McFarlin Auditorium

Staff Celebration and Convocation scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017

The SMU Staff Association, in collaboration with the Office of Operational Excellence, has created a new Staff Celebration and Convocation program honoring SMU staff excellence. The ceremony is for all SMU staff members and will take place at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017 in McFarlin Auditorium.

President R. Gerald Turner will give his traditional State of SMU address as the keynote during the event. University Registrar John Hall, SMU’s longest-serving staff member, will be the featured speaker.

Staff members who have achieved 25 years of service to SMU will be honored, as well as the 2017 Presidential and Loretta Hawkins Award recipients. The ceremony with also recognize staff members who have continued their SMU service beyond 25 years, and previous Presidential and Loretta Hawkins Award recipients.

A reception with light refreshments will precede the ceremony at 10 a.m. For more information, visit the SMU Staff Association website.

SMU’s 2017 Honors Convocation and Hilltop Excellence Awards take place Monday, April 17

Honors Convocation 2016SMU’s annual celebration of high achievement in academics and community life takes place during the 2017 Honors Convocation and Hilltop Excellence AwardsMonday, April 17.

The 20th annual Honors Convocation begins at 5:30 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium, and the Hilltop Excellence Awards ceremony takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater.

> Coming April 17: Watch Honors Convocation live on the web at smu.edu/live

SMU reserves one Monday each April to celebrate the achievements of students, faculty, staff members, trustees and administrators in the two ceremonies. The Honors Convocation recognizes academic achievement at the University and department levels.

Read the full list of SMU’s 2017 Honors Convocation award and honors recipients

Jo GuldiThis year’s convocation speaker is Jo Guldi, assistant professor of history in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. A native Dallasite, Guldi studies the history of Great Britain and the British Empire, landscape history, legal history, property law, infrastructure, digital methods, international development, and agrarian studies. As a digital and data historian, she also oversees the lecture series “Data is Made Up of Stories: University-wide Futures From the Digital Humanities,” offered through the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute. Among other things, the series illustrates how text mining is used across different disciplines – from digital mapping of the transatlantic slave trade to an app that captures the inspiration for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Guldi is the designer of Paper Machines, a free, open-source software toolkit that allows users to visualize large amounts of text for historical and political analysis over time and space, without requiring special computational resources or technical knowledge. She is the author of Roads to Power: Britain Invents the Infrastructure State (2012, Harvard University Press) and co-author with David Armitage of The History Manifesto (2014, Cambridge University Press), currently being translated for publication in six languages. She graduated from Harvard with an A.B. degree in literature, earned her Ph.D. in history from the University of California-Berkeley and was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital History at the University of Chicago. She was also a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows and served a fellowship in the metaLAB (at) Harvard. Prior to joining SMU, she served as an assistant professor of history at Brown University.

Find more information on Honors Convocation

Retired and current faculty members will assemble for Honors Convocation in academic dress no later than 5:10 p.m. on the third floor of McFarlin Auditorium. The faculty procession will begin at 5:30 p.m. A reception will immediately follow the ceremony on the Main Quad.

Participating faculty members may RSVP online by Thursday, April 13, 2017. Faculty members with questions regarding the procession can e-mail ceremonies@smu.edu or call 214-768-3417.

Later, the University will present several awards for excellence – including its highest honor, the “M” Award – during the 2017 Hilltop Excellence Awards. The ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater. Hilltop Excellence Awards honorees will be listed in SMU Forum the day after the ceremony.

Follow SMU Student Activities @SMUStuAct for live updates from the ceremony, and share your Twitter and Instagram posts from the Hilltop Excellence Awards with the #HilltopExcellence hashtag.

Learn more about the Hilltop Excellence Awards from SMU Student Life

Humans of New York creator Brandon Stanton will speak in SMU’s 2016-17 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series Tuesday, March 7

Brandon Stanton, in colorBrandon Stanton, the creator and bestselling author of the Humans of New York series, will deliver the Ebby Halliday Companies Lecture in SMU’s Willis M. Tate Lecture Series Tuesday, March 7, 2017. The lecture will begin at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

Stanton studied at the University of Georgia and worked as a bond trader in Chicago before starting Humans of New York – a photography and storytelling blog – in the summer of 2010. What began as a project to photograph 10,000 people on the streets of New York City became much more as Stanton started to add quotes and interviews to his portraits and providing “daily glimpses into the lives of strangers.” Since then, HONY has built a following of close to 20 million fans across several social media platforms.

> Follow Brandon Stanton on Twitter: @HumansOfNY

In addition, Stanton has appeared on “Ellen,” “Good Morning America,” “Nightline,” MSNBC and CNN, and has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Mashable and dozens of other media venues.

He has also been named a “person of the week” on “The ABC Evening News with Diane Sawyer,” named to TIME Magazine’s “30 Under 30 Who Are Changing the World,” and has photographed President Obama in the Oval Office. He has taken his work to some of the world’s most remote and troubled regions, and has used the storytelling power of his site to raise money for several life-changing altruistic purposes.

Stanton is the author of two #1 New York Times bestsellers, Humans Of New York (2013) and Humans Of New York: Stories (2015), as well as the children’s book bestseller Little Humans (2014).

> Visit Humans of New York online: humansofnewyork.com

All SMU community members are invited to the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 7, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m. Tweet questions for Brandon Stanton to #SMUtate.

Tickets for the evening event are sold out. However, students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

> Follow the Tate Series on social media: Twitter – @SMUtate | Instagram – @smutate

> Participate in a student #HumansOfSMU project:

Astronaut Scott Kelly to deliver Tate Distinguished Lecture at SMU Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016

Captain Scott KellyCaptain Scott Kelly, the first American astronaut to complete a year-long mission in space, will speak at the Tolleson Lecture of the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016 in McFarlin Auditorium.

Kelly took flight on Expedition 46 to the International Space Station in March 2015. During his year in space, he helped lay the groundwork for the future of space travel and exploration. He also shared hundreds of pictures and messages with the world on Twitter and Instagram.

This historic mission also included a NASA study of twins in space: Kelly’s identical twin, retired NASA astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly, was stationed on the ground as a control model in an experiment to understand how space affects the human body.

> Follow Scott Kelly on Twitter: @StationCDRKelly

Kelly earned his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the State University of New York Maritime College in 1987 and a Master of Science degree in aviation systems from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1996. Before becoming an astronaut in April 1996, Kelly was a captain in the U.S. Navy.

Captain Kelly’s memoir, Endurance: My Year in Space and Our Journey to Mars, has been optioned by Sony Pictures and will be published in fall 2017.

All SMU community members are invited to the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m. Please tweet your questions for the forum to #SMUtate.

Tickets for the evening event are sold out. However, students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

> Follow the Tate Series on social media: Twitter – @SMUtate | Instagram – @smutate

Your invitation to Opening Convocation: Take part Sunday, Aug. 21

Guarding the University seal in the Dallas Hall Rotunda, SMU Opening Convocation 2010, photo by Jake Dean

SMU alumni guard the University seal in Dallas Hall during the Rotunda Passage at SMU Opening Convocation. | Photo credit: Jake Dean

Take part in one of SMU’s oldest traditions at the University’s 102nd Opening Convocation at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21 in McFarlin Auditorium. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven Currall will give the address.

Participating faculty members must assemble in academic regalia no later than 5 p.m. in the Perkins Administration Building. Faculty marshals will greet you and lead the faculty procession.

The ceremony will be preceded by the Rotunda Passage, a processional march through Dallas Hall for the incoming Class of 2020.

The festivities will be broadcast live by streaming video at smu.edu/live. Streaming is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.

For more information, visit the Registrar’s site at smu.edu/convocation.

SMU’s 2016-17 Tate Lecture Series opens Tuesday, Sept. 20 with Doris Kearns Goodwin, Tom Brokaw and David Gergen

Tom Brokaw, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David Gergen Tate Lecture Series 2016-17

Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and veteran journalist Tom Brokaw return to SMU Tuesday, Sept. 20 to kick off the 35th season of SMU’s Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series.

Goodwin and Brokaw will offer their insights on the historic 2016 U.S. election, moderated by political analyst and Tate Series veteran David Gergen. The trio will deliver The Linda and Mitch Hart Lecture program at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

Doris Kearns Goodwin by Eric Levin

Doris Kearns Goodwin | Photo credit: Eric Levin

After earning a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University, Doris Kearns Goodwin began her career as an assistant to President Lyndon Johnson in his last year in the White House. She later assisted President Johnson in preparation of his memoirs.

As a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of historical biographies, Goodwin has won praise for her meticulous, in-depth research and ability to chronicle both the public and private lives of her subjects. She has written six New York Times best-selling books.

Goodwin also worked with Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Studio to create the film Lincoln, based in part on her award-winning Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. The film grossed $275 million at the box office and earned 12 Academy Award nominations.

> Follow Doris Kearns Goodwin on Twitter @DorisKGoodwin

Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw is best known as the anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News” from 1982 to 2004. He has covered the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Challenger space-shuttle disaster, the 1989 Lorna Prieta earthquake, Hurricane Andrew and the 9/11 terror attacks. He now serves as a special correspondent for NBC News and can be heard every weekday on his radio segment, An American Story, on iHeartRadio.

In addition, Brokaw is the best-selling author of The Greatest GenerationThe Time of Our Lives: A Conversation About America, and A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope. His many awards and honors include several Emmys and Peabody Awards, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for excellence in broadcast journalism, the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in Media, and the Four Freedoms Award.

Brokaw was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014. He received his B.A. degree in political science from the University of South Dakota.

> Follow Tom Brokaw on Twitter @TomBrokaw

David Gergen

David Gergen

David Gergen is a senior political analyst for CNN, as well as professor of public service and co-director of the Center for Public Leadership in Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

In 1971, Gergen joined the Nixon White House as a staff assistant to a speech writing team and went on to presidential advisor for four former presidents. In addition to his political work, he was an officer in the U.S. Navy, worked at U.S. News & World Report and appeared on the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Gergen graduated with honors from both Yale University and Harvard Law School.

> Follow David Gergen on Twitter @David_Gergen

All SMU students, faculty and staff are invited to the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m., and seats may be reserved online.

The evening lecture is sold out. However, SMU students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible seating on a first-come, first-serve basis.

> Learn more about the 35th Tate Distinguished Lecture Series
> For additional information, e-mail the Tate Series

SMU Tate Series to feature two political legends May 2, 2016

Veteran journalist Jim Lehrer will moderate a discussion between political legends James Carville and Karl Rove for the The Ebby Halliday Companies Lecture of SMU’s Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series Monday, May 2.

All SMU student, faculty and staff are invited to the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum segment at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Admission is free, doors open at 4 p.m. and seats may be reserved online.

Tickets to the Ebby Halliday Companies lecture are sold out. However, SMU students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible seating on a first-come, first-serve basis. The lecture will begin at 8 p.m.

tate-james-carville

James Caravelle

JAMES CARVILLE is a Democratic political consultant who led Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign. He previously managed several gubernatorial and senatorial campaigns. Recently, he has moved beyond domestic politics to manage political campaigns in more than 20 countries around the world.

Tate-karl-rove

Karl Rove

KARL ROVE is a Republican political strategist known as the architect of George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns. He served as Senior Advisor to President Bush from 2000–07 and as Deputy Chief of Staff from 2004–07.

tate-jim-lehrer

Jim Lehrer

JIM LEHRER, moderator, spent more than 35 years as a television host for PBS and is best known as the host of PBS NEWSHOUR. Along with hosting PBS’ nightly news program, Lehrer has moderated 12 nationally televised debates in the past seven presidential elections, earning him the moniker “Dean of Moderators.”

For additional information: contact the SMU Tate Series.

Save the date: SMU Honors Day 2016 is Monday, April 18

Originally published Wednesday, March 30, 2016.

Honors Convocation 2015

Honors Convocation 2015. Photo credit: SMU/Hillsman S. Jackson

SMU holds its annual celebration of high achievement in academics and community life during Honors Day 2016Monday, April 18.

> Watch Honors Convocation live on the web: smu.edu/live

The 19th Honors Convocation begins at 5:30 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium, and the 2016 Hilltop Excellence Awards ceremony (formerly the Awards Extravaganza) takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom.

SMU reserves one Monday each April to celebrate the achievements of students, faculty, staff members, trustees and administrators in the two ceremonies. The Honors Convocation recognizes academic achievement at the University and department levels.

SMU’s 2016 Honors Convocation award and honors recipients

Fred Chang, Lyle Endowed Centennial Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security

Fred Chang, 2016 Honors Convocation speaker

This year’s convocation speaker is Fred Chang, director of SMU’s Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security, the Bobby B. Lyle Endowed Centennial Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security and professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering. An internationally renowned expert in cyber security, Chang has made a career spanning academia, the private sector and government service, including a stint as director of research of the National Security Agency. He is also a Senior Fellow in the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences and a Distinguished Scholar in the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas at Austin.

Chang is the lead inventor on two U.S. patents and appeared in the televised National Geographic documentary Inside the NSA: America’s Cyber Secrets. He has twice served as an expert witness at hearings convened by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology. He has been awarded the National Security Agency Director’s Distinguished Service Medal and was the 2014 Information Security Magazine “Security 7” award winner for Education. He has served as a member of the Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th Presidency and as a member of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Academies.

Most recently, Chang has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering and will be formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE’s Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 9, 2016.

Find more information on Honors Convocation: smu.edu/honorsday

Retired and current faculty will assemble for Honors Convocation in academic dress no later than 5:10 p.m. on the third floor of McFarlin Auditorium. The faculty procession will begin at 5:30 p.m. A reception will immediately follow the ceremony on the Main Quad.

Participating faculty members may RSVP online. Faculty members with questions regarding the procession can send an e-mail to ceremonies@smu.edu or call 214-768-3417.

Later, the University presents several awards for excellence – including its highest honor, the “M” Award – during the 2016 Hilltop Excellence Awards at 7:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater. Hilltop Excellence Awards honorees will be listed in SMU Forum the day after the ceremony.

Learn more about the Hilltop Excellence Awards from SMU Student Life

Calendar Highlights: Mustang Must-do’s for April 15, 2016

Sing Song: Sing Song, the annual musical theater performance competition for SMU students hosted by SMU Program Council, is Friday, April 15 at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium. The performances are centered on this year’s theme of “Twisted Tales” – featuring an updated take on traditional fairy tales. Tickets are available online.

Campaign Finale: SMU gathers Friday, April 15 to unveil a new campus monument recognizing major donors and to dedicate the new Crain Family Centennial Promenade, it will mark the finale to the University’s historic $1.15 billion Second Century Campaign. The community is invited to attend the ceremony at 6 p.m. on the South Plaza, near the Hughes-Trigg Student Center, followed by a festive celebration.

TEDx

Inside SMU: Inside SMU, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 16 in Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall, is a full morning of topical discussions delivered by SMU faculty and students. The plenary session at 9 a.m. features Darwin Payne ’68, SMU historian and professor emeritus of communications, sharing “Ten Stories You Should Know about SMU.”

Meadows World Music Ensemble: Take a musical trip around the world with the World Music Ensemble spring concert. The performances will feature Arabic, Celtic, Indian and Greek music, and much more. Special guest artist Poovalur Sriji, a world-renowned virtuoso on the mridangam (Indian barrel drum), will perform his composition Jamming Saints. The event will be held on Sunday, April 17 from 6-8:30 p.m. in the Bob Hope Theatre and is free and open to the public.

Christianity in 2050: The Department of Religious Studies presents Philip Jenkins, Distinguished Professor of History at the Institute for Studies of Religion, Baylor University. On Tuesday, April 19 from 4-5 p.m. in Dedman Life Sciences Building, room 131. Dr. Jenkins will discuss revolutionary religious change worldwide. For centuries, Christianity has had its strongest centers in Europe and North America, but the world now finds itself in rapid transformation. Christianity is growing rapidly in the Global South, especially in Africa and Asia, while traditional Western religion is under threat from secularization. Meanwhile, Christians find themselves in competition with other religions, including Islam. So what will Christianity look like in 2050? The event is free and open to the public.

Titans: Author Leila Meacham will give a free lecture and book signing for her new novel, Titans, on Thursday, April 21 in Mack Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center. An author’s reception will be held from 1-11:30 a.m. Tickets to the reception can be purchased for $30 (includes signed book and lunch). A complimentary light buffet will be served at 11:30 a.m. The lecture and book signing will begin at noon. No RSVP is required for the lecture.

Actor Rob Lowe to deliver SMU Tate Distinguished Lecture Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016

LoweRob Lowe, actor, producer, writer, director and activist, will be the featured speaker at The Tolleson Lecture of the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series at SMU Tuesday, Feb. 23. The Tolleson Lecture will begin at 8 p.m. Tuesday in SMU’s McFarlin Auditorium, 6405 Boaz Lane.

Lowe is a highly acclaimed actor who has made his mark in both television and film. He began his acting career in the TV series “A New Kind of Family” in 1979-80. He received his first Golden Globe Award nomination for his supporting actor role in the 1983 TV film Thursday’s Child. Also in 1983, Lowe made his feature film debut in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Outsiders. Subsequent feature films include Wayne’s World, Tommy Boy and Thank You for Smoking.

Lowe’s fan base expanded significantly with his role in the hit TV drama “The West Wing” from 1999-2003. That series brought him two Screen Actors Guild awards and nominations for Emmy and Golden Globe awards. Following “The West Wing,” Lowe starred in the TV series “Brothers and Sisters” from 2007-10 and “Parks and Recreation” from 2010-15. His portrayal of President John F. Kennedy in the 2013 television movie Killing Kennedy was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award. Currently, Lowe plays the lead role in the Fox comedy “The Grinder,” which debuted in September 2015.

In addition to his acting, Lowe has credits as a producer, writer and director. He also is an activist for breast cancer awareness. He has written two books: his 2011 New York Times best-seller, Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography; and Love Life, published in 2014. Lowe lives in California.

Follow Rob Lowe on Twitter @RobLowe

All SMU community members are invited to hear Lowe speak and answer questions at the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m. Please tweet your questions for the forum to #SMUtate.

Students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

> Follow the Tate Series on social media: Twitter – @SMUtate | Instagram – @smutate

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