Mustang Minute: Celebration of Lights 2014

Relive this year’s Celebration of Lights in a Mustang Minute video from SMU News’ Myles Taylor.

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SMU adds online course option for Jan Term 2015

SMU’s Jan Term – previously known as the J Term – is expanding again, adding its first online course offering to the dozens available at the SMU-in-Plano and SMU-in-Taos campuses. The 2015 Jan Term is scheduled for Jan. 5-14.

The January interterm session’s first online offering will be “Introduction to
Markets and Culture” (SOCI 2377), taught by Debra Branch of the Department of Sociology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

> Course description for “Introduction to Markets and Culture” online

In addition, continuing SMU students who live on the main campus may remain in their current campus housing during Jan Term 2015 at no additional charge. Students must register with Residence Life and Student Housing by 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 8 if they plan to stay in their current campus residence during Jan Term.

In another new program enhancement, Jan Term courses are now available for registration through My.SMU. Students should meet with an adviser to select appropriate courses before they enroll.

The accelerated interterm session offers more than 50 courses at a reduced tuition rate; students can complete one three-credit-hour course in eight concentrated days. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

The Jan Term (short for January Term) allows students to complete one three-credit-hour course at a discounted tuition rate before the start of the spring semester. For Jan Term 2015, regular undergraduate students will pay a reduced tuition rate of $1,211 per credit hour ($3,633 per course). To avoid a late fee, payment is due by Friday, Dec. 19. Parking is free on the SMU-in-Plano campus, and no decal is required.

Watch a video about Jan Term from SMU News’ Myles Taylor

The Jan Term 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.

This year’s offerings include courses from the Cox School of Business, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Lyle School of Engineering, Meadows School of the Arts and Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

Students participating in Jan Term at SMU-in-Plano will be responsible for their own housing; discounted hotel rooms are available at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott-Plano, about a mile from the Plano campus. Shuttle service is also available. Information about housing at SMU-in-Taos during Jan Term is available here.

For more information, e-mail the SMU Jan Term program or call 214-768-3657.

> Learn more from the Jan Term homepage at

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SMU to break ground on Dr. Bob Smith Health Center

bob-smith-health-center-renderingSMU will break ground Dec. 5 on the new Dr. Bob Smith Health Center, a 33,000-square-foot center designed to provide comprehensive outpatient health care to more than 11,000 SMU students on an ongoing basis throughout each school year. A $5 million gift from the Dr. Bob and Jean Smith Foundation funded the new building named for Dr. Bob Smith, long-time Dallas pediatrician and SMU alumnus. The funding will enable center staff to increase promotion of student wellness through health education, medical services and counseling and psychiatric services.

“From caring for some of Dallas’s youngest patients to establishing medical care facilities for patients of all ages, Dr. Bob Smith demonstrated his devotion to health care in Dallas his entire life,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “This gift to name the health center honors Dr. Smith’s love of his alma mater and supports good health for all SMU students.”

The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center is scheduled for completion in spring of 2016.

The new two-story building is designed to provide outpatient medical care for students, including laboratory, radiology and pharmacy services. Students will receive care from the center’s full and part-time physicians as well as from part-time specialists in dermatology, gynecology and sports medicine in ten newly equipped exam rooms with private waiting areas. The medical care area of the facility also will include two new consultation rooms for physician-patient meetings, two rooms for patient observation and a treatment room. In addition, the expanded space includes offices for the addition of dental services at the center, as well as space for extended evening and weekend hours for student care.

“The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center will provide medical and mental health care with a focus on promoting wellness and sound health decision-making,” said Lori White, SMU vice president for Student Affairs. “Research shows that there is an important link between a student’s wellness and the ability to thrive academically. Encouraging students to make healthy lifestyle decisions while in college will provide them with a firm foundation for enjoying a healthy life post-college.”

Read more from SMU News.

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Chad Morris named head football coach at SMU

Chad Morris has been named the Head Football Coach at SMU, Director of Athletics Rick Hart announced Monday, December 1. Morris arrives on the Hilltop after five seasons as an offensive coordinator on the collegiate level and 16 seasons as a Texas high school coach.

“I’m excited about the future of SMU football, and my family is thrilled to be back in the state of Texas,” said Morris. “I want to thank Dr. (R. Gerald) Turner, Rick Hart and the search committee for this opportunity. I have to say it was a difficult decision to leave my fellow coaches and our student-athletes at Clemson. I want to thank them for buying into our vision and helping us build something special. I would especially like to thank Coach (Dabo) Swinney. It was a great experience and something I’ll always remember.

“I only left that great situation because I knew what we could accomplish at SMU. I grew up watching SMU football. I know the history and I know we can be great again. I look forward to working with our student-athletes and staff, as well as my friends and former colleagues, the Texas high school coaches, as we work towards winning championships here on the Hilltop. I can’t wait to get started.”

Read more from SMU News.

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Celebration of Lights set for December 1

A scene from SMU's 2010 Celebration of Lights

SMU kicks off the 2014 holiday season with the post-Thanksgiving observance of one of the University’s most beloved annual traditions. Celebration of Lights 2014 is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 1, on the Main Quad.

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

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Update: Missing Student Found Unharmed

Update: 1:45 p.m. November 20:

SMU student Connor Burrell, who had been reported missing Nov. 19, was found unharmed by Dallas Police, working with SMU Police, at about 1:15 p.m. today, Nov. 20, near Mockingbird Station in Dallas. SMU is grateful to members of the SMU and Dallas communities who provided assistance in locating our student.

Connor Burrell

November 19, 2014:

SMU Police are seeking help in locating SMU student Connor Burrell (see his photo below), who was last seen about 2:30 p.m. Nov. 18 on a sidewalk on the north side of North Park Mall in Dallas.

Burrell, a 21-year-old white male, is 5-feet, 11-inches tall, weighs 190 pounds, has brown hair and green eyes. He was last seen wearing a white hoodie, khaki pants and was carrying a dark-colored jacket or sweater. He may have been wearing a white baseball cap.

If you have information about Burrell, please contact the SMU Police Department at 214-768-3388.

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SMU Takes the ‘It’s On Us’ Pledge

The SMU community shows its support for It’s On Us, a nationwide campaign to end sexual assault and violence, in the latest video from Myles Taylor of SMU News.

Learn more from President R. Gerald Turner, Title IX Coordinator Samantha Thomas, basketball coaches Larry Brown and Rhonda Rompola, Student Body President Ramon Trespalacios and Vice President Monica Finnegan, and many more students, faculty, staff members and administrators – click the YouTube screen, or open this link to watch the SMU It’s On Us video in a new windowvideo

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Homecoming 2014 Celebrates Pride and Tradition

SMU HomecomingSMU celebrates the “Year of the Faculty” during Homecoming, Nov. 13-16, honoring the contributions of the University’s esteemed faculty members as teachers and researchers. The Homecoming parade theme, “Dynamic Duos: Better Together,” salutes powerful partnerships, including SMU’s relationship with Dallas and the pairing of SMU students and faculty.

brian-baumgartner-135x100ratioSaturday’s events begin with actor Brian Baumgartner leading the traditional Homecoming parade, and tailgating on The Boulevard, followed by the traditional football game at Ford Stadium.

The complete schedule of Homecoming events is available online.

Homecoming Parade

The parade will feature iconic duos such as Batman and Robin; Mickey and Minnie; and Clark Kent and Lois Lane. Baumgartner, known for his iconic role as Kevin Malone in the TV series The Office, will serve as grand marshal. The new route featuring student floats, bands and entertainment will begin at SMU Boulevard and Bush Avenue. (Parade Map) * The parade will begin approximately three hours before game time, which will be determined by Nov. 3 when television schedules are announced.

Distinguished Alumni Awards Celebration

The annual DAA event will celebrate Mary Brinegar ’69, Frank M. Dunlevy ’71, John F. Harper ’68, and Emerging Leader recipient Alexandra Dillard Lucie ’05. The evening includes a seated dinner and ceremony. Purchase tickets online at or call 1-800-766- ALUM.

Centennial Lighting

This year’s Homecoming features a new tradition of ceremonial lighting that will extend across campus each evening throughout the weekend. Homecoming 2014 will also mark the debut of the illuminated SMU Mustangfeatured on SMU’s East Campus Expressway Tower.

SMU Museum Open Houses

Explore world-class art, presidential artifacts, interactive exhibits and library treasures at SMU’s Bridwell LibraryCentennial HallDeGolyer LibraryGeorge W. Bush Presidential Library and MuseumHeritage Hall and the Meadows Museum.

All visits are complimentary during Homecoming except for the Bush Presidential Library and Museum. For tickets to the Bush Library and Museum, visit

Tailgating on the Boulevard

Immediately following the parade, tailgating on Bishop Boulevard will begin with great food and fun activities. The Mustang Club Tent, with catering provided by Mi Cocina, will be located at the southeast corner of Bishop and Binkley on Mustang Alley. Adult admission is $10 per person in advance and $15 cash at the tent on game day. Children 8 and under are admitted for free. Other fun spots on the Boulevard include food trucks, Reunion Village and tents for Red, Blue and You alumni student leaders, SMU schools and other SMU groups.

Pigskin Revue

The 81st edition of Pigskin Revue will be at 8:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, in McFarlin Auditorium. The Pigskin Revue features SMU students in music, dance and comedy acts, with the Mustang Band playing new music as well as old favorites from past revues. Admission is free with an SMU ID or $15 without an SMU ID. A post-show reception will be held for band alumni and donors. For more information contact the band office at 214-SMU-BAND.

Homecoming Football Game

Support the Mustangs against the University of South Florida on Saturday, Nov. 15. Catch the spirit and tradition of Homecoming game day as the cheerleaders and Mustang Band lead fans from The Boulevard into Ford Stadium. Halftime will include a performance by the Mustang Band, a check presentation from the SMU reunion classes and crowning of the Homecoming King and Queen. Visit for tickets. Kick-off time will be determined once television schedules are announced on Nov. 3.

SMU Men’s and Women’s Basketball Games

SMU Homecoming

The SMU Men’s and Women’s Basketball seasons will begin on Friday, Nov. 14. SMU Men’s game vs. Lamar is sold out, but tickets are still available for the 6 p.m. SMU Women’s game vs. Northern Colorado. For tickets visit


Reunion Gatherings

Reunion events are planned for the classes of ‘69 ’74, ’79, ’84, ’89, ’94, ‘99 ’04 and ’09. The Reunion Weekend kickoff celebration will begin on Friday, Nov. 14. Visit for more information.

All- University Worship

Join the SMU community at this inspirational service at 11 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 16, in Perkins Chapel and remember classmates who are no longer with us.

– Ariel Monticure

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SMU Celebrates Veterans Day 2014

SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility will award special commemorative lapel pins to SMU Veterans at a luncheon hosted by the Office of the Provost from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom in the Umphrey Lee Center.

SMU service flag, 1917

SMU service flag, 1917

“With more than 170 military veterans enrolled at SMU, along with many other veterans among our faculty and staff, the University takes great pride in honoring their service to our country on Veterans Day,” said Paul Ludden, SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Colleges and universities across the U.S. are seeing a dramatic surge in veteran student enrollment and at SMU the number of military veterans using G.I. bill benefits has increased more than 250 percent since 2005.  SMU Military Veterans, an undergraduate group sponsored by the Maguire Center, has become an active part of SMU life, including participating in public service events and hosting a tent on the Boulevard on football game days.

“SMU is establishing programs that create a sense of community among our veterans and support them academically, professionally and socially,” said Candy Crespo, assistant director of the Maguire Center and a member of the SMU Veteran’s Advisory Board. “This fall we opened SMU’s first Veterans Center, an informal gathering space in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center.  We also have secured academic credit for vets seeking to apply their military training and experience as their required wellness credit.”

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Highlights from Family Weekend 2014

  • Relive the fun of Family Weekend 2014 with a video from SMU News’ Myles Taylor.
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