SMU 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.
Saturday, 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.
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