SMU will celebrateÂ its 100th CommencementÂ May 15-16, 2015Â with an address by former President George W. Bush and a weekend of events for faculty, alumni, community members andÂ more than 2,000 graduating students.
The 43rdÂ president of the United StatesÂ will speak at the all-University ceremony, which begins at 9 a.m.Â Saturday, May 16, in Moody Coliseum.Â Guests are urged to arrive early. Security screening will be in place,Â andÂ seating in the coliseum is limited to four guests per student. Doors will open at 7 a.m.
The ceremony will be simulcast live at the following locations; no entry ticket is required:
- Bolin Plaza, at the west entranceÂ ofÂ Moody Coliseum (outdoor screen)
- Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports
- Crum Auditorium, Collins Executive EducationÂ Building
- McFarlin Auditorium
The ceremony will also be webcast liveÂ atÂ smu.edu/live.Â
SMU will confer three honorary degrees during the 2015 Commencement ceremonies:
- Meave LeakeyÂ will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters,Â honoris causa, forÂ her achievements asÂ one of the worldâ€™s most distinguished paleoanthropologists. She is a research associate at the National Museums of Kenya, director of Plio-Pleistocene research at the Turkana Basin Institute, Nairobi, and research professor in anthropology at Stony Brook University, New York. In 2002 she was named a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. Leakey is a foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and an honorary fellow of the Geological Society of London.
- Irene Hirano InouyeÂ will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters,Â honoris causa,Â for her leadership in international relations. WhileÂ still in her 20s, she began tailoring her career toward service as director of a Los Angeles medical clinic providing affordable care for poor and uninsured women. She helped build theÂ Japanese American National Museum, which opened in 1992, and became the founding president of theÂ U.S.-Japan Council in 2008.Â Inouye currently serves as chair of the board of the Ford Foundation. She also serves on the executive boards of Independent Sector,Â the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Smithsonian Institution, the American Association of Museums, and the Presidentâ€™s Committee.
- Helen LaKellyÂ HuntÂ will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters,Â honoris causa,Â both for her work for healthy marriages and family and her efforts in helping to build the global womenâ€™s funding movement. The SMU alumnaÂ is the founder of The Sister Fund, a private foundation that supports womenâ€™s social, political, economic and spiritual empowerment. SheÂ has helped establish several other organizations, including Dallas Womenâ€™s Foundation,Â New York Womenâ€™s Foundation, Womenâ€™s Funding Network and Women Moving Millions. Her books includeÂ Faith and Feminism: A Holy Alliance,Â as well as seven books on intimate relationships and parenting co-authored with her husband, Harville Hendrix.
The weekendâ€™s activities include theÂ Baccalaureate ServiceÂ Friday, May 15, in McFarlin Auditorium. The serviceÂ 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.
Some major events at a glance:
- May 15Â â€“ Free public symposium honoring Doctor of Humane LettersÂ honoris causaÂ recipientÂ Helen LaKellyÂ Hunt, 10:30 a.m.-noon,Â Smith Auditorium, Meadows Museum
- May 15Â â€“ Free public symposium honoring Doctor of Humane LettersÂ honoris causaÂ recipientÂ Meave Leakey, 2-4Â p.m.,Â McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall
- May 15Â â€“ Free public symposium honoring Doctor of Humane LettersÂ honoris causaÂ recipientÂ Irene Hirano Inouye, 3:30-5Â p.m.,Â Hillcrest Appellate Courtroom and Classroom, Underwood Law Library
- May 15-16Â â€“Â Class of 1965 Golden Reunion, various times and locations
- May 15Â â€“Â Baccalaureate Service for undergraduatesÂ with SMU Associate Professor of Communication Studies, founding partner of Mustang Consulting and ordained ministerÂ MariaÂ Dixon HallÂ delivering the featured speech,Â followed by Rotunda Recessional, 8 p.m., McFarlin Auditorium
- May 16Â â€“Â Faculty Breakfast and Distinguished University Citizen Awards presentation, 7:45 a.m., Champions Club, Miller Events Center, Moody ColiseumÂ (for RSVPed faculty members only â€“ walk-ups cannot be accommodated)
- May 16Â â€“Â All-University Commencement, 9 a.m., Moody Coliseum
- May 16Â â€“Â Commencement Buffet Luncheon, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.,Â Arnold Dining Commons
- May 16Â â€“Â School and departmental diploma presentations, various times and locations