 p.m. and will enable visitors to explore its Salvador Dali exhibit, as well as participate in special activities for children.

SMU Athletics hosts afternoon events at Gerald J. Ford Stadium: Mustang Fan Fair begins at noon with inflatables and food trucks, followed by the SMU Spring Football Game at 1 p.m.

See the full schedule and register for activities

— Kimberly Cobb

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