Calendar Highlights

Think green for SMU Earth Week 2018, April 23-28

SMU Earth Week Flier 2018Recycling demonstrations, a film screening, and Barefoot On the Boulevard mark SMU Earth Week 2018. The celebration takes place April 23-28 with events and activities all over campus.

The City of University Park and Town of Highland Park will be part of the action with a Park Cities Recycling Drive beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 28 in the Commuter Lot. Bring your recycling – including old electronics such as tablets, computers or phones – to the parking lot next to the SMU Catholic Center, across the street from Burleson Park in the 3000 block of University Boulevard.

Earth Week opens with Become Aware – an event designed to demonstrate the contamination that occurs between SMU’s trash and its recycling, and how community members can recycle with confidence. Demos will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, April 23 at the West Bridge and the flagpole on the Main Quad.

In Think Green, SMU faculty, staff and students will learn which items can and can’t be recycled. Visit the tables in Starbucks at Fondren Library Center from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 24.

One Earth features a screening of “Chasing Coral” – the award-winning 2017 documentary by Jeff Orlowski that captures the effects of climate change on the deaths and disappearances of coral reefs throughout the world. The movie begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 25 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater.

The traditional Barefoot On the Boulevard celebration takes place 1-3 p.m. on Thursday, April 26. Relax on the Dallas Hall lawn, enjoy a free lunch, and learn how to tie-dye and build your own trail-mix bars.

> Learn more about SMU Sustainability: smu.edu/sustainability

SMU Meadows’ Ignite/Arts Dallas presents Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance May 4, 2018

Ignite Arts Dallas-SMU Meadows production of 'Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance'

For one night only, Ignite/Arts Dallas at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will present a touring bilingual rock opera exploring the life and lore of Pancho Villa, the enigmatic general, legendary bandit and hero of the Mexican Revolution. Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance takes the stage Friday, May 4, 2018 at 8 p.m. at the Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Boulevard in Oak Cliff, Dallas. The concert is presented in association with AT&T Performing Arts Center, the Oak Cliff Cultural Center and De Colores Radio.

Commissioned and premiered in 2016 by Ballroom Marfa and co-commissioned by Fusebox Festival, the opera is the third installment of The Marfa Triptych, a trilogy of musical performances by composer Graham Reynolds that was inspired by his interest in the intermingled populations of the Texas-Mexico border regions. The opera explores facts from Villa’s biography, examines the mythology surrounding him, and asks what Pancho Villa means to Mexican and American culture and where these meanings intersect and conflict.

Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance represents the kind of aesthetic and cultural hybridity that makes Texas such a unique place, which is why we present work like this for our students and the city,” said Clyde Valentín, director of Ignite/Arts Dallas.

> Learn the backstory of Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance: www.panchovillaopera.com

The opera is sung partly in Spanish, partly in English, with accompanying projected translations along with film clips and historic photos. The ensemble features LOLA’s (Local Opera Local Artists) Liz Cass and Austin Lyric Opera’s Paul Sanchez as mezzo-soprano and tenor vocalists, as well as six instrumentalists accompanying Grammy Award-winning producer Adrian Quesada on guitar. The work is directed by Shawn Sides of the Rude Mechs.

Tickets are $10 per person, available online at igniteartsdallas.info or at the door on the night of the show.

> Read the full story from the SMU Meadows website

SMU Football holds 2018 Spring Game on Saturday, April 14

SMU Spring Game 2018

The SMU Mustang football team, along with head coach Sonny Dykes, will demonstrate a tougher, more physical defensive game during the 2018 Spring Game on Saturday, April 14. The scrimmage begins at 11 a.m. in Ford Stadium.

> SMUMustangs.com: Mustangs Winding Down Spring But Maintaining Physical Mindset

Gates will open at 10 a.m. and, along with on-field action, fans will be part of a halftime celebration to mark the start of construction of SMU’s Indoor Performance Center. The Mustang Kids’ Zone will be set up in the south end zone, and fans can pick up 2018 schedule magnets and meet the coaches and players after the game.

SMU Magazine: Game Changer: SMU Indoor Performance Center

Concessions will be available, and Mi Cocina, Bahama Buck’s and Ruthies Rolling Cafe will be on-site. Admission is free, and so is parking in the Moody and Binkley Parking Centers.

The Mustangs open the 2018 season on Sept. 1 at North Texas, before returning to the Hilltop for a Friday night match-up with Metroplex rival TCU on Sept. 7. The Battle for the Iron Skillet will also be SMU’s annual Whiteout Game.

The team will play Michigan in Ann Arbor on Sept. 15 and hosts Houston Baptist on Sept. 29 (Family Weekend) for its final non-conference game.

> Read more from SMUMustangs.com

Shawn Achor, expert in the science of happiness, to speak in SMU’s 2017-18 Tate Disinguished Lecture Series Tuesday, April 10

Shawn AchorShawn Achor, best-selling author and noted researcher in the science of happiness, will deliver the Ebby Halliday Companies Lecture in SMU’s 2017-18 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series.

The lecture takes place at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 10 in McFarlin Auditorium.

> Follow Shawn Achor on Twitter @shawnachor

A native Texan, Achor is considered a leading expert on human potential. His research into happiness and positive psychology has unveiled evidence that changing one’s mindset about stress alters the physical effects of stress.

In 2007, Achor founded GoodThink, a company that offers coaching services and seminars focused on positive psychology to improve workplace performance. He is the author of the New York Times best-sellers The Happiness Advantage (Crown Publishing, 2010) and Before Happiness (2013). His most recent work is Big Potential, published in January 2018, in which he advocates for an approach to success and happiness based on “how well we connect with, relate to, and learn from each other.”

Achor received his B.A. degree from Harvard University and earned an M.A. in Christian and Buddhist ethics from Harvard Divinity School.

The Happy Secret to Better Work,” a speech Achor delivered at TEDxBloomington in May 2011, has accumulated more than 17 million views and ranks among the 25 most popular TED Talks of all time.

All SMU community members are invited to the free Tate Lecture Series Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m. Tweet questions for Shawn Achor to #TalkTate.

On the night of the event, students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible free seating at the evening lecture. Seats will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.

> Follow the Tate Series on social media: Twitter – @SMUtate | Instagram – @smutate

SMU Meadows Spring Dance Concert honors Danny Buraczeski through April 8, 2018

In the City by Danny Buraczeski, SMU Meadows Spring Dance Concert 2018

In the City by Danny Buraczeski, part of a seven-work tribute to the retiring SMU professor in the Meadows 2018 Spring Dance Concert. All photos: Paul Phillips

The SMU Meadows 2018 Spring Dance Concert honors retiring jazz dance faculty artist Danny Buraczeski with a retrospective of seven of his works. The concert will be presented in two alternating programs, April 4-8, 2018, in SMU’s Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

Featured will be dances created over the past 30 years for professional companies and for SMU students, ranging from 1989’s Merry Go Round to In the City, which premiered in 2013 at SMU’s “Meadows at the Winspear” concert. Performers will include current students; alumni Albert Drake and Adrián Aguirre; and the Zenon Dance Company from Minneapolis, long-time collaborators of Buraczeski’s who performed his critically acclaimed Ezekiel’s Wheel in 2016 in Cuba.

> SMU Forum: Spring Dance Concert to honor retiring SMU dance faculty artist Danny Buraczeski

The concert programs include the following works, to be performed on the days listed:

Program A, to be performed April 4, 5 and 7, opens with In the City (2013), based on “Three Dance Episodes” from the popular Leonard Bernstein musical On the Town. Inspired by the urban rhythms and textures of Bernstein’s music, the work features 15 dancers celebrating youth, optimism and the vibrant new energy that the Dallas Arts District has brought to the city.

It’s followed by Scene Unseen (1998), set to music by Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington, featuring a duet with alumni Albert Drake, a founding member of Bruce Wood Dance Project, and Adrián Aguirre, a current member of the company.

Song Awakened (2001) follows, a work set to the songs of the late Cesária Évora, a noted singer of Creole-Portuguese soul music. The work, which debuted to critical acclaim at New York’s Joyce Theater, will be performed by eight Zenon Dance Company members.

The next piece, Points on a Curve (1998), is danced to music by Ornette Coleman; The New York Times said the low-key choreography evoked the music “in often witty and thought-provoking ways.”

Program A concludes with Swing Concerto (1994), an athletic and ebullient exploration of the relationship between two musical traditions: European klezmer music and the American swing of Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman. The piece synthesizes the grounded qualities of folk dance with the exuberance of swing era movement. The Times wrote, “Swing Concerto is Mr. Buraczeski’s choreography at its most inventive, perceptive best.”

Program B, to be performed April 6 and 8, opens with the aforementioned In the City, followed by Merry Go Round (1989), set to music by Glenn Miller and the Army Air Force Band and featuring Zenon company dancers Scott Mettille and Sarah Steichen Stiles.

Next is Points on a Curve (noted above).

The final work in Program B will vary. On April 6, it will be Ezekiel’s Wheel (1999), a piece for eight dancers that was inspired by the life and work of author and civil rights activist James Baldwin. The work, exploring the themes of recognition, responsibility and redemption, will be performed by Zenon Dance Company. Commissioned when Buraczeski was artistic director of the acclaimed Minneapolis-based JAZZDANCE, Ezekiel’s Wheel was praised by The Times as “a balm for the soul in troubled times.”

On April 8, the concert program will conclude with the aforementioned Swing Concerto.

Performance times are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8 for students, SMU faculty and staff. Buy your tickets online or contact the Meadows Ticket Office at 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

Buy Meadows Spring Dance Concert tickets online at Vendini

Enjoy a gallery of can’t-miss photos from Swing Concerto, Points On a Curve and In the City, all by Paul Phillips.

Save the date: Spring Dance Concert to honor retiring SMU dance faculty artist Danny Buraczeski April 4-8, 2018

Danny BuraczeskiThe SMU Meadows 2018 Spring Dance Concert will honor award-winning jazz dance faculty artist Danny Buraczeski, who retires in May after 13 years of teaching at SMU, with a retrospective of seven of his works.

Featured will be dances created over the past 30 years for professional companies and for SMU students, ranging from 1989’s Merry Go Round to In the City, which premiered in 2013 at SMU’s “Meadows at the Winspear” concert. Performers will include current students; alumni Albert Drake and Adrián Aguirre; and the Zenon Dance Company from Minneapolis, long-time collaborators of Buraczeski’s who performed his critically acclaimed Ezekiel’s Wheel in 2016 in Cuba.

The concert will be presented in two alternating programs, April 4-8, 2018, in SMU’s Bob Hope Theatre. On Tuesday, April 3, the Division of Dance also will host a panel discussion about Buraczeski’s choreography from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Hope Theatre. The panel will include dance artists who worked with Buraczeski in his professional companies and participated in creating some of his seminal works.

“Danny Buraczeski has for years been one of the country’s leading jazz dance choreographers,” said Samuel Holland, Algur H. Meadows Dean of the Meadows School of the Arts. “His artistry, passion and dedication to jazz music and dance have inspired both students and professional dancers for four decades. We will miss him greatly, but our dance department will continue to perform his exciting and inventive works and carry on his legacy for future generations of SMU dancers.”

“Danny is one of the most prolific and significant voices in the world of jazz dance,” said SMU Dance Chair Patty Delaney. “This retrospective allows us to experience his seminal works live and, through discussion with those who worked with him during their creation, we have the opportunity to fully appreciate the artistic contributions Danny has made to the field of dance. The SMU Dance Division is exceptionally fortunate to have had Danny on our faculty for 13 years.”

Buraczeski joined the SMU faculty in 2005 and rose to the rank of full professor. At SMU he taught classic jazz dance technique, composition and choreography and launched a national, biannual Teaching Jazz Dance Symposium, drawing educators, choreographers and dancers from around the country to SMU. He also served as artistic director for the Dance Division’s Brown Bag Concerts.  He was named Dance Educator of the Year by the Dance Council of North Texas in 2010 and Meadows Foundation Distinguished Teaching Professor in 2017. He retires as Professor Emeritus of Dance.

> Learn more about Danny Buraczeski and the Spring Dance Concert repertoire from SMU News

Bobby B. Lyle ’67 honored with SMU’s 2018 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award

Bobby B. Lyle, 2018 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics AwardSMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility recognized entrepreneur and civic leader Bobby B. Lyle for his work as an engineer, educator, business executive, philanthropist, community leader and mentor.

Dr. Lyle received the 2018 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award during a luncheon on Thursday, March 29 at Moody Coliseum. The annual honor recognizes a community leader who personifies moral leadership and public virtue.

The founder of Lyco Energy Corporation in 1981, Lyle has been a leader in the petroleum and natural gas industry for more than 25 years, exploring throughout the United States. He was instrumental in development of the Dallas Galleria and the InterFirst Bank-Galleria and, in 2005, established Lyco Holdings, Incorporated, a private investment firm.

He has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, Volunteer Now, and the Dallas Historical Society. Lyle has been recognized with the Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award from Methodist Health System, inducted into the Dallas Business Hall of Fame by Jr. Achievement, and presented the William Booth Award by the Salvation Army for contributions to the betterment of humanity.

Dr. Lyle has served as an SMU trustee for 30 years, and the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering was named in his honor in 2008. In addition, he served as Cox School of Business dean ad interim from 1971-73 and executive dean from 1973-75. He has endowed four academic chairs at SMU, supporting outstanding faculty in cyber security, engineering innovation, engineering entrepreneurship, and leadership and global enterprise.

Lyle is a past president of the SMU Alumni Association. He has served on the Executive Boards of the School of Engineering and the Cox School of Business, and as a trustee of the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. He is vice chair of the Maguire Energy Institute in the Cox School and of the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility. He is co-founder and current chair of the Associates Board in the Cox School and serves on the board of the SMU Hart Global Leaders Forum. He received the SMU Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995 and in 2006 was named to the School of Engineering Hall of Leaders.

His other civic activities have included leadership roles in the Boy Scouts of America, the Communities Foundation of Texas, the Volunteer Center of North Texas, the National and Dallas Advisory Boards of The Salvation Army, Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation, Texas Trees Foundation, Center for Nonprofit Management, Trinity Trust Foundation, Kindness Foundation and Dallas Assembly Foundation.

Lyle graduated from Louisiana Tech University, received a graduate degree in engineering administration from SMU, and earned a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

The J. Erik Jonsson Award is named after a co-founder and former president of Texas Instruments who, as Dallas mayor, worked tirelessly to improve the morale and image of the city in the wake of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The award is given to individuals who epitomize the spirit of moral leadership and public virtue.

“Mayor Jonsson was one of those people who was brilliant as a mayor, not necessarily for his solo acts, but for his ability to bring people together,” says Rita Kirk, William F. May Endowed Director of the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility.

“Each of the people that we recognize in the J. Erik Jonsson Award brings people together,” Kirk adds. ”They figure that there’s a better way to do things if we take advantage of the talents and abilities and insights of everyone in our community, and then put those actions to use.”

Past recipients of the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award, now in its 21st year, include David O. Brown, Terry J. Flowers, Lyda Hill, Gail Griffin Thomas, Nancy Ann & Ray Hunt, Walter J. Humann, Ruth S. Altshuler, Bob Buford, Ronald G. Steinhart, Michael M. Boone, Zan W. Holmes Jr., Roger Staubach, Caren Prothro, Tom Luce, Ron Anderson, Jack Lowe Jr., William T. Solomon, Stanley H. Marcus, Charles C. Sprague and Curtis W. Meadows Jr.

— Written by Kenny Ryan

> Visit the SMU Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility online: smu.edu/ethics

SMU’s 2018 Honors Convocation and Hilltop Excellence Awards take place Monday, April 16

Honors Day Convocation - Jodi Cooley, Bob Kehoe and studentsSMU’s annual celebration of high achievement in academics and community life takes place during the 2018 Honors Convocation and Hilltop Excellence Awards on Monday, April 16.

Honors Convocation begins at 5:30 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium, and the Hilltop Excellence Awards ceremony takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.

> Coming April 16: Watch Honors Convocation live on the web at smu.edu/live

SMU reserves one Monday each April to celebrate the achievements of students, faculty, staff members, trustees and administrators in the two ceremonies. The Honors Convocation recognizes academic achievement at the University and department levels.

Read the full list of SMU’s 2018 Honors Convocation award and honors recipients

Maria Dixon HallThis year’s convocation speaker is Maria Dixon Hall, senior adviser to the SMU Provost, associate professor in the Division of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs in Meadows School of the Arts, and adjunct associate professor of homiletics in Perkins School of Theology. Appointed in August 2016 as Senior Advisor to the Provost for Cultural Intelligence, Dixon Hall is charged with oversight of the University’s efforts to ensure that all members of the SMU community are equipped to effectively create, collaborate, and work on solutions to change the world. In this role, she is responsible for development and implementation of the University’s new cultural intelligence curriculum and training program.

As director of mustangconsulting, Dixon Hall heads a staff of some of SMU’s best and brightest communication students. The group serves a global client list that includes corporate, nonprofit, and religious organizations such as Southwest Airlines (Dallas), The Dance Theatre of Harlem (New York), the Ugandan American Partnership Organization (Kampala/Dallas), The Lydia Patterson Institute (El Paso), and Carry the Load (Atlanta/Dallas).

A graduate of the Culverhouse School of Business at the University of Alabama, Dixon Hall earned her Master of Divinity and Master of Theology from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, as well as a Ph.D. in organizational communication and religion from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Find more information on Honors Convocation

Retired and current faculty members who have RSVP’ed for the ceremony will assemble for Honors Convocation in academic dress no later than 5:10 p.m. on the third floor of McFarlin Auditorium. The faculty procession will begin at approximately 5:30 p.m. A reception will immediately follow the ceremony on the Main Quad.

Participating faculty members must RSVP online by Thursday, April 12, 2018. Faculty members with questions regarding the procession can e-mail ceremonies@smu.edu or call 214-768-3417.

Later, the University will present several awards for excellence – including its highest honor, the “M” Award – during the 2018 Hilltop Excellence Awards. The ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center. Hilltop Excellence Awards honorees will be listed in SMU Forum the day after the ceremony.

Follow SMU Student Activities @SMUStuAct for live updates from the ceremony, and share your Twitter and Instagram posts from the Hilltop Excellence Awards with the #HilltopExcellence hashtag.

Learn more about the Hilltop Excellence Awards from SMU Student Life

Save the date: SMU Research Day 2018 scheduled for March 28-29

This story was originally published Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.

Research Day 2017SMU Research Day is growing so much that in 2018 it will take two days to share the experience. Save the dates for Tuesday and Wednesday, March 28-29, in Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

March 28 is devoted to the Poster Session, which is scheduled for 2-5 p.m. in the Promenade Ballroom. SMU graduate students and a select cohort of undergraduates will present results of ongoing and completed University-based research. The session aims to “foster communication between students in different disciplines, give students the opportunity to present their work in a professional setting, and share the outstanding research being conducted at SMU with their peers and industry professionals from the greater Dallas community,” according to the Office of Research and Graduate Studies.

New this year: the Three Minute Thesis Competition, which will take place 9 a.m.-noon on March 29. The 3MT competition format, developed by the University of Queensland, gives graduate students 180 seconds in which to explain their work, in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. It is designed to help students cultivate, integrate and hone their academic, presentation, and research communication skills.

> Visit the SMU Research Day homepage

AT&T CEO Randall L. Stephenson to address SMU students during 103rd Commencement May 19, 2018

Randall L. Stephenson, ATT CEORandall L. Stephenson, chairman and chief executive officer of AT&T, will be the featured speaker during SMU’s 103rd all-University Commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Moody Coliseum.

Since rising to the position of CEO in 2007, Stephenson has guided AT&T through a number of major milestones, including the ongoing acquisition of Time Warner, the 2015 acquisition of DIRECTV, and the purchase of Mexican wireless companies to create a North American network.

Stephenson also has led AT&T’s breakthrough “It Can Wait” campaign – an awareness program educating drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. The program has amassed more than 19 million pledges of support.

“We are honored to have a pioneering business and technology leader of Mr. Stephenson’s stature as featured speaker at Commencement,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He is a striking example of what can be accomplished when someone possesses a clear vision of where they want to go. I know he will inspire each of our graduating students to form their own grand vision of what they want to accomplish in their lives with the knowledge they’ve acquired at SMU.”

AT&T contributed $2.5 million to SMU in 2016 to endow the AT&T Center for Virtualization and fund its research into the fast, reliable cloud-based telecommunications necessary for global activity. SMU and AT&T have also partnered with other organizations to create the Payne Stewart SMU Golf Training Center at the Trinity Forest Golf Club, which will become home to the PGA Tour’s Byron Nelson this year and annually host NCAA invitational tournaments and additional high-profile professional and amateur events.

Stephenson began his career with Southwestern Bell Telephone in 1982 in Oklahoma. He served as the company’s senior executive vice president and chief financial officer from 2001 to 2004, and from 2004 to 2007 as chief operating officer. He was appointed to AT&T’s board of directors in 2005.

Stephenson is a member of the PGA TOUR Policy Board and National Chairman of the Boy Scouts of America. He received his B.S. in accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma and his Master of Accountancy from the University of Oklahoma.

SMU expects to award more than 2,500 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees in the University-wide ceremony. The University’s individual schools and departments will host diploma ceremonies throughout the day.

— Written by Kenny Ryan

> Keep up with the latest SMU Commencement information at smu.edu/commencement

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