Explore Rotunda yearbooks, learn how to make your mark on the SMU Centennial and more at smu.edu/100.
As a student in 1991, Chris Lake ’92, ’95 began tutoring a 9-year-old boy living in the crime-riddled East Dallas neighborhood where he rented a house. Despite Lake’s best efforts, his student usually dozed off during their sessions. Unable to sleep one night as he puzzled over the problem, the tutor took a 2 a.m. walk through the neighborhood and found an answer: He spotted the youngster helping his mother clean the local Laundromat. “He told me, ‘I could not have known the issues that my student faced had I not lived in the neighborhood.’ It revolutionized his understanding, gave him a holistic sense of the lives of the young people he was coming into contact with that would not have been possible unless there was some kind of continuing connection, some kind of understanding of what their lives were like,” explains James K. Hopkins, professor of history in Dedman College and Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor. With like-minded students and faculty, Lake, now a Dallas attorney, laid the foundation for the 20-year-old Academic-Community Engagement (ACE) program and its ACE house in the low-income East Garrett Park neighborhood. Under the program, students enroll in urban studies courses, tutor and mentor the neighborhood children, and work with nonprofits serving the area. Some students live full-time in the ACE house to become neighbors as well as volunteers. The ACE program heralded a renewed emphasis on [...]
SMU experts to drown out the political noise and amplify the salient issues as the 2012 presidential election draws closer.
The Master of Sacred Music program in Perkins School of Theology educates students to meet spiritual needs while making beautiful music.
SMU has initiated a new program, Engaged Learning, which encourages undergraduates to apply their knowledge in one of four categories – research, the arts, the community and the professions – to real-life situations in the Dallas community and the world.
As the Second Century Celebration unfolds, SMU Magazine will remember the past through the reproduction of content from various issues through the decades. Visit the 1930s in this second installment.
William Tsutsui has been dean of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences since July 2010 but already he has made news. Tsutsui was blogging about his experiences with the Japanese American Leadership Delegation that was visiting Tokyo when the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan March 11. His interviews and SMU Adventures blog provided media outlets (from The New York Times and NBC Nightly News to CNN and The Dallas Morning News) with an eyewitness account of the natural disaster’s impact on Japan. In fact, Tsutsui’s quote comparing the movement of downtown skyscrapers to “trees swaying in the breeze” was the Times’ quote of the day March 12. He also has spoken to numerous student groups on the subject. Tsutsui, a specialist in modern Japanese business and economic history, joined SMU from the University of Kansas, where he served as associate dean for international studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, professor of history and director of the Kansas Consortium for Teaching About Asia. He received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from Princeton University, a Master of Letters in modern Japanese history from Oxford University’s Corpus Christi College and graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies. As dean of the largest of SMU’s seven schools, Tsutsui has been promoting the benefits of a liberal arts education to numerous alumni and SMU constituents and [...]
Four years ago in volatile southern Baghdad, Captain Troy Vaughn ’11 was in charge of a 32-member scout platoon for the Army, leading more than 250 high-risk counter-insurgency and reconnaissance missions over 15 months. In addition to ensuring the success of the missions and the safety of his troops while dodging snipers’ bullets and searching for Al-Qaeda, Vaughn found that “everyday reality” also commanded his attention. “Real life doesn’t stop for the soldiers, who can be dealing with all kinds of issues – from family to financial to emotional,” Vaughn says. “My challenge was to take care of the soldiers – ensure they were grounded emotionally and spiritually and had all the support they needed to do their jobs effectively.” For his service, he was awarded the Bronze Star and rated top platoon leader by his battalion commander. Today Vaughn, 28, is earning an M.B.A. at the Cox School of Business, where he has studied operations management and honed his leadership skills. Vaughn is one of the nearly 150 undergraduate and graduate students attending SMU on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which provides education benefits to military veterans and their dependents. The bill is a 2008 update to the 1944 GI Bill of Rights, which awarded scholarships to World War II veterans to colleges of their choice. However, beginning in August 2011, changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill create a nationwide cap of $17,500 a [...]
Throughout red-and-blue SMU, green practices have become a way of life as the University community rallies to cut waste and conserve precious resources. In Cockrell-McIntosh Hall, Pamela Varela’s small refrigerator used to be stocked with single-use plastic water bottles. Now Varela, a resident assistant, relies on reusable bottles. “I used to think that throwing all those plastic water bottles into the recycling bin was enough, until I realized that it’s best not to have a bottle to recycle in the first place,” says Varela, a sophomore environmental engineering major. She also is a member of the SMU Environmental Society and the campus co-chair of RecycleMania, a national intercollegiate recycling competition. Not far from Varela’s South Quad living quarters, a crew completes the installation of a new chiller for Barr Pool. The high-efficiency system captures energy that would otherwise evaporate into the atmosphere and converts it into heat. As a result, the University will save about $80,000 a year in heating costs for the outdoor swimming pool. On the west side of Bishop Boulevard, students gather for lunch at the campus’ main dining hall, the Real Food on Campus (RFoC) in Umphrey Lee, where trays have been removed. That action has yielded substantial decreases not only in water consumption but also in the amount of food thrown away, according to Michael Marr, SMU director of dining services and resident district manager for Aramark, which provides dining [...]
A thread of entrepreneurship weaves through the history of SMU from the beginning. In asking “What is our duty to all the coming generations of Texans until the end of time? … ,” members of the Commission of Education, Methodist Episcopal Church, South of Texas demonstrated game-changing foresight in 1911. They spotted an opportunity in a growing city and joined forces with like-minded civic leaders to bring the University to life. Fast forward six decades: When the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship opened in August 1970, “we could identify only a handful of universities that even taught a course in entrepreneurship,” says Jerry White, director of the institute in the Cox School of Business. “Today, if you don’t have a substantial entrepreneurship education program, then you won’t have a business school.” The institute was established with the support of W.W. Caruth Jr., son of W.W. Caruth Sr., who donated land to SMU in 1911. “W.W. Caruth Jr. felt that universities were training students to be employees of large organizations, and that’s not what he chose to be,” White says. “He was ahead of the curve in recognizing that business schools needed to address entrepreneurship education.” While White says there’s no hard and fast definition of “entrepreneurship,” he boils it down to “building a business where none existed before and pursuing the opportunity without regard to resources you currently control.” “Innovation is not entrepreneurship,” [...]