SMU prepares for 2012 Commencement May 11-12

SMU Commencement 2011 banner bearers, photo by Jake Dean

SMU observes its 97th Commencement May 11-12 with events for students, faculty, alumni and the entire community.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will speak at the all-University ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 12 in Moody Coliseum and will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University. SMU expects to award approximately 2,100 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.

> Follow SMU’s 97th Commencement weekend on Twitter at #SMUgrad2012

Dr. Rice has achieved prominence in both government service and higher education. She currently holds three positions at Stanford University: professor of political economy in the Graduate School of Business, Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, and professor of political science.

Rice earned her Bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Denver, a Master’s from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Her academic career began in 1981 when she joined the Stanford faculty. A dedicated teacher, she has received two of the university’s highest teaching awards. She rose through the faculty ranks to serve as Stanford provost from 1993-99, the first woman and first African American to hold that position.

Rice served for two years on the National Security Council staff under President George H.W. Bush. She was the president’s special assistant for national security affairs during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and reunification of Germany. She served on the staff of President George W. Bush as national security adviser from 2001-05. She then served from 2005-09 as the nation’s 66th secretary of state, the second woman and the first African American woman to hold the post.

Rice currently serves as chair of the Board of Advisers of the Bush Institute, part of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the SMU campus.

> Read more about Condoleezza Rice from SMU News

During the Commencement ceremony, SMU will also confer an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree upon Nancy Cartwright, considered one of the most important and influential contemporary philosophers of science.

Cartwright is a professor in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics. The author of seven books, she has produced path-breaking work on issues such as the nature of physical laws, causation and scientific reasoning. She is a pioneer of today’s practice-based philosophy of science and helped develop the philosophy of social policy, economics, sociology, medicine, epidemiology and political science.

Cartwright is a Fellow of the British Academy and a member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the German Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina) and a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

> Read more about Nancy Cartwright from SMU News

The weekend’s activities include the Baccalaureate service Friday, May 11, in McFarlin Auditorium. The service will be followed by Rotunda Recessional, a tradition in which seniors march through the Rotunda of Dallas Hall, marking the end of their undergraduate years and the beginning of their lifelong association with SMU as alumni.

More information at the SMU Registrar’s Commencement homepage

Some major events at a glance:

(Above, banner bearers from SMU’s individual schools and colleges gather prior to the all-University Commencement Convocation. Photo from Commencement 2011 by Jake Dean.)