Calendar Highlights: March 1, 2011

Robert Richardson Jr.Cars fighting cancer: SMU alumnus and NASCAR driver Robert Richardson Jr. (pictured) will make an appearance at the kickoff for one of the biggest student-driven programs on the Hilltop. At 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 1 at the Main Quad flagpole, the 2004 graduate and current driver of the No. 37 North Texas Pipe Ford car will join the community to open the 2011 Relay For Life drive, which supports cancer prevention research and funding. Richardson earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in studio art with a minor in photography from SMU, but a brief stint at the Texas Motor Speedway‘s driving school convinced his instructor that he was racing material. For the past two years, he has qualified for “The Great American Race” – the Daytona 500. The 12-hour walkathon that caps the Relay For Life campaign will take place on the Boulevard 7 p.m.-7 a.m. April 15-16, where it will be part of SMU’s inaugural Founders’ Day celebration weekend.

Famed journalist to visit SMU: Former Dallas Morning News editorial writer, Pulitzer finalist and Communications Director for the National Science & Math Initiative Rena Pederson will visit campus for an Embrey Human Rights Program lecture this week. Pederson, who also wrote The Burma Chronicles on the life of Nobel Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, will deliver the lecture at McCord Auditorium at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 3. The event is free and no RSVP is required. For more information, visit or call 214-768-3284.

Brown Bag Dance returns: The Meadows School of the Arts‘ ever-popular Brown Bag Dance Series returns for the spring semester this week, as Division of Dance students explore multiple varieties of original jazz, ballet and modern works at lunchtime. The performances are at 12 noon every day this week (Feb 28-Mar 4) in the Bob Hope Theater Lobby of the Meadows building. Performances are free – bring your lunch. (Picture by Sarah Acosta/The Daily Mustang)

Brown Bag Dance SeriesFilm as politics: University of Maryland Professor Jeffrey Hurf will visit SMU this week for a presentation on an oft-overlooked piece of World War II history. His lecture, “Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World,” is a study of how Adolf Hitler’s propaganda team created an indoctrination plan previously unknown to the Allied Forces. An entirely new and separate campaign was spread throughout the Middle East, exploiting multiple cultural rifts between Judaism and Islam to further Arab hatred against the Jewish people – some elements of which still exist today. The lecture will take place at 3 p.m. Friday, March 4 in Lawyer’s Inn, first floor, Carr Collins Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public, but e-mail RSVPs are required. Send your response here.