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Annual Event Brings Dedman College Scholars and Supporters Together For Thought Provoking Book Discussion

Dallas (SMU) September 30, 2014 – Dedman College Dean, Thomas DiPiero welcomed student scholars and their sponsors to the 5th annual Dedman College Scholars’ Book Discussion on Friday, September 5. In a discussion led by David Doyle, Director of the University Honors Program, the students examined author Denise Kiernan’s book, The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II. SMU Board of Trustee member Dr. Fred Hegi and his wife, Jan, hosted the event at their home.Dedman Scholars Book Discussion

“We enjoy the opportunity to meet these incredibly talented individuals as well as observing their social skills and their true enjoyment of meeting each other,” Dr. Hegi remarks. “Additionally, the depth of insights about their reading assignment is stimulating. Every year, we have been impressed with the students’ thoughtfulness, maturity and diversity of thought.”

The event’s central focus was a spirited discussion of Kiernan’s New York Times bestseller based on recent interviews with women who worked at “Site X” now Oak Ridge, Tennessee, from 1942 to 1945 and unknowingly participated in the creation of the first atomic bombs. 

“The students were interested in the fact that women contributed to the war effort without fully understanding what their specific role was,” said Dedman College Dean, Thomas DiPiero. “They persisted, knowing they were working toward a common goal. One of the students pointed out that that was precisely what the students themselves were doing, both in the book discussion and in their new academic lives in Dedman.”

Joining the 32 continuing Dedman Scholars for the Fall 2014 semester is a group of 12 new Scholars with an average SAT score of 1485 and an average GPA of 3.9 in rigorous high school courses as well as demonstrated involvement within a variety of extracurricular activities. There are 44 active Dedman College Scholars.

About Dedman College:

Named in 1981 after SMU alumni Robert H. Dedman Sr. and his wife, Nancy McMillan Dedman, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences is the oldest and largest academic unit at SMU. Students in Dedman College have the advantage of exploring 38 undergraduate majors, 55 minors, 15 master’s programs and 14 doctoral degrees offered in 16 academic departments spanning the humanities and social, natural and mathematical sciences along with numerous interdisciplinary studies.



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