As a historic year at SMU comes to a close, look back at some of the moments — big and small — that made 2015 special. Check out our favorite photographs of the year.
Twinkling white lights will illuminate the SMU campus Nov. 30-Jan. 3 for Celebration of Lights, the University’s annual holiday celebration.
Beginning with the annual campus lighting ceremony on SMU’s Main Quad at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30, the Dallas community is invited to enjoy SMU’s centennial holiday lighting, beginning at the SMU campus entrance on Bishop Blvd. to the landmark Dallas Hall.
- See scenes from the 2015 lighting
- Watch an SMU Mustang Minute from SMU News’ Myles Taylor about the arrival of the 2015 Christmas tree.
The annual event is sponsored by SMU’s Student Foundation and supported by the SMU Centennial Host Committee and the Michael F. Miller Endowment for the Celebration of Lights.
Luminarias will line the sidewalks for the Nov. 30 ceremony, a favorite campus tradition for SMU students that will feature student musicians performing songs of the season, SMU President R. Gerald Turner reading the Christmas story from the New Testament, and lighting of the SMU Christmas tree. The celebration ends bathed in candlelight as participants light candles and sing “Silent Night.”
Although much has changed since students climbed ladders to decorate the six pillars of Dallas Hall for SMU’s first Celebration of Lights in 1977, its original intent has remained the same. “Student Foundation started Celebration of Lights to thank the community for its support for SMU,” said Vicki Sterquell ’78, chair of the first celebration committee.
“Celebration of Lights continues to be an important tradition in the SMU community, bringing SMU and the community together for one night of celebration and service,” says SMU senior Jennifer Zotz, president of Student Foundation. This year, Student Foundation, SMU faculty and staff will support the Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Angel Tree. Dallas CASA volunteers advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children under the protective care of the state.
To enjoy SMU’s Celebration of Lights, enter the campus on Bishop Blvd. off Mockingbird Lane. Bishop Blvd. is horseshoe shaped and will bring drivers back to Mockingbird Lane. The holiday lights will shine each evening through Jan. 3.
Find more information here.
SMU families from around the world celebrated Centennial Family Weekend 2015: Haunted on the Hilltop Oct. 30-Nov. 1. The weekend’s events were coordinated by SMU Student Foundation.
- Watch the video from SMU News.
Watch highlights from SMU’s Centennial Celebration, including the Centennial Homecoming Parade and fireworks, in this video from SMU News’ Myles Taylor.
- Click here or on the video, right.
SMU welcomed new Mustangs and their families on Move-In Day, August 19, 2015, kicking off Mustang Corral.
- Watch a new Mustang Minute! video from SMU News’ Myles Taylor on Move-In Day 2015. Click on the video, or go to the Mustang Minute blog.
- See photos from Move-in Day, Mustang Corral and Convocation.
- Watch the 101st Opening Convocation Keynote Speech from SMU President R. Gerald Turner.
SMU looks back on an exciting 2014-15 as it marks 100 years.
Watch the video from SMU News’ Myles Taylor.
SMU observed its historic 100th May Commencement on May 16 with George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, delivering the principal address.
“You are graduating from a great university,” Bush told the graduates, their families and friends gathered in Moody Coliseum and watching simulcasts and over the Internet. “Your SMU degree will open the door to a wide variety of career options. Millions will never have had this opportunity. SMU has laid a foundation so you can reason, and continue to learn throughout your life. It has given you the tools to be productive citizens.”
- Read, listen to or watch the address by President George W. Bush.
- Watch an SMU video of Commencement.
- Watch media coverage of the address.
- Read more about Commencement from SMU.
This was the second time President Bush had spoken at SMU Commencement (the first was in 1999) but the first such address delivered since leaving the White House.
“To those of you who are graduating this afternoon with high honors, awards, and distinctions, I say, ‘well done,’ ” Bush continued. “And as I like to tell the ‘C’ students: You, too, can be President.”
He told the graduates, “You will learn that who you are is more important than what you have,” and reminded them that “to worship who and how we want, or not to worship, is one of our founding principles.”
The graduates will be called upon at some point in their lives to serve something greater than themselves, and they should face the future by being optimistic and hopeful, he said.
“I believe that the Almighty’s grace and unconditional love will sustain you. I believe it will bring you joy amidst the trials of life. It will enable you to better see the beauty around you. It will provide a solid foundation amidst a rapidly changing, somewhat impersonal, technologically-driven world. It will show you how to love your neighbor, forgive more easily, and approach success with humility — and failure without fear,” he said.
SMU awarded more than 2,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.
SMU conferred honorary degrees upon anthropologist Meave Leakey, U.S.-Japan Council President Irene Hirano Inouye and donor-activist Helen LaKelly Hunt during the Commencement ceremony. It hosted academic symposia in their honor on Friday, May 15.
Diploma presentation ceremonies were held by individual schools.
SMU students and alumni took time for their community as part of the Peruna Paint Project at Dallas’ Lee A. McShan Elementary School on Saturday, April 11, 2015.
The ongoing project – in which University community members paint colorful murals using SMU themes – was created to encourage local elementary- and secondary-school students to think about college and to inspire them toward future opportunities.
Click the YouTube screen to watch the Mustang Minute video by Myles Taylor of SMU News, or visit this link to watch the Peruna Paint Project in a new window.
Students had the opportunity to meet with more than 90 employers representing a range of industries at the February 10 Career and Internship Fair sponsored by SMU’s Hegi Family Career Development Center.
- Learn about the Hegi Career Center’s upcoming spring career and internships events here.
- Watch this and other Mustang Minute! videos from SMU News’ Myles Taylor here.