SMU prepares for Bush Presidential Center opening

Bush Center welcome graphicSMU is preparing to celebrate the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and welcome the worldwide visitors who will attend dedication events on campus April 24-26, 2013. The Bush Center, located on a 23-acre site on the east side of campus, houses the Presidential Library and Museum and the George W. Bush Institute. The Library and Museum will open to the public Wednesday, May 1.

Due to space limitations, attendance at the dedication ceremony planned by the Bush Center Thursday, April 25 is by invitation only. The invited guests expected to attend include President Barack Obama and former presidents George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, along with other government officials from the administration of George W. Bush.

The ceremony will be streamed at Residents of University Park and Highland Park also can view the ceremonies on SMU-TV, Channel 19.

> Visit the George W. Bush Presidential Center website

Although dedication events will bring a large number of special visitors to campus, SMU will remain open so that teaching will continue uninterrupted. To accommodate class attendance, alternative transportation and parking plans are available at Faculty, staff and students with parking questions may e-mail or call 214-768-7275.

“While classes will continue as normal, the entire SMU family should expect that our routines will be altered temporarily,” said Brad Cheves, vice president for development and external affairs. “We are honored to be serving in a hospitality role for this once-in-a-lifetime event and to welcoming visitors to campus who ordinarily would not become familiar with SMU. We are looking forward to showing what makes our University special and a fitting location for the historical resources of the Bush Presidential Center.”

Events for students, faculty and staff include:

April 25: Watch a simulcast of the Dedication Ceremony
The SMU community will have the opportunity to watch a simulcast of the formal dedication ceremony at McFarlin Auditorium (SMU ID required). Doors open at 9 a.m. Faculty, staff and students should register here. An outdoor Jumbotron north of University Boulevard, near the Dedman Life Sciences Building and the Late Fountain, also will show the proceedings. Faculty, staff and students also may watch the dedication at 9 a.m. CDT online at or on Park Cities Cable Channel 19.

April 25: SMU Boulevard Block Party
During the evening of April 25, students, faculty and staff have been invited to attend the SMU Boulevard Block Party and Lighting of Freedom Hall. If you registered for the block party, you must pick up your tickets in advance at the Hughes-Trigg Mane Desk at any of the times noted below. The first 500 students to pick up their tickets will receive commemorative Croakies; the first 1,000 people to pick up their tickets will receive a commemorative T-shirt.

  • Monday, April 22: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 23: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 24: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 25: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

April 29: SMU Day at the Bush Presidential Center
April 29 is a special preview day at the Bush Presidential Library and Museum for SMU faculty, staff and students. All available spaces have been taken. Visit for more information.

Please note that SMU IDs are needed for SMU students, faculty and staff to enter events during the week of the Bush Center dedication.

Please send parking questions to and other questions to

> Find more information on the George W. Bush Presidential Center opening

Tune In: SMU welcomes the Bush Library on Founders’ Day 2013

The 43rd president of the United States was the unadvertised guest of honor Friday, April 19, 2013 at an outdoor ceremony welcoming the George W. Bush Presidential Center to campus. More than 3,000 SMU alumni, students, faculty and staff cheered and waved as Bush strode to the speaker’s platform and later expressed his thanks to the University.

“Laura, SMU class of 1968, and I are thrilled with our association with Southern Methodist University,” Bush said. “We had high expectations about the collaborative effort and the joint programs. Those expectations have been exceeded in a very short period of time.”

SMU is preparing to welcome the worldwide visitors who will attend dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center events on campus April 24-26. Click the YouTube screen to watch the welcome event video, or visit this link to open video of SMU’s welcome ceremony for the Bush Presidential Center in a new windowvideo

> Read more about the welcome event from SMU News
> Find complete information (parking, traffic and more) on the Bush Library opening

SMU prepares for Founders’ Day 2013, Bush Center dedication

SMU President R. Gerald Turner sent the following information to students, faculty and staff regarding SMU Founders’ Day and the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center:

April 2013 will be a month for history-making at SMU, as the George W. Bush Presidential Center is dedicated.  Although the dedication will bring an unprecedented influx of special visitors to campus, the University will remain open on dedication day, Thursday, April 25, so that the core function of teaching will continue uninterrupted.

CentennialOn SMU’s Founders’ Day, Friday, April 19, students, faculty and staff are invited to a mid-day celebration on the Quad serving as official welcome to the George W. Bush Presidential Center. That afternoon the University will also welcome several hundred SMU alumni and parents to “Inside SMU,” a program of short classes with faculty, and other events.

From Wednesday, April 24, through Friday, April 26, the George W. Bush Presidential Center will be dedicated with a series of events planned by the Bush Foundation. Dedication events are by invitation only, primarily for officials who served in the Bush administration, dignitaries and partners of the Bush Center. However, students, faculty and staff are invited to watch a simulcast of the dedication in McFarlin Auditorium on Thursday, April 25, starting at 9 a.m. for check-in and ending at noon. In addition, as with the groundbreaking of the Bush Center, SMU will erect an outdoor screen for another viewing opportunity.  In the afternoon, several University libraries and the Meadows Museum will hold open houses that students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend. We hope that Bush Center visitors will stroll around the campus to enjoy our welcoming environment and special resources.

The SMU Boulevard Block Party and Lighting of Freedom Hall, April 25, for faculty, staff and students, on the intramural field, starting at 6 p.m., co-sponsored by the Bush Center and the University. This will be a festive, entertainment-filled event with special guests and surprises and will culminate with the lighting of Freedom Hall atop the Bush Center.

A special SMU Day at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. On Monday, April 29, this historic facility will be open just to SMU students, faculty and staff, in advance of the public opening May 1. In addition, while general visitors to the Library and Museum must purchase tickets, admission will remain free for faculty, staff and students with valid campus IDs. It’s just one way that the SMU community is being thanked for our partnership with the Bush Center in supporting its construction, dedication and ongoing operations. Students should watch their e-mail for more information on these opportunities.

Compiled by Sarah Hanan

SMU faculty members mentor first Women’s Initiative Fellows

Eighteen SMU faculty members taught or mentored in the Women’s Initiative Fellowship Program of the George W. Bush Institute in 2012.

Under the program, 14 Egyptian women received leadership training “designed to empower women to transform their countries,” says Charity Wallace, director of the GWBI Women’s Initiative.

At SMU February 13-19, the fellows began their experience with leadership courses on topics such as influence without authority, negotiation, advocacy, and building teams and networks. SMU faculty in business, anthropology, communications, political science, law and education taught the courses. Several members of SMU faculty and staff also provided consultation in the development of the program and its curriculum.

The inaugural class of Egyptian women ranged in age from 23 to 52 and represented professions such as education, health, business, politics, law and media. They included both Muslims and Christians.

In addition to their SMU courses, the fellows visited local organizations such as Genesis Women’s Shelter and the Dallas Women’s Foundation to learn practical applications of their classroom work. The fellows also traveled to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., for additional training and mentoring.

“Working with the Egyptian women’s fellowship program was one of the best experiences I have had as a member of the SMU faculty,” says Linda Eads, law professor and associate provost, a mentor through the program. “The leadership training provided by the Cox Executive Education faculty was outstanding, and the substantive seminars provided by many faculty in other SMU schools were superb.

“The best part was meeting and interacting with the Egyptian women who were selected to participate,” Eads adds. “Each one has already accomplished so much in Egypt. Some are active in journalism, some in providing help for Egyptian women suffering domestic abuse, some in improving the Egyptian legal system. These women are inspiring.”

Eads began mentoring a young lawyer from Alexandria during her visit and communicates regularly with her since her return to Egypt, she says. “She and I are working together to expand her network and her knowledge.”

Other SMU faculty involved in the program include:

  • Patty Alvey, Temerlin Advertising Institute, Meadows School of the Arts
  • Cheryl Butler, Dedman School of Law
  • Jay Carson, Management and Organizations, Cox School of Business
  • Kimberly Davis, Executive Education, Cox School of Business
  • Ernest Jouriles, Psychology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
  • Sheri Locklear Kunovich, Sociology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
  • LaiYee Leong, John G. Tower Center for Political Studies, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
  • Renee McDonald, Psychology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
  • Maria Minniti, Entrepreneurship, Cox School of Business
  • Neena Newberry, Executive Education, Cox School of Business
  • Tony Pederson, Journalism, Meadows School of the Arts
  • Robin Pinkley, Management and Organizations, Cox School of Business
  • Mickey Quiñones, Management and Organizations, Cox School of Business
  • Dan Schill, Communication Studies, Meadows School of the Arts
  • Francesca Spinelli, Management and Organizations, Cox School of Business
  • Carolyn Smith-Morris, Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
  • Paige Ware, Teaching and Learning, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

The Women’s Initiative is a major project of the George W. Bush Institute, which since 2010 has conducted several symposia on campus focusing on economic growth, global health, human freedom, and education, including literacy and economic opportunity for the women of Afghanistan. Future Women’s Initiative fellows programs will include women from various areas of the world, with a current concentration on the Middle East.

Above, the George W. Bush Institute has posted a highlight video from the 2012 Women’s Initiative Fellowship Program featuring former First Lady Laura Bush ’68. Click the YouTube screen to watch, or click here to see the Women’s Initiative Fellowship Program video in a new windowvideo

> Visit the George W. Bush Presidential Center online

Jeffrey Engel named SMU’s Director of Presidential History Projects

Jeffrey A. Engel, new director of Presidential History Projects at SMUJeffrey A. Engel, an award-winning American history scholar, has been selected as SMU’s new director of Presidential History Projects and associate professor of presidential studies in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Engel will join SMU on July 1, 2012, from Texas A&M University, where he serves as an associate professor of history and public policy and as the Verlin and Howard Kruse ’52 Founders Professor. Engel also has served as director of programming for the Scowcroft Institute for International Affairs at Texas A&M.

Engel’s wife, Katherine C. Engel, also will join the Dedman College faculty as an associate professor of religious studies. She currently serves as an associate professor of history at Texas A&M and as an affiliate fellow of the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University.

In addition to his role as a tenured faculty member of SMU’s William P. Clements Department of History, Jeffrey Engel will be the founding director of the SMU Presidential History Project. The director will oversee a team of scholars who will interview individuals involved in formulating and implementing U.S. presidential policies.

“With the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in the near future, it is fitting that SMU have an academic center devoted to the study of the presidency,” said SMU Provost Paul Ludden. “With his broad range of experience and outstanding academic credentials, Dr. Jeffrey Engel is the perfect choice to lead this new effort. Engel is recognized for his insightful writings on the presidency. Most recently, he received the Bernath Lecture Prize as the outstanding young historian writing on foreign affairs.

“At the same time, we are pleased to welcome Katherine Engel, one of the rising young scholars of American religious history working in the field today. Her transnational approach to the study of religion, deploying numerous languages and work on several continents, sets the standard for interdisciplinary scholarship.”

Jeffrey Engel received a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2001, and a Master of Arts in American history from Wisconsin-Madison in 1996. He graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts in history and attended St. Catherine’s College at Oxford University in 1994.  He was also a John M. Olin Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University’s program in International Security Studies.

“I am honored indeed to join SMU’s prestigious faculty, filled with scholars engaged in studying the United States and beyond,” Jeffrey Engel said. “The American presidency has in many ways become a global office in the 20th century and beyond. I look forward to working with my SMU colleagues to explore the innumerable ways presidents have shaped our country, and our world.”

Jeffrey Engel is the editor of Into the Desert: Reflections on the Gulf War (Oxford University Press, 2012); The Fall of the Berlin Wall: The Revolutionary Legacy of 1989 (Oxford University Press, 2009); The China Diary of George H.W. Bush: The Making of a Global President (Princeton University Press, 2008); and Local Consequences of the Global Cold War (Stanford University Press and Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2008).

He is the author of Cold War at 30,000 Feet: The Anglo-American Fight for Aviation Supremacy (Harvard University Press, 2007), which received the American Historical Association’s 2008 Paul Birdsall Prize, awarded biannually to honor important work in European military and strategic history. In addition, he is the author or co-author of 40 academic and professional articles and book reviews and has presented more than 40 scholarly presentations and lectures on American foreign relations, international relations and military history to more than 25 universities and professional associations. Currently, he is writing When the World Seemed New: American Foreign Policy in the Age of George H.W. Bush, to be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Katherine C. Engel, associate professor of religious studies at SMUKatherine Engel has served as an assistant professor of history at Rutgers University and holds a prestigious Charles A. Ryskamp Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. Her recent research has focused on international Protestantism during the American Revolution.

She is the author of the prize-winning Religion and Profit: Moravians in Early America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009) and numerous articles and book chapters.

She holds both a Ph.D. (2003) and a Master of Arts (1996) in American history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received a Bachelor of Arts in history from Haverford College in 1994.

> Read the full story from SMU News

Condoleezza Rice will be SMU’s 97th Commencement speaker

Condoleezza RiceFormer U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will deliver the address at SMU’s 97th Commencement ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 12, 2012, in Moody Coliseum.

SMU expects to award approximately 2,100 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees in the University-wide ceremony. Rice will receive one of two honorary degrees to be conferred in the ceremony.

Rice has achieved prominence in both government service and higher education. She currently holds three positions at Stanford University: professor of political economy in the Graduate School of Business, Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, and professor of political science.

“Dr. Rice has led a distinguished career as a scholar, academic administrator and public official,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “As a public official, she served our country during a time of unique challenges. As a teacher-scholar, she is devoted to the education of talented young people. She is well suited to provide compelling and wide-ranging perspectives as SMU’s Commencement speaker.”

Rice earned her Bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Denver, a Master’s from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Her academic career began in 1981 when she joined the Stanford faculty. A dedicated teacher, she has received two of the university’s highest teaching awards. She rose through the faculty ranks to serve as Stanford provost from 1993-99, the first woman and first African American to hold that position.

Rice’s first experience in government service came in 1989, when she left Stanford for Washington to serve for two years on the National Security Council staff under President George H.W. Bush. She was the president’s special assistant for national security affairs during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and reunification of Germany.

After returning to Stanford in 1991, Rice served as provost for six years before again joining public service on the staff of President George W. Bush. She was the president’s national security adviser from 2001-05. She then served from 2005-09 as the nation’s 66th secretary of state, the second woman and the first African American woman to hold the post.

Rice currently serves as chair of the Board of Advisers of the Bush Institute, part of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the SMU campus.

Philosopher Nancy CartwrightDuring the 2012 Commencement ceremony, SMU will confer an honorary Doctor of Laws degree upon Rice and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters upon Nancy Cartwright (right), considered one of the most important and influential contemporary philosophers of science. Cartwright, who earned her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, is a professor in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics.

The author of seven books, Cartwright has produced path-breaking work on issues such as the nature of physical laws, causation and scientific reasoning. She is a pioneer of today’s practice-based philosophy of science and helped develop the philosophy of social policy, economics, sociology, medicine, epidemiology and political science.

> Read the full story from SMU News
> Visit the Registrar’s Commencement homepage

Breaking New Ground: Presenting the George W. Bush Presidential Center

The George W. Bush Presidential Center presents a special exhibit at the Meadows Museum at SMU that will display some of the historic treasures from the George W. Bush presidency, including the bullhorn President Bush used when he visited Ground Zero on Sept. 14, 2001. Visitors will be introduced to the planned features of the Bush Center, including design renderings, landscape features and an architectural model. Visitors will also learn about the work of the Bush Institute and key archives of the Presidential Library.

The exhibit is free to the public and will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 23, 2010-Feb. 6, 2011.

Former president, First Lady to receive Tower Center Medal of Freedom

Laura and George W. BushFormer President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush (’68) will each receive the Medal of Freedom from SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies in Dedman College during formal ceremonies April 21, 2010. The Medal of Freedom is presented every two years to an individual, or individuals, who have furthered the cause of freedom throughout the world.

“During one of the most challenging times in the nation’s history, President and Mrs. Bush worked tirelessly to promote freedom initiatives throughout the world, and they continue those efforts through programs at the George W. Bush Presidential Center,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “We are proud to present them with the Tower Center Medal of Freedom.”

The Tower Center supports teaching and research programs in international and domestic politics with an emphasis on global studies and national security policy. Additionally, it educates undergraduates in international relations, comparative politics and political institutions.

The Tower Center Medal of Freedom recognizes individuals who have contributed to the advancement of democratic ideals and to the security, prosperity and welfare of humanity. This year’s event chairs are Gene Jones, Linda Gibbons and Nancy Halbreich.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell received the first Tower Center Medal of Freedom in 1997. Other recipients include former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, former President George H. W. Bush, General Tommy R. Franks (U.S.A., Ret.), U.S. Senator John McCain and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The Tower Center Medal of Freedom event is the largest fundraiser for the Tower Center. The Center sponsors several conferences a year, works with other international organizations such as the Dallas Council on World Affairs, and supports faculty research and travel. Each year the Tower Center Board of Directors awards undergraduate fellowships to SMU students interested in studying in Washington, D.C., or in U.S. embassies abroad. Another Tower Center program places SMU students in summer internships in the U.S. State Department.

“President and Mrs. Bush honor not only the Tower Center and SMU by accepting this award, but also the late Sen. John Tower,” said James Hollifield, director of the Tower Center and professor of political science. “Security, prosperity and human freedom – ideals important to Sen. Tower – were marks of their tenure in the White House.”

The Tower Center was established in memory and honor of former U.S. Sen. John Tower, who earned a master’s degree in political science from SMU in 1953. He also taught in the Political Science Department after his retirement from the Senate. Tower represented Texas in the U.S. Senate from 1961 to 1985. He served as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and, after retiring from the Senate, as U.S. strategic nuclear arms negotiator with the Soviet Union in Geneva. He died in 1991.