Events emphasize engagement, participation

Dallas Hall

As the SMU community prepares for the five-year celebration of the University’s centennial, plans are under way for a series of enhanced class reunions to help mark the occasion and further engage alumni.

The University’s Centennial Reunions will be held during Homecoming week- ends beginning this fall and running through 2015. Homecoming 2011 will take place November 3-6.

SMU’s centennial festivities celebrate the 100th anniversaries of SMU’s founding in 1911 and opening in 1915.

“Reunions are designed to engage alumni in a positive, energetic and fun way, and during the centennial years we have an ideal opportunity to showcase SMU’s amazing progress,” says Ken S. Malcolmson ’74, Alumni Board chair.

“While alumni relations emphasizes volunteerism, the ultimate objective is to achieve financial participation so that we can meet Second Century Campaign goals and support SMU’s continuing rise in the rankings of top universities.”

Alumni celebrating their 50th year since graduation also will be invited for their own special reunions to take place over Commencement weekends, beginning with the Class of 1961 in spring 2011. Alumni who graduated more than 50 years ago will be invited to a Golden Mustangs reunion held each spring.

SMU has set two Second Century Campaign participation goals: that 25 percent of alumni would give each year and that 50 percent of alumni would give during the course of the campaign.

Because of increased opportunities for peer-to-peer outreach, current campaign participation by members of classes hold- ing reunions is 23 percent, compared to 21 percent for non-reunion year classes.

Centennial Reunions aim to double the attendance rate of normal reunions. The University will emphasize the message that if an alumnus attends only a single reunion after graduation, his or her Centennial Reunion is the one to attend.

Reunion weekends will include a number of special events and additions:

  • A Friday morning golf tournament will benefit Lady Mustangs Golf.
  • Friday evening receptions will be held in the soon-to-be-completed Centennial Hall exhibition area in Hughes-Trigg Student Center. The exhibition, titled “SMU’s Second Century of Achievement,” will highlight SMU’s past, present and future and feature an array of displays and interactive technology.
  • Mini-reunions will be held for groups of alumni with common interests or shared SMU experiences across class years. These include fraternities and sororities, former members of athletic teams and student government, minority student groups, residence housing groups and other organizations.
  • Guided walking tours and self-guided tours will feature the campus’ historic buildings, new additions and site tours of planned facilities, such as the new Residential Commons.
  • Football game picnics, opportunities for Boulevarding, children’s activities and fun-filled Saturday night parties will round out the weekend.
  • Dozens of Dallas-area businesses off campus, to be identified as “Home- coming Hot Spots,” will offer alumni discounts as an added bonus.

The Second Century Celebration will encompass all of SMU’s seven schools and both graduate and undergraduate programs.