December Commencement Convocation

Tune In: Happy holidays from SMU

SMU wishes you the happiest of holidays with scenes from a season of joy. Gary Shultz of SMU News has created a page full of images and video from the 2017 Celebration of Lights, December Commencement Convocation, and SMU Football’s trip to the DXL Frisco Bowl.

Here’s a sample: Student musicians perform songs of the season and President R. Gerald Turner reads the Christmas story from the New Testament during Celebration of Lights. Tap the YouTube screen to watch, or click here to open SMU’s 2017 Celebration of Lights video in a new windowvideo

Bush Center president, CEO Kenneth A. Hersh to speak at SMU’s 2017 December Commencement Convocation

Kenneth A. HershKenneth A. Hersh, president and CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, will be the featured speaker during SMU’s December Commencement Convocation at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, in Moody Coliseum.

> Watch the SMU December Commencement Convocation live via Facebook Live

As chief executive of the Bush Center, Hersh leads the institution that oversees the George W. Bush Institute and houses the George W. Bush Library and Museum. In addition to his work at the Bush Center, Hersh is the co-founder and advisory partner of NGP Energy Capital Management, a deputy chief investment officer for The Carlyle Group’s natural resources division, and sits on the board of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club.

Hersh also serves on the Board of Overseers of the Hoover Institution and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Council of the American Enterprise Institute, the Dallas Citizens Council, and the World Economic Forum. He also sits on the Dean’s Council of the Harvard Kennedy School. In 2014, he was recognized as Master Entrepreneur of the Year for the Southwest Region by Ernst & Young during its Entrepreneur of the Year program, and in 2017 received the Oil & Gas Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

> More ceremony information in SMU Forum

Hersh is active in non-profit causes through The Hersh Foundation. He serves on the boards of the Communities Foundation of Texas, Baylor Health Care System Foundation, and the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues.

Hersh was born and raised in Dallas. After graduating from St. Mark’s, he attended Princeton University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1985 with a degree in politics. In 1989, Mr. Hersh earned his MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he graduated as an Arjay Miller Scholar.

SMU expects to award more than 700 degrees at its University-wide Commencement ceremony.

> Visit the SMU Registrar’s December Commencement Convocation homepage

SMU celebrates its 2017 December Commencement Convocation Saturday, Dec. 16

December Commencement 2013, blue mortarboards

The SMU community will celebrate 2017 December Commencement Convocation on Saturday, Dec. 16. Kenneth A. Hersh, president and CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, will give the address.

The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. in Moody Coliseum with a student, faculty and platform party procession. Guests can enter Moody Coliseum starting at 8:30 a.m. Student line-up begins at 8:30 a.m. in Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports. Processional groups begin forming at 9:15 a.m.; doors close at 9:40 a.m. In order to attend the ceremony, faculty must RSVP (online form here). The faculty should assemble in academic dress no later than 9:40 a.m. in the Champions Club.

On Friday, Dec. 15, undergraduate candidates will participate in Rotunda Recessional. Candidates should wear SMU regalia and begin lining up at 5:15 p.m. at the flagpole on the Main Quad. Hot cider will be served.

> Watch the December Commencement Convocation livestream at smu.edu/live

The December Commencement Convocation is a formal ceremony open to degree candidates from all of SMU’s schools and professional programs. All participants must wear academic regalia; students without regalia will be directed to the SMU Bookstore to rent a cap and gown. No honor ribbons or other decorations or adornments may be worn to this ceremony, including messages or images on mortarboards.

Find complete rules for regalia at the University Registrar’s homepage

The ceremony lasts about two hours. No guest tickets are required, and free parking will be available throughout the campus. Limited concession service will be available in Moody Coliseum beginning at 8:30 a.m. No outside food or drink is allowed in Moody.

Commencement participants and guests should not bring the following prohibited items to the Coliseum, including but not limited to animals (except licensed service animals), backpacks, banners, binocular cases, briefcases, camera bags, cans, cinch bags, computer bags, coolers, diaper bags, fanny packs, firearms, flags, glass items, guns, inflated balloons, knives of any size and type, laser pointers, luggage, noisemakers, purses larger than a small clutch, radios, seat cushions with zippers, pockets or compartments, selfie sticks, signs, stun guns, throwing objects, umbrellas (unless threat of rain or raining), and weapons.

All bags must be clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and may not exceed 12 x 6 x 12 inches. Bags may be one-gallon clear plastic resealable storage bags. Small clutch purses with or without straps, no larger than 8.5 x 5.5 inches, are permitted. The clutch does not have to be clear and may be carried separately or within an approved plastic bag. Items that are medically necessary are evaluated individually.

> More information for students and guests at SMU’s December Commencement homepage

Retired Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown dubs SMU’s class of 2016 ‘the next Greatest Generation’ at December Commencement


Retired Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown told SMU’s more than 530 December graduates that “[y]ou all may be the next greatest generation of heroes in this country.” The University celebrated its 2016 December Commencement Convocation on Saturday, Dec. 17.

SMU President R. Gerald Turner praised keynote speaker Brown for helping reduce both crime in Dallas and the DPD’s use of deadly force. Turner also commended him for his actions following the July 7 attack “when Chief Brown’s strength and leadership were tested on one of the darkest days in the history of Dallas.” That day, a lone gunman ambushed DPD and DART officers who had been protecting participants in a peaceful late-afternoon protest march downtown. Five officers were killed and 12 were wounded during the assault.

“Chief Brown took charge that night with the professionalism and calm demeanor of a true leader,” President Turner said, noting that the 33-year DPD veteran “helped maintain equilibrium in a wounded city.”

Brown’s address focused on his long-held fascination with heroes, especially Superman. Watching re-runs of “The Adventures of Superman” was a regular after-school pastime for the third-generation Dallasite. As a young man, Brown said, “I wanted so much to join modern-day heroes of our society that I rushed to sign up for the Dallas Police Department” in 1983.

Brown then told the graduates, “You all may be the next greatest generation of heroes in this country. You all are global citizens much more than my generation.”

His closing statement rallied the crowd even further.

“Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look! It’s a plane, it’s a train – no, it’s the 2016 graduating class of Southern Methodist University: My heroes. Now, go save the world!”

Also speaking at Commencement was SMU Engaged Learning Fellow José Manuel Santoyo, who earned bachelor of arts degrees in human rights and Spanish. The Mexican national and American citizen-hopeful, raised in Corsicana, spent much of his life as an undocumented immigrant before qualifying in 2012 to study and work legally in the U.S. thanks to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program initiated by the Department of Homeland Security.

> Watch José Santoyo’s Commencement speech at FOX 4 News

Santoyo thanked SMU’s “amazing faculty and staff,” including Embrey Human Rights Program Associate Director Bradley Klein, his Engaged Learning mentor. As part of his project, Santoyo voluntarily tested his DACA status via a study-abroad trip – risking not being able to return to his education and family in the U.S. – in order to document the experience and give courage to others wanting to follow in his footsteps.

Santoyo also recognized the Consul General of Mexico who was in attendance.

“This country continues to be built by immigrants,” Santoyo said, adding, “an educated populace benefits us all.”

> Full coverage of 2016 December Commencement from SMU News

SMU celebrates 2016 December Commencement Saturday, Dec. 17

December Commencement 2013, blue mortarboards

The SMU community will celebrate 2016 December Commencement Convocation on Saturday, Dec. 17. Retired Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown will give the address.

> Read more about Chief Brown from SMU News

Ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. in Moody Coliseum with a student and faculty procession. Doors to the staging area in Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports will open at 8 a.m. Processional groups begin forming at 9:15 a.m.; doors close at 9:40 a.m.

Prior to the ceremony, there will be a faculty breakfast at 8:45 a.m. in the Miller Champions Club, Moody Coliseum. The faculty should assemble in academic dress no later than 9:45 a.m. in the Champions Club.

> Watch the December Commencement livestream at smu.edu/live

The December Commencement Convocation is a formal ceremony open to degree candidates from all of SMU’s schools and professional programs. All participants must wear academic regalia; students without regalia will be directed to the SMU Bookstore to rent a cap and gown. No honor ribbons or other decorations or adornments may be worn to this ceremony, including messages or images on mortarboards.

Find complete rules for regalia at the University Registrar’s homepage

The ceremony lasts about two hours. No guest tickets are required, and free parking will be available throughout the campus. Limited concession service will be available in Moody Coliseum beginning at 8 a.m.

Commencement participants and guests should not bring the following prohibited items to the Coliseum, including but not limited to animals (except licensed service animals), backpacks, binocular cases, briefcases, camera bags, cans, cinch bags, computer bags, coolers, diaper bags, fanny packs, firearms, glass bottles, guns, inflated balloons, knives of any size and type, laser pointers, luggage, noisemakers, purses larger than a small clutch, radios, seat cushions with zippers, pockets or compartments, selfie sticks, signs, stun guns, throwing objects, umbrellas (unless threat of rain or raining), and weapons.

All bags must be clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and may not exceed 12 x 6 x 12 inches. Bags may be one-gallon clear plastic resealable storage bags. Small clutch purses with or without straps, no larger than 8.5 x 5.5 inches, are permitted. The clutch does not have to be clear and may be carried separately or within an approved plastic bag. Items that are medically necessary are evaluated individually.

> More information for students and guests at SMU’s December Commencement homepage

Calendar Highlights: End-of-term Fall 2016 at a glance

December Commencement postcard 2016

 

The days grow shorter, and SMU’s Fall Term 2016 is drawing to a close. Here are some important end-of-term dates to keep in mind:

  • Dec. 5: Last day of instruction
  • Dec. 6-7: Reading days
  • Dec. 8-14: Examinations (no exams scheduled for Sunday)
  • Dec. 15: Residence halls close at 10 a.m. for Winter Break (December graduates and residential students who need winter-break or Jan Term housing should contact Residence Life and Student Housing)
  • Dec. 23, 2016-Jan. 2, 2017: University closed for Winter Break

December Commencement

  • The Rotunda Recessional for December undergraduate candidates will be held at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, with its starting point in the Main Quad. Hot cider will be served. No RSVP is required.
  • The 2016 December Commencement Convocation begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. Retired Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown will deliver the Commencement address.
  • Faculty: The traditional Faculty Breakfast will begin at 8:45 a.m. in the Miller Champions Club, Moody Coliseum. The faculty should assemble in the Champions Club in academic dress by 9:40 a.m.
  • Guests: Tickets are not needed to attend December Commencement; all seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The doors to Moody Coliseum open at 8 a.m.; guests are encouraged to find their seats by 9:45 a.m.
  • If you are unable to attend December Commencement, you can watch the ceremony via livestream. Tune in to smu.edu/live beginning at 9:45 a.m.

A quick look at the start of 2017

  • Jan. 9-19: SMU Jan Term (main campus and SMU-in-Taos)
  • Jan. 15: Residence halls open at 9 a.m.
  • Jan. 16: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (University closed)
  • Jan. 23: First day of Spring 2017 classes

Retired Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown to give address at SMU’s 2016 December Commencement Saturday, Dec. 17

Dallas Police Chief David O. BrownRetired Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown, who earned national acclaim for his leadership in a citywide crisis, will present the address during SMU’s December Commencement at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016 in Moody Coliseum.

A Dallas native and a 33-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department, Chief Brown gained national attention for his handling of a gunman’s July ambush of five police officers who died working to protect participants in a downtown Dallas protest march.

Brown, who retired Oct. 4, was sworn in as Dallas’ 28th police chief in May 2010, commanding a department with more than 4,000 employees and an annual operating budget of $426 million dollars.

Building and maintaining strong, transparent relationships with the community was Brown’s focus since becoming chief. During his tenure, Brown transitioned the department to a community policing-focused organization and implemented policies and training to ensure citizen and officer safety. He also expanded several community outreach programs and youth centered programs.

Brown implemented policies and training to ensure citizen and officer safety during interactions, and emphasized the importance of de-escalation training for his officers. Under Brown’s leadership, the Dallas Police Department reduced the use of deadly force by more than 40 percent and reduced excessive force complaints by more than 80 percent.

Chief Brown holds a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in business administration and is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, FBI National Executive Institute, Senior Management Institute for Police, the National Counter-Terrorism Seminar in Tel Aviv, Israel, and the United States Secret Service Dignitary Protection Seminar in Washington, D.C. He also holds Master Peace Officer and Police Instructor certifications from the State of Texas.

In March 2017, Chief Brown will receive the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award from SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility.

> Read the full story from SMU News

SMU kicks off the 2014 holiday season with Celebration of Lights Monday, Dec. 1

celebration-of-lights-01-135x100ratioWith Christmas coming soon, SMU kicks off the holiday season with a number of campus events. From annual traditions to commencement ceremonies, the University offers many opportunities to celebrate the spirit of the season.

  • Celebration of Lights: Following Thanksgiving Break, SMU kicks off the winter holiday season with the 2014 Celebration of Lights Monday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m., on the Main Quad. Lighting the University Christmas Tree and the Main Quad, the University community will gather together to sing seasonal songs, enjoy live performers and hear the Christmas story ready by SMU President R. Gerald Turner.
  • Christmas Worship Service: SMU’s Perkins School of Theology celebrates its Christmas Worship Service Thursday, Dec. 4, at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. in Perkins Chapel. Under the theme “…waiting…hoping…”, Diva Dolce from Meadows School of the Arts and the Chancel Choir from Advent Lutheran Church directed by Peyton Strouth ’08 join Stefan Engels, professor of organ and Meadows’ Leah Fullinwider Centennial Chair in Music Performance, and the 40-voice Seminary Singers for a special performance. Next, Perkins Dean William Lawrence will preside with narration prepared by Professor of Christian Worship Mark Stamm. This service will honor composer and former instructor Jane M. Marshall on the occasion of her 90th birthday. For more information, email Professor C. Michael Hawn.

Gerald J. Ford to speak at SMU’s 2014 December Commencement on Dec. 20

Blue mortarboards at SMU December Commencement 2013. Photo by Guy RogersThe SMU community will celebrate the graduation of more than 600 students at its 2014 December Commencement Convocation on Saturday, Dec. 20. Entrepreneur and SMU Trustee Gerald J. Ford ’66, ’69 will give the address.

Ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. in Moody Coliseum with a student and faculty procession. Doors to the staging area in the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports open at 8:30 a.m., when formal portrait sessions will begin. Processional groups begin forming at 9:15 a.m.; doors close at 9:40 a.m.

Prior to the ceremony, there will be a faculty breakfast at 8:45 a.m. in the Miller Champions Club, Moody Coliseum. The Champions Club is located inside the new wing of Moody on Binkley Avenue. The faculty should assemble in academic dress no later than 9:45 a.m. in the Champions Club. RSVP for the Faculty Breakfast online or call 214-768-3417.

> Complete information for December Commencement candidates, guests and faculty from the SMU Registrar

The December Commencement Convocation is a formal ceremony open to degree candidates from all of SMU’s schools and professional programs. All participants must wear academic regalia; students without regalia will be directed to the SMU Bookstore to rent a cap and gown. No honor ribbons or other decorations or adornments may be worn to this ceremony, including messages or images on mortarboards.

Find complete rules for regalia at the University Registrar’s homepage

Gerald J. Ford

Gerald J. Ford

Gerald J. Ford is chairman of the board and principal shareholder of both the Diamond A Ford Corporation and Hilltop Holdings Inc., a Texas-based diversified financial holding company. He also is the co-managing member and principal investor in Ford Financial Fund II LP, a private equity firm.

Ford also is an owner of thoroughbred horse breeding and racing operations in Kentucky and California, and a working ranch in New Mexico. He is the former chairman of the board, CEO, and a principal shareholder of Golden State Bancorp Inc., and its wholly owned subsidiary, California Federal Bank FSB, a Federal Savings Bank that merged with Citigroup in 2002.

In October 2013, Ford and his wife, Kelli O. Ford, and The Gerald J. Ford Family Foundation committed $15 million as the lead gift to construct an SMU research center. The new state-of-the-art building will support research facilitated by SMU’s high-performance computing capabilities, among other projects. Previously, Ford has provided gifts for Gerald J. Ford Stadium, the Circle of Champions Centennial Challenge, and the Gerald J. Ford Research Fellows Program, which annually honors outstanding faculty members with funding to support their research and creative endeavors.

He is a member of the SMU Board of Trustees and a former Board chair, a member of the Executive Board of Dedman School of Law, a member of the Campaign Leadership Council and currently is the convening co-chair of SMU’s Second Century Campaign.

Ford earned a B.A. degree in economics from Dedman College in 1966 and a J.D. degree from what is now the Dedman School of Law in 1969. He was honored with SMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995 and the Mustang Award in 1997 recognizing significant philanthropic contributions to the University. He received the Dedman School of Law’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2002.

> Learn more about Gerald J. Ford

The ceremony lasts about two hours. No guest tickets are required, and free parking will be available throughout the campus. Find more information for students and guests at SMU’s December Commencement homepage: smu.edu/DecemberCommencement.

Faculty participation information
Complete instructions for candidates
Information for guests, including maps, travel discounts and more
Information for guests with disabilities
December Commencement simulcast and photo information

Calendar Highlights: Back to school in brief, Aug. 22, 2014

Dallas Hall stepsWelcome to the 2014-15 academic year, SMU community! Here are some Fall 2014 dates to remember:

  • Opening Convocation and Common Reading discussion: Sunday, Aug. 24
  • First day of classes: Monday, Aug. 25
  • General Faculty Meeting: 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27
  • Labor Day: Monday, Sept. 1 (University offices closed)
  • First Faculty Senate Meeting of 2014-15: 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3
  • Fall Break: Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 13-14
  • Family Weekend: Friday-Saturday, Oct. 24-25
  • Homecoming Weekend: Friday-Saturday, Nov. 14-15
  • Thanksgiving: Thursday-Friday, Nov. 27-28 (University offices closed)
  • Last day of classes: Monday, Dec. 8
  • Final exams: Thursday-Wednesday, Dec. 11-17 (no exams scheduled for Sunday)
  • December Commencement Convocation: Saturday, Dec. 20 (official close of term and date for conferral of degrees)
  • Christmas/Winter Break: Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014-Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015 (University offices closed)

Visit the SMU calendar to keep an eye on upcoming events. Learn how to submit your own events at this link.

Load More Posts