Reporters and researchers from around the world have visited SMU this year as Dallas prepares for the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. They’ve worked with faculty experts; examined archived speeches, sermons and letters to Dallas Mayor Earl Cabell from the days surrounding the assassination; and visited an undergraduate class exploring the life, times and legend of JFK.
Learn more about the scholarly analysis, one-of-a kind archival material and citywide leadership SMU is providing as the world gathers to remember that tragic day in Dealey Plaza. See video clips and news stories featuring SMU experts at University’s microsite, The JFK Assassination.
University staff members can learn more about everything from consumer rights in identity-theft cases to the new Residential Commons during SMU Staff DayThursday, Oct. 31 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center lower level.
Legendary Dallas journalist Hugh Aynesworth will introduce and moderate a panel of journalists who covered the historic events of November 1963, including Bob Huffaker, S. Griffin Singer and SMU Professor Emeritus of Journalism Darwin Payne.
The discussion begins at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2 in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. The event is free; however, tickets are required and must be reserved in advance by calling the Meadows Ticket Office at 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).
Hugh Aynesworth has been a reporter since 1948 and is widely considered the journalistic authority on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. As a reporter for The Dallas Morning News, he was an eyewitness to the assassination and covered every major event related to it, including the capture of Lee Harvey Oswald and his murder two days later by Jack Ruby. He is the author of November 22, 1963: Witness to History, published to mark the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination.
Bob Huffaker, a reporter for KRLD and CBS, broadcast the JFK motorcade, the Parkland vigil and the Oswald shooting. He also interviewed Oswald’s mother and covered Jack Ruby’s trial. The Radio Television News Directors Association awarded his KRLD team its top honor for spot reporting. Huffaker became an English professor, then a Texas Monthly editor. He is a co-author (with his colleagues Wes Wise, Bill Mercer and George Phenix) of When the News Went Live, which next week is being published in a 50th anniversary edition.
Darwin Payne taught journalism at SMU for 30 years and is now professor emeritus. His career in journalism began as a reporter for the Fort Worth Press, and at the time of the Kennedy assassination he was a reporter for The Dallas Times-Herald. He has written several books on Dallas history, as well as biographies of writers Owen Wister and Frederick Lewis Allen, U.S. Judge Sarah T. Hughes, and Dallas’ first African-American judge, Louis A. Bedford Jr. He is the author of In Honor of the Mustangs, the centennial history of SMU athletics, and currently is writing the centennial history of SMU.
S. Griffin (Griff) Singer has devoted almost 60 years to journalism, in practice and as an educator. He retired from the University of Texas School of Journalism in 2003 but still is active part-time; seven of his former students have won Pulitzer Prizes. As a reporter and editor, he has worked at the Arlington Citizen-Journal, The Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Light. A Dallas native, Singer was an assistant city editor at The Dallas Morning News at the time of the JFK assassination and the trial of Jack Ruby.
ENVISO (formerly the Irving Symphony) and the Division of Music in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts have launched a unique partnership in which a Meadows music composition student will be selected to serve each year as a composer-in-residence with the region’s only boutique professional symphony orchestra.
The new initiative is called the William H. Lively SMU Student Composer-in-Residence Program in honor of Bill Lively (’65), former CEO of the AT&T Performing Arts Center and current vice chancellor of strategic partnerships for the University of North Texas System.
“ENVISO’s unique partnership with SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, resulting in the creation of the Student Composer-in-Residence Program, is an extraordinary example of collaborative planning,” said Lively. ‘The program will support and celebrate young musicians who aspire to be among the next generation of American composers.”
“To our knowledge, this is the first such program of its kind between an orchestra and a university music department,” said Tracy Boyd, president of ENVISO.
The first student selected for the residency is sophomore Vince Gover (left). ENVISO will perform the world premiere of Gover’s Let Us Begin Anew… (titled with a quote from John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech) in a concert commemorating the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s presidential inauguration. The event begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, in the Irving Arts Center. Lively will introduce the celebration of Kennedy’s life, presidency and legacy, which will include archival video footage.
Though still an undergraduate, Gover has already received recognition for his compositions. In January, his work Children’s Suite was performed at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., by the Saxony-Anhalt Brass Quintet, an ensemble of principal performers from German orchestras. The quintet chose Gover’s work for their U.S. tour after discovering it through Gover’s high school music teacher. In addition, Gover’s Minute Fanfare was performed by the Meadows Wind Ensemble at its October concert at SMU.
“We are very excited about this new collaboration,” said Samuel Holland, director of the Meadows School Division of Music. “Our composition students have an opportunity to work with a professional orchestra and gain performance experience that will be invaluable to them in their careers.”