Michelle Merrill ’06, ’12, assistant conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, is among 11 recipients of 2016 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards for young conductors with promising careers. Merrill is in her second season as assistant conductor and Phillip and Lauren Fisher Community Ambassador with the symphony.
Nicholas Saulnier ’15, ’16, a master’s degree student and graduate research assistant in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering, always hoped he’d be able to solve problems and help people over the course of his career as an electrical engineer. To his surprise, that time came sooner than he expected. He is a member of an interdisciplinary research team – (from left) Eric G. Bing, Saulnier, Dinesh Rajan and Prasanna Rangarajan – that has developed a smart phone-based screening system for early cervical cancer detection being tested in Zambia.
Patricia LaSalle-Hopkins ’05, SMU Magazine executive editor par excellence, offers a 33-year perspective on the transformation of the University upon her retirement from SMU.
Hats off to SMU’s 2016 graduates! The academic accomplishments of more than 2,500 students were celebrated at the University’s 101st annual Commencement ceremony May 14.
Wearing full regalia, undergraduate degree candidates lined up on the main quad and outside McFarlin Auditorium for the Baccalaureate Service May 13. Following the service, students were led by faculty and alumni marshals through the front doors of Dallas Hall for the Rotunda Recessional. This symbolic departure from campus welcomes the newest members to the SMU Alumni family.
Craig C. Hill, a Duke University leader in theological education with strengths in practice, research and church relations, has been appointed the new dean of Perkins School of Theology, effective July 1, 2016. Since 2010 Hill has served as executive director of the Doctor of Ministry and Master of Christian Practice programs at Duke, as well as research professor of theological pedagogy.
Sophomore Diana Cates ’18 delivered an eloquent tribute to all those who supported The Second Century Campaign at the campaign finale April 22. “… With their help, I’m pursuing a dream I wasn’t sure I would realize,” she said. After high school, Cates served in the U.S. Marine Corps for eight years, attaining the rank of sergeant. When she returned home, she had decided on a career in world affairs, but wasn’t sure how to attain that goal. “One day I saw a billboard that changed my life. It said, ‘World Changers Shaped Here’, and within a week, I was talking to an admission counselor,” she recalled. She is now a Tower Scholar majoring in international studies and world languages, with an eye toward a future in national security and foreign policy.
The SMU Cheer Squad had plenty to cheer about after winning first place at the NCA Collegiate National Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida – the first time the team has captured the national championship. SMU Pom also took home a trophy, placing third in Pom Division I.
In 1974, Professor Cecil Smith challenged his engineering students to build a concrete canoe and enter it in a national contest. “We did it, but we didn’t do so well,” recalls Bill Hanks ’75. “It was truly a huge pain to build, but Dr. Smith knew we could finish, and we wanted to prove him right. He was the leader of the project for years at SMU and students always followed him.” When Smith died at age 90 last May, Hanks and other SMU engineering alumni joined forces to complete another goal: to raise $100,000 to establish the Professor Cecil H. Smith Endowed Scholarship Fund in the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering.
Everything Lisa Walters ’14 learned from earning SMU degrees in human rights and Spanish is being put to the ultimate test in Ecuador. She was about to board a plane back to her home Ecuador Saturday, April 16, when she learned the South American country had been struck by a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake. She’s now back at her home in Imbabura province and has joined relief efforts. Read more and find out how you can help relief efforts in Ecuador.