Two world premieres are highlights of Meadows’ 2015 Spring Dance Concert, March 25-29

Photographs from the 2015 Spring Dance Concert Rehearsal, taken by Kim Leeson.
Photographs from the 2015 Spring Dance Concert Rehearsal, taken by Kim Leeson.

The Meadows Dance Ensemble in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts presents its 2015 Spring Dance Concert, March 25-29, in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center. 

This year’s concert features two world premieres by noted guest choreographers, as well as the revival of an acclaimed work by jazz dance artist and faculty member Danny Buraczeski.

The program opens with the premiere of Darkside by Artist-in-Residence John Selya. Based on the Tom Stoppard BBC radio play with music from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album, Selya’s Darkside brings a visual element to what has been a solely auditory work. In addition to teaching and choreographing at universities and dance companies across the nation, Selya is a Tony-nominated dancer and Broadway veteran.

The second performance features faculty member Danny Buraczeski‘s in the revival of his acclaimed 1999 piece Ezekiel’s Wheel. Inspired by the life and work of author and civil rights activist James Baldwin, Ezekiel’s Wheel is set to a percussive musical score interspersed with passages of Baldwin’s writings.

The program concludes with the premiere of The Hi Betty Cha-Cha by alumnus and founder and director of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, Joshua Peugh (’06). Featuring five contrasting sections, the work is set to music by Dean Martin, as well as Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.

Performance take place at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Available for purchase online, tickets are $7 for SMU faculty, students and staff. For more information, contact the Meadows Ticket Office.

Sports Highlights: March 23, 2015

SMU Mustangs forward Markus Kennedy (5) reacts during the first half against the UCLA Bruins in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at KFC Yum! Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
SMU Mustangs forward Markus Kennedy (5) reacts during the first half against the UCLA Bruins in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at KFC Yum! Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Men’s Basketball: In SMU’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1993, the Mustangs were edged out by the UCLA Bruins, 60-59, in the final seconds of the Thursday, March 19, game. After a rough start to the second half, SMU clawed its way back into the game as Nic Moore scored a three followed by a Ryan Manuel dunk moments later. With 10 seconds left, Yanick Moreira was called for goaltending. The loss ends SMU’s season and their first NCAA tournament appearance in 22 years.

Women’s Basketball: Seeded tenth, the SMU Women’s Basketball team fell to seventh-seeded Memphis, 71-59, in the opening round of the American Athletic Conference tournament on Friday, March 6, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. SMU was led by senior Raven Short who scored a career-high 17 points in her final game as a Mustang. For more information on the conference tournament, visit The American’s website. 

Women’s Equestrian: SMU junior Schaefer Raposa won three equitation on the flat match-ups to win the 2015 Pin Oak Collegiate Invitational at the Southwest Equestrian Center on Sunday, March 22. Earlier on Friday, March 20, the eighth-ranked SMU equestrian team concluded the regular season with an 11-8 victory at the Gambler’s Choice Equestrian Center. SMU now shifts its attention to the United Conference Championship, a two-day event beginning on March 27, in Fresno, California.

SMU Men's Golf. Junior Bryson DeChambeau.
SMU Men’s Golf. Junior Bryson DeChambeau.

Men’s Golf: SMU junior Bryson DeChambeau was named one of 24 collegiate golfers selected to the 2015 Ben Hogan Award Watch List. One of the most prestigious award in men’s college golf, The Ben Hogan Award is presented annually to the top men’s NCAA Division I, II or II, NAIA or NJCAA college golfer. DeChambeau was a semifinalist for the 2014 Ben Hogan Award, and is one of six juniors on the 2015 watch list. For the latest information on The Ben Hogan Award, visit The Ben Hogan Award webpage.

Women’s Golf: The SMU Women’s Golf team is currently in Kapalua, Hawaii to compete in the Ānuenue Spring Break Classic at the Bay Course in Maui. The 54-hole tournament begins Monday, March 23, and concludes Wednesday, March 25.

Men’s Rowing: The SMU Rowing team won all three Varsity 8 events to defeat Creighton and the University of Central Oklahoma on Saturday, March 14 at White Rock Lake. The Mustangs are back in action March 28-29 at the San Diego Crew Classic.

SMU Women's Swimming & Diving. Senior Isabella Arcila.
SMU Women’s Swimming & Diving. Senior Isabella Arcila.

Men’s Swimming & Diving: SMU senior Devin Burnett placed third in the platform and earned his third bid to the NCAA Championship on Wednesday, March 11, at the NCAA Zone D Diving Championship at the University of Iowa. The championship takes place from March 26-28 at the University of Iowa’s Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium.

Women’s Swimming & Diving: SMU senior Isabella Arcila earned the second fastest time in school history in the 100-yard freestyle during the final day of the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. With the completion of the Championship, the Mustangs’ 2014-15 team schedule comes to a close. Select Mustangs will compete at the Mesa Grand Prix, April 15-18.

Men’s Tennis: The SMU Men’s Tennis team fell 4-2 to the Memphis Tigers at the Racquet Club in Memphis, Tennessee, on Saturday, March 21. The Mustangs return home to host Dartmouth on Tuesday, March 24, at 6 p.m. CT in the SMU Tennis Complex.

Women’s Tennis: The SMU Women’s Tennis team fell 4-0 to Tulane on Sunday, Marhc, 22, at the Ann and Brad Brookshire Family Pavillion at the SMU Tennis Complex. This loss was the Mustangs’ first in the American Athletic Conference play this season. Next, Mustangs will take on UAB on Friday, March 27, at 3 p.m., at the SMU Tennis Complex.

Women’s Track & Field: Holly Archer, Stephanie Kalu and Isabelle Marten all earned gold medals for SMU at the TCU Invitational on Friday, March 20. Next, the Mustangs will compete in the Texas Relays, hosted by the University of Texas, on March 25-28.

SMU to face UCLA in NCAA Tournament on March 19, 2015

SMU Men's Basketball takes home the American Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles. #DeclareSMU
SMU Men’s Basketball takes home the American Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles. #DeclareSMU

The XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut, hosted a heavyweight title fight between the SMU Mustangs and the Connecticut Huskies on Sunday, March 15. Jumping in front of UConn early, SMU dominated the defending NCAA champions 62-54 to win the American Athletic Conference tournament and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Seeded sixth, the Mustangs (27-6) face UCLA (20-13) on Thursday, March 19 in Louisville in their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1993. A year ago, SMU was left out of the field after losing to Houston in the AAC quarterfinals.

In his third season with SMU, Head Coach Larry Brown will make his first appearance in the NCAA tournament since he coached Kansas to a national title in 1988. As the only coach to win an NCAA trophy and an NBA title, Brown previously took UCLA to the NCAA tournament twice and Kansas five times before heading to the NBA and later SMU.

> Find ticket information at smumustangs.com/gameday

Tip-off time is set for 2:10 p.m. CT, and the game will be televised on truTV. With a victory on Thursday, SMU will face the winner of the No. 3/14 match-up between Iowa State and UAB on Saturday.

> For complete NCAA Tournament coverage, visit the Mustangs NCAA Tournament Central 2015 webpage

> For merchandise celebrating the 2015 American Conference Championship, visit the Mustang Locker Room webpage

Former President George W. Bush will deliver address at SMU’s 2015 Commencement Saturday, May 16

George W BushGeorge W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, will deliver the address at SMU’s Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 16, in Moody Coliseum on the main campus.

“This Commencement is especially noteworthy because 2015 is the 100-year anniversary of SMU’s opening. So it is fitting that we should hear from a president who led our nation and the world during historic times and is a valued member of the campus community,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

SMU expects to award more than 2,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees in the University-wide ceremony.

This is the first time that an SMU Commencement speaker has returned for a second presentation. Mr. Bush’s first Commencement speech at SMU was in 1999, when he was governor of Texas.

George W. Bush has been a long-time member of the SMU family through his marriage to Laura, an SMU alumna, who is currently a member of the SMU Board of Trustees. However, since his 2007 decision to locate his Presidential Center at SMU, he has become an active member of the University community, attending events and visiting classes.

“The Presidential Center and SMU are enjoying numerous partnerships through joint programming and faculty research as well as internships for SMU students,” Turner said. “Through the Center, more than 700,000 people have visited SMU, most of whom never before would have come to our campus. We are grateful for the resources and benefits of the Presidential Center and President Bush’s participation as Commencement speaker during this special time.”

George W. Bush received his bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School. After a successful career in business, including as an owner of the Texas Rangers, he was elected governor of Texas in 1994. When he was re-elected in November 1998, he became the first governor in Texas history to be elected to consecutive four-year terms. He is the author of two New York Times number one bestsellers, Decision Points and 41: A Portrait of my Father.

Following the University-wide Commencement, SMU’s schools and departments will hold individual ceremonies throughout the day to present degrees and honor graduates.

Written by Patricia Ann LaSalle

> Read more from SMU News

Sports: Women’s track and field finishes 3rd at 2015 AAC Indoor Championship

10406810_1081253921900644_1009901521095141049_n
SMU‬ checks in at No. 22 in both the AP and USA Today Coaches polls after Uconn upset.

Men’s Basketball: The Mustangs’ five-game winning streak came to an end on Sunday, March 1, after UConn upset SMU 81-73. The Mustangs return to Moody Coliseum for their regular-season finale against Tulsa at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8.

Women’s Basketball: The Mustangs play their final game of the regular season at Memphis Monday, March 2, at 7 p.m. SMU first-year Alicia Froling leads the team with 11.5 points per game, and junior Destynee Hives-McCray ranks in the top 10 in the league in rebounds. For live game stats, visit Gametracker powered by CBS Sports.

Equestrian: The Mustangs’ Sunday, March 1 meet against South Dakota was canceled due to inclement weather. The next meet for the Mustangs is on Sunday, March 8, against Oklahoma State.

Football: The Mustangs have finalized their 2015 schedule, announcing the addition of James Madison to the slate for the Centennial Celebration and Homecoming Weekend on Saturday, Sept. 26. The first season under new head coach Chad Morris features seven games on the SMU campus, including Ford Stadium match-ups with in-state rivals Baylor and UNT. To view the full schedule, visit the SMU Mustangs webpage.

Men’s Tennis: The Mustangs picked up another win on Sunday, March 1, defeating Incarnate Word 7-0 at the Ann and Brad Brookshire Family Pavilion in the SMU Tennis Complex. SMU returns to the court on Friday, March 6, as it hosts both Sacramento State at 2 p.m., and Texas-Pan American at 6 p.m., at the SMU Tennis Complex.

Women’s Track & Field: The Mustangs finished third at the American Athletic Conference Indoor Championship on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the New Balance Track & Field Center. Finishing with 83 points, the Mustangs were 3.5 points behind second-place UCF and 25 points behind champion Connecticut. Next, the Mustangs will travel to Arkansas on March 13-14 for the NCAA Indoor Championship.

SMU Women’s Symposium celebrates 50 years, looks to the future Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Lilly Ledbetter
Equal-pay activist Lilly Ledbetter will give the keynote speech at SMU’s 50th annual Women’s Symposium Wednesday, March 4, 2015.

The SMU Women’s Symposium will examine women’s progress through the last 50 years as part of its own golden anniversary celebration on Wednesday, March 4, 2015,

More than 600 attendees are expected to gather at the Symposium, created in 1966 as part of the University’s commemoration of its 50th anniversary. Now the longest running event of its kind, the student-led symposium has challenged, changed and broadened women’s perspectives on campus and in the community.

Lilly Ledbetter, namesake of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 and an advocate for gender wage equality, will present at noon a keynote address about her 10-year battle for pay equality at Goodyear Tire and Rubber.

“Lilly Ledbetter represents women using their voices to create change,” says Karen Click, director of SMU’s Women and LBGT Center. “We’ve been inspired by that for 50 years and hope that we continue, as women, to examine our voices and use them.”

Past speakers have included Hillary Clinton, Maya Angelou, Margaret Mead, Marlee Matlin, Patricia Ireland and Eleanor Clift.

Women's Symposium 2015“For me, Women’s Symposium was a unique opportunity for women to come together to discuss issues in a supportive environment,” says Meg Wuebbels Leal, a Phoenix attorney and government relations specialist who was involved with SMU Women’s Symposium as a student in the late 1980s. “It serves as a great example to young college-age women of how to network and support one another.”

The 2015 symposium will feature a community resource fair, book signing and community awards reception and dinner where Merriott Terry, executive director of IGNITE Texas, will receive the Gail Reese Ward Excellence in Mentoring Award.

The Profiles in Leadership Award will be presented to Roberta Berger, licensed professional counselor and psychologist; Ashley Elsey, founder and owner of Minerva Consulting; Pam Gerbber, executive director, Entrepreneurs for North Texas; Liz Cedillo-Pereira, attorney and founding partner of Cedillo-Pereira and Associates; and Nellie Tafalla, community activist.

The symposium is open to the public and will take place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at SMU’s Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

Written by Nancy George

> Visit the SMU Women’s Symposium online: smu.edu/womsym
> Find a complete schedule at the SMU News website

Star students show their work on SMU Research Day, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015

Stock photo of lab workersSMU graduate students, and select undergraduates, from a wide variety of disciplines will share their work as part of the University’s 2015 Research Day. All SMU faculty, staff members and students are invited to visit the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballrooms from 2-5 p.m Wednesday, Feb. 25, to meet the student researchers and discuss their results.

Awards will be presented at the event’s end, and refreshments will be served throughout.

> See a list of participating student researchers and their projects from SMU News
Visit SMU Graduate Studies online

Four student projects win recognition (and $5,000) in SMU’s 2015 Big iDeas Business Plan Competition

Four student teams combined winning pitches with solid business plans to earn $5,000 startup grants for their projects through SMU’s Big iDeas program on Jan. 30, 2015.

The four winning teams were chosen from a business plan competition featuring the winners of the Big iDeas Pitch Competition, which took place in October.

Beyond US logoThe projects were judged by a panel of volunteers from Executives in Action, a Dallas-area organization that helps strengthen North Texas nonprofits by matching them with senior-level executives for pro bono consulting services. The winners:

Beyond US Clothing (Hunter Rice and J.P. Buxbaum) – a for-profit clothing company that partners with charities to help underprivileged children in the United States by offering unique T-shirt designs for each partnership and donating a portion of the sales to charities with a focus on children and education.

Biolum Sciences logoBiolum Sciences (Edward Allegra, Miguel Quimbar and Jack Reynolds) – A smartphone-based imaging system that can detect the presence of asthma and reduce the current 40% misdiagnosis of asthma in the United States.

Helpple logoHelpple (Austin Wells and Irisa Ona) – an app that connects people who need help with people who are offering to help, ranging from tutoring to moving furniture to getting volunteers.

Out & About (Renita Thapa, Sam Hubbard and Raz Friman) – an app that promotes local businesses and organizations by showing its users what is going on in the community for easy planning, exploring and getting to know the area.

Out and About logo“The world needs big thinkers to address global challenges. It needs innovators to create solutions. It needs risk-takers to turn solutions into sustainable businesses. And at SMU, Big iDeas makes this happen,” said Engaged Learning Director Susan Kress, whose office also oversees Big iDeas.

The students will spend the next nine months developing their projects. They will present results in October 2015 at Big iDeas Demo Day for a chance to win another $5,000 to continue their work.

Visit SMU’s Big iDeas website at smu.edu/bigideas