The SMU community celebrated the graduation of about 950 students in ceremonies Saturday, December 17, with business and civic leader Carl Sewell (’66) as the featured speaker.
Update:Watch a video of Carl Sewell’s address to the 2011 December graduates.
“SMU is your university,” Sewell told the graduates and their families and friends gathered in SMU’s Moody Coliseum. “You have been a part of the greatest academic growth in the history of this university … and it clearly is on the path to becoming a great university.”
Sewell, past chair of the SMU Board of Trustees, is chairman of Sewell Automotive Companies, a national leader in the automotive industry and an innovator in establishing customer service standards. He shared his service philosophy and practices in the best-selling book Customers for Life, which has sold more than 1 million copies in 17 languages.
He offered four major pieces of advice for the graduates:
Find a mentor
Think about what you read and how much you read. Make the reading of a serious book something you do at least once every six months.
Decide how good you want to be, and how much time you want to devote to it.
Learn from failures. Sewell mentioned his long history of working with GM, and how he has learned from that company’s failures.
Among his many commitments to SMU, Sewell serves as one of five co-chairs of The Second Century Campaign, the University’s largest and most successful fundraising effort. He also is co-chair of The Second Century Celebration Organizing Committee, 2011-15. His support of the President’s Scholars program, the University’s highest merit award, has resulted in record numbers of students receiving the scholarships. He also supports SMU athletics and student career services, among other areas.
Sewell has been recognized with SMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award and the Cox School of Business Distinguished Alumni Award. He earned his Bachelor’s degrees in banking and finance, as well as in economics, from the University. Read more about Carl Sewell
• The Student Foundation’s 2011 Celebration of Lights begins at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, on the University’s Main Quad. More than 100,000 decorative lights will fill the trees, luminarias will line the sidewalks, musicians will perform songs of the season, and SMU President R. Gerald Turner will follow a decades-old tradition of reading the Christmas story from the New Testament. Hot chocolate, apple cider and cookies will be served starting at 6:30. Watch slideshows of past Celebration of Lights ceremonies courtesy of SMU News.
• The Guildhall at SMU hosts the Cohort 14 Exhibition and Graduation Friday, Dec. 16, at SMU-in-Plano. Graduating students in art creation, level design and programming will show their work.
In addition to the Mustangs’ football game against Tulane, a highlight of the Homecoming festivities will be the annual parade on Saturday, Nov. 5, at 11 a.m. To celebrate the role that Dallas leaders played in establishing SMU in 1911, the parade will feature Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings as grand marshal. WFAA-TV anchor Shelly Slater will serve as parade emcee.
This year the parade, which also will include Peruna IX and the Mustang Band, will feature a new parade-watching zone on Hillcrest with seating, an announcer and entertainment before the parade. Special outreach is being made to SMU neighbors to join the festivities, which will include a family fun area on the Boulevard.
Pigskin Revue will mark its 77th anniversary with a reception, dinner and talent show held in the newly renovated Mack Ballroom on Friday, Nov. 4, in the Umphrey Lee Center on campus.
Another Homecoming highpoint will be the launch of the commemorative book SMU: Unbridled Vision, featuring more than 200 new photosof the Hilltop.
“As we celebrate the 100th year of our founding, it’s a pleasure to show our appreciation to the city of Dallas for competing to be the site of SMU in 1911 and for providing a supportive community through the years. SMU and Dallas have grown and prospered together, and we value that partnership,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “That’s why it’s especially gratifying to honor Mayor Rawlings as grand marshal and to add a special parade viewing area and activity section for families on the Boulevard.”
“SMU: It’s a State of Mind” was the theme of Family Weekend 2011, which included a barbecue, a luncheon, departmental open houses, a student talent show, visits to the newly opened Centennial Hall, tailgating on the Boulevard and a 40-7 victory over Northwestern State at Ford Stadium.
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11, SMU is hosting a range of public events September 7-11 to help the community find peace and meaning after that devastating day.
Community members are invited to add their thoughts and memories to the Maguire Center’s online journal, 911remembered.org, where they can also scroll through entries from SMU’s original set of remembrance journals created on Sept. 11, 2001.
As a new school year begins at SMU, it is a particularly exciting time to be here – the University is commemorating the 100th anniversary of its founding with The Second Century Celebration. Read more from SMU News.
First-generation college students and their families can learn more about resources at SMU in this video from SMU News, in partnership with the SMU Mothers’ and Dads’ Clubs. Parents and family members will learn about the challenges students face their first year in college and will become familiar with key offices that can serve as important partners for student success.
SMU Aware: Learn about campus emergency preparedness efforts. In the event of an emergency, call the SMU Parent Info Line at 214-SMU-PARENTS (214-768-7273 or toll free 1-888-768-7273) for updated campus alerts. Contact SMU Police at 214-768-3333.