Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

Hidden History – A Room With the View at SMU

Surfing Report

Originally Posted: November 26, 2017

Dallas, Texas — At my Alma Mater, Southern Methodist University (SMU), there is a Room with, hands down, the best view of the campus and of the Dallas skyline.

And, it’s a 100-year-old Secret to most Mustangs.

Welcome to the Attic Apartment atop Dallas Hall.


Dallas Hall sits atop an actual Hilltop at SMU and commands a view of the entire campus (voted one of the most beautiful in the nation) as well as the skyline of the city of Dallas. The building is listed on the national historical register, and its dome is quite majestic.

If you look at Dallas Hall, focus on the two stone balconies beneath the grand Dome, on each side. Now look at the Dome, but right in the center beneath it, there is Another Balcony.

Herein sits Dallas Hall’s long forgotten dorm room and SMU’s very tight-lipped architectual Secret.

Once upon a time, the first President of SMU, Robert Hyer, was to live in a private attic apartment at the very top of Dallas Hall in front of the dome with its own private balcony overlooking the entire campus. The apartment, however, was deemed too small for President Hyer’s wife, so they ended up living in another building, Clements Hall.

Kudos to you, Mrs. Hyer. You are/were quite correct.


So for a very short time, the attic apartment which is basically just two rooms (and a fantastic balcony with an unparalleled view) housed SMU’s first football coach, Ray Morrison (who also coached Track, Baseball, and Basketball in addition to teaching Mathematics!) who was then succeeded by some lucky Theology students before they got too rowdy, and use of the apartment was discontinued.

This is why we can’t have nice things, people! READ MORE