Tune In: SMU welcomes the Class of 2020

Denise Gee

Tune In: SMU welcomes the Class of 2020

SMU welcomed new students to the Hilltop in August with five days of learning, bonding and exploring their new home. Throughout the week, University reporters and photographers captured the Class of 2020 at Mustang Corral and in the Discover Dallas program.

Opening Convocation

Now their photos, social media posts, and a new video by SMU News’ Myles Taylor are gathered at one link. Visit SMU News for many more dispatches from Move-in Day, Camp Corral, the 2016 Opening Convocation, the making of the class photo and more.

> Relive the SMU Class of 2020’s week of welcome here

August 31, 2016|Tune In|

SMU’s Tower Center hosts prominent experts to discuss ‘The Rise of ISIS’ at a public event Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015

'Black Flags, The Rise of ISIS' book coverISIS conquered vast stretches of territory in Iraq and Syria during the past year. The Iraqi Army dissolved in its path, despite years of training and billions of dollars of U.S. aid, raising a series of questions:

  • Why did ISIS succeed where other terrorist groups have failed?
  • Why was Iraq unable to stop it?
  • What are the consequences for U.S. national security and strategy in the Middle East?

The authors of two compelling new books will discuss “The Rise of ISIS” at a public discussion at SMU Thursday, Nov. 5. The free event, sponsored by the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, takes place 5:30-7:30 p.m. in Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall. To RSVP, e-mail the Tower Center.

> Follow the Tower Center on Twitter: @SMUTowerCenter

Joshua RovnerTower Center Distinguished Chair of International Politics and National Security Joshua Rovner, author of the award-winning book Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Cornell University Press 2011), will serve as event moderator. Rovner calls the guest speakers “superstars from journalism and academia”:

Joby WarrickJoby Warrick, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and investigative reporter for The Washington Post, who is an expert on intelligence, diplomacy and security in the Middle East and South Asia. His new book, Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS (Doubleday 2015), chronicles the rapid rise of a strain of militant Islam, born in a remote Jordanian prison and spread with the unwitting aid of two American presidents.

Warrick also is author of The Triple Agent (Doubleday 2011), the true story of an al-Qaeda spy who led the CIA into a deadly trap at Khost, Afghanistan, in 2009.

> Listen to Joby Warrick talk about Black Flags on NPR’s “Fresh Air” audio or podcast

Caitlin TalmadgeCaitlin Talmadge, professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she is an expert on national security and military operations. Talmadge also has been a Council of Foreign Relations fellow and a consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense.

'The Dictator's Army' book coverHer ground-breaking new book, The Dictator’s Army: Battlefield Effectiveness in Authoritarian Regimes (Cornell University Press 2015), offers an important new argument about why authoritarian militaries sometimes fight very well — or very poorly. Talmadge also is co-author of U.S. Defense Politics: The Origins of Security Policy (Routledge 2008).

For more information, visit the Tower Center website or call 214-768-3954.

Visit the Tower Center on Facebook: facebook.com/towercenter

– Denise Gee

November 5, 2015|Calendar Highlights, For the Record, News|

Lyda Hill receives SMU’s 2015 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award

Lyda HillLyda Hill, whose philanthropy is guided by the credo that “science is the answer,” received the 2015 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award from SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility at a luncheon on Thursday, April 2 at Dallas’ Belo Mansion. The annual award honors a community leader who exemplifies ethical, inspiring leadership.

Hill, president of the real estate, tourism and venture investment firm LH Holdings, and granddaughter of oilman H. L. Hunt, has spent her life dedicated to what she calls “balancing profit with a purpose.”

“I really believe that whether we’re talking hunger, poverty, cancer, you name it, science is where we’ll find the answers,” she told Philanthropy in 2014, adding that her focus is on “things that are going to make a big difference to a lot of people for a long time.”

“Over the past several years Lyda’s zest for adventure has been surpassed by the sheer joy she derives from making transformational gifts to organizations and causes dedicated to making Dallas a better community in which to live and work,” says Bobby B. Lyle ’67, vice-chairman of the Maguire Center advisory board, longtime SMU trustee and namesake of SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering.

Lyle says Hill “has set audacious goals for her philanthropy,” with interests ranging from education to medical research to healthcare and human services for the elderly. “In whatever she undertakes, she sets the bar high and leads by example,” he says. “Many of her gifts are given quietly, without fanfare. Others are legendary. And all are having a tremendous positive impact on lives throughout our city and across the nation.”

In 2010 Hill became a member of The Giving Pledge, created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett to encourage the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to commit a majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Hill has pledged to donate all of her assets to charity, the bulk of it during her lifetime. She was recognized in 2013 as the only single woman on the Philanthropy list of most generous donors, having now given an estimated hundreds of millions of dollars to “game-changing” charities primarily focused on life-sciences research.

Rita Kirk, director of the Maguire Center, notes that Hill quotes Walt Disney on her foundation’s website. “Like Disney, Lyda Hill makes it ‘fun to do the impossible.’ She understands the strategic use of her resources, the magic created when people dare to dream greatly, and the impact strategic giving can have on our community – and even the world.”

Hill was a founder of the Oklahoma Breast Care Center as well as Remeditex Ventures, which supports early biomedical research by universities and health care institutions “that can take promising advances to the marketplace quickly,” she says.

Her philanthropic support of the life sciences includes her $50 million gift pledged to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Moon Shots Program, which aims to eliminate cancer through improved cancer-detection techniques and therapeutic treatments that Hill, a breast cancer survivor, hopes will “break cancer’s code.”

Hill also has donated $20 million to her alma mater, The Hockaday School, to fund a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program; $10 million to the “I Stand for Parkland” capital campaign; and $6 million in pledges to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and the Center for Brain Health to help military service members and veterans recover from traumatic brain injuries.

Hill has helped a variety of environmental/marine conservation efforts through the Nature Conservancy and Pew Charitable Trusts. She also has supported such community-revitalization projects as Klyde Warren Park, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge (named for her mother) and The Trinity Trust.

Past winners of the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award, now in its 18th year, include 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 Denise Gee

> Read the full story from SMU News

April 1, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News|

Dedman School of Law honors five as 2015 Distinguished Alumni

Five successful legal, business and public service professionals were honored with the highest awards given by SMU’s Dedman School of Law at its 28th annual Distinguished Law Alumni Awards Thursday, March 19, 2015.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is the most prestigious award Dedman Law can bestow upon its alumni. An alumni committee selects recipients who are standouts in their respective fields, and an honorary award given at the invitation-only ceremony also acknowledges exceptional service to the law school.

This year’s awards and recipients were:

Mary Elizabeth Cedillo-PereiraMary Elizabeth Cedillo-Pereira ’99, 2015 Distinguished Alumni Emerging Leader Award – “Liz” Cedillo-Pereira is the managing attorney with Cedillo-Pereira and Associates PLLC, an immigration and nationality law practice that represents individuals, families, businesses and government entities. She is board certified in immigration and nationality law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and lectures on immigration law as a faculty member with the UT School of Law Immigration Law conference and the State Bar of Texas Immigration law course. In 2007 she co-founded the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Dallas’ “Know Your Rights” project for detained individuals. She also is a member of AILA’s Military Assistance Program as well as Dream Defenders.

Siriporn ChaiyasutaSiriporn Chaiyasuta ’85, 2015 Distinguished Global Alumni Award – Based in London, Chaiyasuta is general counsel for Chevron Europe, Eurasia and Middle East Exploration & Production Limited. She leads a team of more than 50 lawyers and manages Chevron’s legal portfolio for all exploration and production business in the region, harboring the world’s most productive oil and gas basins in 14 countries of the North Sea and Caspian Region of the Middle East, including the United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, Greenland, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Her many awards and honors include the “Royal Decoration Knight Grand Cross” (First Class) of Direkgunabhon and Thailand’s “In-House Counsel of the Year” Award.

G. Michael GruberG. Michael Gruber ’81, 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award for Private Practice – “Mike” Gruber is a founding partner of Gruber Hurst Johansen Hail Shank LLP. Primarily a defense attorney, his successes include a $125 million dollar judgment involving Blockbuster in favor of its first major investors, a $30 million dollar verdict against Shell Oil in a fraud case, and a more than $18 million dollar verdict against pharmaceutical company Hoffman-Laroche in one of the largest sexual harassment verdicts in the country. This year, he took the soon-to-be decided Wellness v. Sharif case, on bankruptcy court and federal magistrate jurisdiction, to the U.S. Supreme Court. He has received the Sager Award from The Minority Corporate Counsel Association, which recognizes the Southwest’s most diverse law firms. He has also been named a “Texas Super Lawyer” for more than 10 years and, since 2008, D Magazine has recognized him as a “Best Lawyer in Dallas” for business litigation.

William O. Holston Jr.William O. Holston, Jr., ’81, 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award for Public Service – “Bill” Holston is executive director of Human Rights Initiative (HRI) of North Texas. Before joining HRI in 2012 he volunteered his services for the organization, founded in 2000 to provide legal and support services to refugees and immigrants who have suffered human rights abuses, as well as to advocate for justice and promote international human rights. In 1997, he received the “Outstanding Political Asylum Lawyer Award” from the Dallas Bar Association; in 2002, the “Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award” from the Dallas Bar Association’s Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program; in 2005, the “Angel of Freedom Award” from HRI; and in 2014, the “President’s Award” from the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association.

Joseph W. McKnightJoseph W. McKnight, 2015 Honorary Alumnus Award – “Joe” McKnight, Professor Emeritus of Law and Larry and Jane Harlan Faculty Fellow Emeritus at SMU Dedman School of Law, has made historic contributions to legal scholarship and law reform in Texas. Before joining the law faculty at SMU in 1955, he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas before serving as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where he received a B.A. degree, a B.C.L. degree, and an M.A. degree. Professor McKnight would later receive his LL.M. degree from Columbia University. McKnight is a nationally recognized authority on legal history and family and marital property law. He and co-author, W.A. Reppy, Jr., have produced ten editions of their 1983 casebook, Texas Matrimonial Property Law, and McKnight was general editor and author of Creditor’s Rights in Texas.

Additionally, McKnight directed the Texas Family Code project, helping achieve significant reform, and was the principal drafter of the Texas Matrimonial Property Act, recognizing property rights of married women. He also has been a major drafter of other important Texas statutes.

During the past six decades, McKnight established and contributed to an invaluable collection of rare legal books at SMU Dedman Law. The collection is one of the largest of its kind in the nation, with the collection’s oldest book published in 1481.

Written by Denise Gee

> Read the full story from SMU News

March 20, 2015|For the Record, News|

$1.5 million gift establishes SMU endowed chair in the legal rights and protection of children

Jack D. Knox

Jack D. Knox ’60, ’63

A $1.5 million gift from North Texas business leader Jack D. Knox ’60 ’63 will establish a new endowed professorship in SMU’s Dedman School of Law.

The Jack Knox Chair in the Rights and Protection of Children will support teaching, research and publishing on legal issues related to protecting the welfare and legal rights of children.

“Jack Knox’s gift will enable the law school to further its teaching and scholarship on children’s rights,” said SMU Judge James Noel Dean and Professor of Law Jennifer M. Collins. Dean Collins joined the Law School in July 2014 as an academic leader and nationally recognized scholar on the intersection of family and criminal law. “Endowment gifts like this provide critical support for our commitment to excellence in the classroom and continued cutting-edge, impactful work by our faculty.”

“We are deeply grateful to Mr. Knox for his gift, which not only will make a difference in the lives of children but also will advance the academic offerings of one of the nation’s top law schools,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Our law graduates will be more aware of the important social and personal issues affecting children and will be trained in protecting their legal rights.”

Knox, a native of Weatherford, Texas, received a B.A. degree in English from SMU in 1960 and a J.D. degree from what is now Dedman School of Law in 1963. In 2011, Knox was honored with the Robert G. Storey Award for Distinguished Achievement, the highest honor bestowed by the Law School. He is general partner of Six Flags Over Texas Fund Ltd., a private limited investment group overseeing real estate assets of Six Flags Over Texas. He also is owner of Café Pacific Restaurants Inc., parent company of the popular restaurant, which has been based in Dallas’ Highland Park Village for 34 years.

“It’s an honor to help my alma mater empower the next generation of legal professionals by providing them with a strong understanding of what the issues are and the knowledge and drive to develop better laws and policies to protect children’s welfare and rights,” Knox said.

The Jack Knox Chair counts toward the $1 billion goal of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, and advances the campaign’s goal to reach 110 endowed faculty positions. To date the campaign has raised more than $902 million to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience.

Written by Denise Gee

> Read the full story from SMU News

 

October 24, 2014|News|
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