Centennial Week features launch party for new biography of legendary SMU professor Harold Jeskey

'The Man in the Red Tie: Professor Harold Jeskey' book coverThe late Harold Jeskey retired from teaching in 1979, but he never forgot his love for SMU’s students – or its athletic teams. And his students never forgot him – or his signature red ties.

SMU will help celebrate the publication of a new biography about Jeskey, a popular professor of organic chemistry, on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015 in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 2 p.m. and will include remarks by Sterling E. Moore, author of The Man in the Red Tie: Professor Harold Jeskey. Friends and family will be invited to share memories.

Jeskey, the former R.S. Lazenby Professor of Chemistry in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, taught at the University from 1945 to 1979. He also served as faculty athletic representative and volunteered in the Sports Information Department for many years after his retirement. He adopted his famous red ties as a representation of excellence and awarded them to outstanding students in his classes.

Harold Jeskey, R.S. Lazenby Professor of Chemistry, SMUAnd his respect for student achievement went well beyond the classroom. “During the tumultuous days of integration, Jeskey presented a red tie to a black student he never even taught…perhaps as an award for bravely facing racism,” reads the book’s overview.

Moore took Jeskey’s organic chemistry class in 1951 and has imbued his Jeskey biography with personal experiences and insight. He also included interviews with family, friends, colleagues, and former students to “paint a vivid picture of a man whose legacy is deeply ingrained in the collective memory and culture of SMU.”

> Learn more about The Man in the Red Tie and author Sterling E. Moore from SMU News

The book publication party is also one of several Mustang Mini Reunions that will mark SMU’s Centennial Homecoming Week. Scheduled meet-ups include the following:

Steve LaRue and Dodie Jacobi’s Reunion Meetup of friends from Meadows School of the Arts, Student Foundation, Lettermen Hall, and the Class of ’85, as well as new alumni of every sort. All are welcome to join this casual, Dutch-treat meetup from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24 at the Old Monk, 2847 N. Henderson Avenue. Contact Dodie Jacobi for more information.

• The Williard Spiegelman Reunion for friends and former students of Professor Spiegelman, Friday, Sept. 25Learn more and register online.

• The Thespian Mini Reunion at Café Brazil Coffeehouse and Restaurant, 6420 N Central Expressway, Friday, Sept. 25Contact Danette Goss Alberts ’75.

• The Hispanic Alumni Mini-Reunion and Reception, hosted by the Honorable Delia D. Jasso ’76, featuring the Dallas Mexican American Historical League exhibit, “The Untold Story: A Tribute to Dallas’  Mexican American Veterans and Families,” Friday, Sept. 25Registration information here.

• The Gamma Omega Chapter of Beta Theta Pi Reunion at Ozona’s Grill and Bar, 4615 Greenville Avenue, Friday, Sept. 25.

• The Black Alumni Reunion, featuring several events during Homecoming Week including a happy hour, 20th year celebration, and Voice of Inspiration Gospel Choir reunion, Friday-Sunday, Sept. 25-27Details and registration information here.

• The SMU-in-Madrid Reunion featuring guest speaker Mark Roglán, director of the Meadows Museum, and a viewing of the exhibit Treasures from the House of Alba: 500 Years of Art and CollectingSaturday, Sept. 26. More details here.

• The Daily Campus and Rotunda Alumni Reunion, for alumni who have been involved with The Daily Campus student newspaper and the Rotunda yearbook as they celebrate 100 years at SMU, Saturday, Sept. 26. Learn more.

> Learn more about Mustang Mini Reunions