SMU Weather Update: Classes to Resume Monday, Dec. 9

SMU will resume normal operations and class schedules Monday morning, Dec. 9, at both its main Dallas campus and at SMU-in-Plano.

SMU asks our community to continue to exercise caution and heed safety warnings. While SMU Facilities Services personnel are working to clear ice from campus walkways, students, faculty and staff should be prepared to seek an alternative path if unsure of their footing. They also should continue to avoid walking under trees as accumulated ice melts.

Students, faculty and staff are asked to observe the following precautions:

  • Please use extreme caution. Don’t try to carry anything that isn’t necessary while walking.
  • Avoid inclines and ramps where possible.
  • Don’t take unnecessary risks: If you think you may need assistance in getting from your car to your building, consider reaching out to someone in your work area prior to, or as you arrive, on campus.
  • Be aware that ice may still fall from trees and slide from roofs of SMU buildings. Use caution.
  • Report unsafe conditions to the Facilities Services Service Request Center at 214-768-3494; after hours, call SMU Police dispatch at 214-768-3333.)

Students should contact their professors in advance if they feel travel to campus Monday morning would be an unreasonable safety risk.

Please also see the SMU Inclement Weather Policy.

 

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SMU Is Monitoring Weather; Weekend Classes Cancelled

SMU Update, Sunday, December 8: All classes and exams are cancelled this weekend on the main SMU campus and at SMU-in-Plano due to inclement weather.

SMU continues to monitor the weather situation in consultation with safety officials and will post updates at smu.edu and on Twitter and Facebook.

SMU students are asked to be aware that heavy ice accumulation has compromised the strength of tree branches on the main campus. Students should use extreme caution when approaching or passing under overhanging branches. Students should use alternate routes to avoid passing under trees, and refrain from parking under or near any trees close to parking areas.

Dining Services on the main SMU campus
Dining services will be available even when the University closes because of inclement weather.  RFoC at Umphrey Lee will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. All other on-campus dining locations will be closed Saturday. Find the most current information about hours of operation for SMU Dining Services online and on Facebook.

Fondren Library on the main SMU campus
When the University closes for inclement weather, Fondren Library expects to be open. Hours of operation will be posted on the CUL homepage.

Meadows School of the Arts events
For the latest information on Meadows School of the Arts events, including cancellations, see the Events area of their homepage at www.smu.edu/meadows.

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A Monday Celebration of Lights Kicks Off 2013 Holiday Season

SMU holiday lights at night on the Main Quad

The holiday season goes into high gear at SMU with a rare weekday observance of one of the University’s most beloved annual traditions. Celebration of Lights 2013 is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, on the Main Quad.

UPDATE: Watch a slide show from Celebration of Lights 2013. slide show

The celebration features than 100,000 decorative lights, luminarias lining the sidewalks, musicians performing songs of the season, and SMU President R. Gerald Turner reading the Christmas story from the New Testament. Refreshments will be served. Check out slideshows and video of past Celebration of Lights ceremonies, courtesy of SMU News. Photos

Other highly anticipated holiday events:

• On Thursday, Dec. 5, SMU’s Perkins School of Theology celebrates its Advent/Christmas Worship Service  at 4 and 8 p.m. in Perkins Chapel with the theme “…A child shall lead.” Admission is free; food and cash donations for the North Texas Food Bank will be accepted in the chapel narthex at the entrance.

• The Guildhall at SMU hosts its Winter Exhibition on Friday, Dec. 20, at SMU-in-Plano. Graduating students in art creation, level design, production and programming will show their work, and attendees will have the opportunity to play games designed by students in multiple cohorts.

• The University celebrates its 2013 December Graduation Ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, in Moody Coliseum. Guests do not need tickets to attend; doors to Moody Coliseum open at 8:30 a.m., and guests are encouraged to be seated by 9:45 a.m. Learn more about the ceremony, including information for guests.

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Final Exam Tips from SMU Learning Experts

A semester’s end brings final exams, projects and often stress to students. SMU’s learning specialists say that if students plan accordingly for the last stretch of the semester, success comes more easily and with less stress. Final exams this year are scheduled for December 12-18, with Reading Days scheduled December 10-11.

“Final exam week is different from any other week throughout the semester; therefore, it is vital that students plan ahead for when they are going to study, sleep and relax during that week,” says Rebecca Umobong, senior academic counselor at SMU’s Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center (A-LEC). “I encourage students to use A-LEC’s Finals Week Master Schedule to plan how they will spend their time.”

A-LEC academic counselor David Lee says, “As part of the finals planning stage, students should analyze each of their past tests and papers looking to identify any repetitive errors or problem areas. These are important focal points for exam preparation.” Lee also suggests that students reflect on how they have studied in the past in order to adjust and improve study practices.

A-LEC offers learning strategies workshops throughout the semester, including “Prepare for Finals: The Last Week,” on Monday, December 2 at 5 and 7 p.m., Tuesday, December 3 at 5 and 6 p.m., and Wednesday, December 3 at 3 and 4 p.m. Students should bring their calendars and all syllabi to the workshops.

Click the “More” link for A-LEC’s tips for students on final exam preparation and for parents on supporting their students during finals. A-LEC’s Final Exam Prep Kit will be available online and at A-LEC starting Nov. 22.

Continue reading

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Scenes from SMU Homecoming 2013

SMU’s 2013 Homecoming weekend Oct. 24-27 brought thousands of friends and alumni to campus for reunions, football, a parade and various other activities, as well as the announcement of a $1 billion goal for the Second Century Campaign at the Volunteer Summit.

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Students to Present Big iDeas Projects at Fall Symposium

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Student teams who received Big iDeas grants to investigate challenges facing Dallas will report on their progress Friday, November 22, at SMU’s Big iDeas Fall Symposium. The symposium is at 9:30 a.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum and will be followed by a reception.

Big iDeas at SMU, an undergraduate research program in the Office of the Provost, awarded grants of up to $5,000 to the interdisciplinary teams in spring 2013. The students submitted proposals to study solutions to issues in “Big D,” including illiteracy, poverty and environmental and health issues. Their proposals were reviewed by a panel of faculty members, students and Dallas community members.

Student teams that will be presenting Friday are:

  • “Green Riba,” a continuing project that provides financial services and zero-interest microloans in West Dallas; presented by Rahfin Faruk and Daisuke Takeda.
  • “The Green City Initiative,” which proposes an aquaponics system for SMU’s Community Garden; presented by Julianna Bond, Derek Phanekham and Jewel Lipps.
  • “Disaster Assessment of Dallas,” an assessment of the region’s natural and manmade environmental hazards; presented by Mayisha Zeb Nakib and Christina Stewart.
  • “The Oasis Express,” a shuttle service to the White Rock Lake Market; presented by Gabriella Padgett, Lisa Walters and Paul Curry.
  • “Open Minds,” a continuing project that provides mentors to teens in foster care; presented by Snow Nguyen and Kiara Benson.
  • “Reading for a Reason,” a project to improve literacy rates in Dallas; presented by Carissa Grisham, Kayce Pederson and Emily Towler.
  • “Beyond,” a clothing line that supports people living in poverty; presented by Hunter Rice and Matthew Edwards.
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Apply Now for J Term 2014 at SMU-in-Plano and SMU-in-Taos

During SMU’s “J Term,” or January Term, students can complete one three-credit-hour course in just eight concentrated days at SMU-in-Plano or SMU-in-Taos. Set for January 6-15, 2014, J Term offers a choice of more than 50 courses at a reduced tuition rate. J Term applications are due by Friday, November 22.

J Term Director Kate Livingston says the program allows students to use the time between the fall and spring terms to focus on a course of interest or stay on track for graduation. Students also can fulfill General Education or University Curriculum requirements.

The courses offered during J Term are taught by SMU faculty members and adjunct professors from Cox School of Business, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Lyle School of Engineering, Meadows School of the Arts and Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Courses include “Marketing Concepts” for non-business majors and business minors, “General Chemistry I and II,” “Introduction to SAS,” “Engineering Materials,” “Global Communication” and, for the first time during J Term, “Mountain Sports” at SMU-in-Taos, among other courses.

Most J Term classes meet weekdays January 6-15 from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. A few classes meet from 2 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Courses may require advance reading, assignments due before and during the two-week period, in-class or take-home exams, and final papers or projects due after the last class meeting.

J Term courses are not initially available for registration through Access.SMU. To enroll, students should meet with an adviser to select appropriate courses and then submit the online J Term application form before the deadline. After the Thanksgiving holiday, students will be notified of their final J Term course selection and given permission to officially enroll in Access.SMU.

J Term tuition is $1,154 per credit hour, with a total cost for one J Term course of $3,462. Payment is due by December 19. Most SMU merit scholarships are available in pro-rated amounts for J Term courses. Those receiving SMU need-based grant or opportunity awards may be eligible for grant funding of $150 per credit hour; however, federal and state funds are not available for J Term. Students must apply for J Term financial aid by November 22 by submitting an application to the Financial Aid Office.

Students participating in J Term at SMU-in-Plano will be responsible for their own housing. The SMU-in-Plano campus has no residence halls, and those at the University’s main campus are closed during that period. However, discounted hotel rooms are available at the Marriott TownPlace Suites, about a mile from the SMU-in-Plano campus. Shuttle service is also available. Learn more here.

Information about housing at SMU-in-Taos during J Term is available here.

For more information about J Term, email jterm@smu.edu or call 214-768-3657.

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Gerald J. Ford Gives $15 Million for New SMU Research Center

Confetti streamers fly at the announcement of Gerald J. Ford’s $15 million gift to establish a new research center at SMU. Ford’s new commitment brings to $800 million the total raised to date by the University’s Second Century Campaign.

Business leader and banker Gerald J. Ford has committed a $15 million lead gift for a campus research center that will help expand advanced computing and interdisciplinary research throughout the University.

The new state-of-the-art building will support research facilitated by SMU’s high-performance computing capabilities, among other projects. It also will be the home of the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute, established in May 2012 through a gift from the Dedman family and Foundation. The building will be located on SMU’s main campus at the corner of McFarlin Boulevard and Airline Road.

The Gerald J. Ford Research Center joins other advancements SMU is implementing to support its accelerated research push. Among them is completion of a new University data center in a companion building under construction on SMU property south of Mockingbird Lane. Technology in the new building will enable SMU’s high-performance computing capacity to grow from 2,000 to more than 10,000 CPU’s.

“The new Gerald J. Ford Research Center will help to transform the research and educational landscape of the University,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Students must be prepared for a world in which data analyses, modeling and visualization are critical decision-making tools, while faculty continue to push the boundaries of knowledge and innovation. Gerald Ford’s new gift continues his tradition of strong support for faculty research. We are extremely grateful to him for this major boost to SMU’s academic aspirations and impact.”

In 2003 Ford established the Gerald J. Ford Research Fellows program at SMU, which annually honors outstanding faculty members with funding to support their research and creative endeavors. To date 48 professors have been named Ford Research Fellows.

“I believe it is important that SMU alumni and friends support all areas of the University – academic programs, scholarships, athletics and campus development,” Ford said. “SMU is known for the breadth of the educational experience it provides, and this campaign is strengthening every critical component of the campus environment for our students.”

The surprise announcement of Ford’s new commitment was made Friday, Oct. 25 at a meeting of leaders and volunteers for SMU’s Second Century Campaign. The Volunteer Summit attracted more than 200 participants and coincided with the University’s Homecoming Week.

Ford’s new commitment brings to $800 million the total raised to date by SMU’s Second Century Campaign. The University announced in September that it was raising its original monetary goal from $750 million to $1 billion, based on the campaign’s rapid progress ahead of schedule. Seeking resources for scholarships, faculty positions, academic programs, facilities and the campus experience, the campaign was publicly launched in 2008.

Based on continuing campaign momentum and expansion of the goal to $1 billion, SMU has adopted ambitious new goals to:

  • Increase the number of endowed scholarships to 500 by the end of the campaign, December 31, 2015.
  • Increase the number of endowed faculty positions to 110, up from the original goal of 100. To date 96 such positions have been established, 34 through The Second Century Campaign.
  • Complete funding for 10 major capital projects, beyond the five already completed since the start of the campaign, for a total of 15.

> Read more about the Ford Research Center from SMU News

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Health Center Offers Fall 2013 Flu Shot Clinics

Stock photo of man receiving shotSMU’s Memorial Health Center has scheduled several Fall 2013 flu shot clinics for September, October and November.

Update: Additional clinics offered Nov. 6 and Nov. 20 (more information below)

Clinics will take place at various places around the main campus, as well as at the East Campus and SMU-in-Plano. All clinics are open to students, faculty and staff as well as to SMU retirees and retiree spouses.

Update your vaccination during the following days and times at these locations:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 25 – 2-6 p.m., Dedman Center Lobby
  • Thursday, Sept. 26 – 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3-6 p.m., Dedman Center Lobby
  • Monday, Sept. 30 – 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-7 p.m., Underwood Law Library Pit
  • Wednesday, Oct. 2 – 2-6 p.m., Memorial Health Center
  • Wednesday, Oct. 9 – 1:30-4 p.m., Memorial Health Center
  • Tuesday, Oct. 15 (HR Fair) – 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Hughes-Trigg Student Center
  • Wednesday, Oct. 23 – 1:30-4 p.m., Expressway Tower, East Campus
  • Thursday, Oct. 24 – 4-6 p.m., SMU-in-Plano
  • Wednesday, Nov. 6 – 1:30-4 p.m., Memorial Health Center
  • Wednesday, Nov. 20 – 1:30-4 p.m., Memorial Health Center

The University offers free flu shots for all SMU students and benefit-eligible faculty, staff, retirees and retiree spouses.

To keep your clinic visit as short as possible, take these steps:

Keep up with the latest flu information at smu.edu/flu
Dallas County influenza resources and updates available at dallascounty.org

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Homecoming 2013 Features ‘Many Stories, One Tradition’

SMU celebrates Homecoming 2013 with events throughout the week leading to Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 25-27.

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The week includes new events such as Canstruction and old favorites such as Pigskin Revue. Canstruction is a new Homecoming philanthropy event in which all participating organizations  collect canned goods and build them into a structure reflecting their theme. At the completion of Homecoming Week, the cans will be donated to the North Texas Food Bank.

Pigskin Revue celebrates its 79th anniversary Friday at 8:15 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium. Join the Mustang Band for a night of song, dance and comedy acts; call 214-SMU-BAND for ticket information.

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Leading up to Saturday’s Homecoming football game against Temple will be the annual Homecoming Parade at 11 a.m. SMU alum and Academy Award-winning filmmaker and author William Joyce ’81 will lead the SMU community down Hillcrest as the parade grand marshal. Following the parade, The Boulevard will include new options for food, beverages, fun children’s activities and SMU gear — there’s something for Mustang fans of all ages!

After the Boulevard, head to Ford Stadium to watch SMU take on Temple at 2 p.m. There will be a special halftime ceremony that includes a performance by the Mustang Band, check presentation from the SMU reunion classes, presentation of video winners and the crowning of the Homecoming King and Queen.

This year’s theme, “Boulevard Bound: Many Stories, One Tradition,” ties into the University’s Year of the Library, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of SMU’s first library in 1913 and this year’s opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on campus.

Each organization participating in Homecoming will represent a great book that became a blockbuster film:

  • Chi Omega & Beta Theta Pi: Jurassic Park
  • The Union: The Wizard of Oz
  • Delta Gamma & Sigma Chi: The Great Gatsby 
  • Theta Tau & Multicultural Greek Council: Where’s Waldo?
  • Pi Beta Phi & Phi Gamma Delta: Casino Royale
  • Multicultural Student Organizations: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 
  • Kappa Kappa Gamma & Sigma Alpha Epsilon: Alice in Wonderland 
  • Alpha Chi Omega & Lambda Chi Alpha: Friday Night Lights 
  • Eta Iota Sigma & Lyle Ambassadors: Star Wars
  • Gamma Phi Beta & Beta Upsilon Chi: Superman 
  • Delta Delta Delta & Kappa Alpha Order: Peter Pan 
  • Kappa Alpha Theta & Pi Kappa Alpha: Water for Elephants 

“It is our hope that Homecoming week will serve to remember and recognize everyone who has contributed to the legacy of SMU at a defining moment in this University’s history,” said Student Foundation Homecoming Chair Taylor Thompson.

Full list of alumni Homecoming events
> Homecoming King and Queen candidate list
Homecoming Parade route

- Kelsey Reynolds

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