SMUSA’s Fall 2013 Staff Day takes place Oct. 31

Russell Martin

SMUSA’s Fall 2013 Staff Day takes place Oct. 31

Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad Company timetable from 1880

An 1880 timetable from the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad Company (“Always On Time”) is an example of the finds that await in “Treasures of the DeGolyer Library: 100 Years of Collecting.” DeGolyer Director Russell Martin will lead a tour of the exhibition during SMU Staff Day, Oct. 31, 2013.

University staff members can learn more about everything from consumer rights in identity-theft cases to the new Residential Commons during SMU Staff Day Thursday, Oct. 31 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center lower level.

The event will feature a 50-year perspective on the Kennedy assassination, as well as the annual Staff Talent Show presented by the SMU Staff Association.

Learn more about Staff Day sessions

The planned sessions also include a workshop on stress management, an overview of SMU library services for staff, and a tour of the new exhibition Treasures of the DeGolyer Library: 100 Years of Collecting led by DeGolyer Director Russell Martin.

Lunch will be available during the Talent Show for $9.99 per person at the door. You may attend the Talent Show without buying lunch; a $2 contribution at the door is suggested.

> RSVP and find more information at the SMU Staff Association website

October 29, 2013|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

SMU’s DeGolyer Library celebrates Joe Coomer’s life in letters

Author Joe Coomer, SMU '81

Award-winning author and SMU alumnus Joe Coomer will be celebrated in a retrospective exhibition running through May 24 at SMU’s DeGolyer Library.

The career and achievements of acclaimed author and SMU alumnus Joe Coomer is celebrated in a retrospective exhibition running through Friday, May 24, 2013 in SMU’s DeGolyer Library.

“Joe Coomer: A Life in Letters” explores Coomer’s creative process using handwritten drafts, manuscripts, galleys, letters, first editions, translations and other materials drawn from the literary archive he recently donated to DeGolyer Library.

The gift of more than 20 boxes of materials includes essays and stories, tests, a transcript and other papers from Coomer’s time as an undergraduate in SMU’s creative writing program. He graduated in 1981.

Known for his graceful prose and memorable characters, Coomer has published eight works of fiction, two non-fiction books and one collection of poetry. His writing has been praised by The Boston Globe as “fresh and authentic” and as “compelling” and a “genuine pleasure” by The New York Times.

The Decatur Road: A Novel of the Appalachian Hill Country by Joe Coomer

A 30th-anniversary edition of Joe Coomer’s debut novel, ‘The Decatur Road: A Novel of the Appalachian Hill Country,’ has been published by SMU’s DeGolyer Library. Coomer graduated from the University in 1981.

“Joe Coomer is one of the great voices to emerge from SMU’s English department and creative writing program,” says Russell L. Martin III ’78, ’86, DeGolyer director. “We are honored and delighted to have his papers, where they will join our growing collection of the archives of other contemporary writers. It is also fitting, during SMU’s centennial, that we recognize our own.”

A 30th-anniversary edition of Coomer’s debut novel, The Decatur Road: A Novel of the Appalachian Hill Country, will be published by DeGolyer Library in conjunction with the exhibit. He will sign copies and talk about his work at a reception and lecture Thursday, April 18 as part of the SMU Founders’ Day weekend. The event will begin at 6 p.m. at the library and will be free and open to the public.

First published in 1983, the book won the Jesse A. Jones Award for Best Work of Fiction from the Texas Institute of Arts and Letters in 1984. He started writing the book as an SMU student.

“I wrote three of the short segments for an independent study with Marsh [Terry]. He liked them, so after I graduated, I wrote 55 more,” Coomer says.

Terry ’53, ’54, who retired in 2007 as the E. A. Lilly Professor of English, founded the creative writing program and the SMU Literary Festival and became Coomer’s mentor and friend.

“Joe Coomer transferred into SMU and came to my office in Dallas Hall and asked, ‘Are you the writing teacher?’ I nodded my head and did my best, and Joe turned out to be the leader of our nationally celebrated SMU Literary Festival. John Updike and Raymond Carver heard him read at the festival and were impressed,” Terry recalls.

> Read the full story from SMU News

 

March 22, 2013|Calendar Highlights, News|

SMU professor emeritus Darwin Payne gives a centennial history of Mustang sports

Book cover of 'In Honor of the Mustangs'As SMU celebrates the centennial of its founding in 1911 and opening in 1915, the University also is marking 100 years of achievements in athletics through a recently released book, In Honor of the Mustangs.

The first comprehensive history of SMU athletics showcases exploits on the gridiron, from the football team’s infamous 146-3 loss to the Rice Owls in 1916 to its 45-10 victory over Nevada in the 2009 Hawaii Bowl. Also highlighted are achievements in swimming, basketball, volleyball, track and field, cross country, tennis, baseball, and equestrian competition.

The book also looks at athletics in the context of the history of SMU and American higher education in general.

In Honor of the Mustangs was written by professor emeritus of communications and SMU centennial historian Darwin Payne ’68. Photo editor Gerry York ’58, curator of SMU’s Heritage Hall, selected the 650 photographs to illustrate the sports history.

Payne, who received an M.A. in history from SMU and a Ph.D. in American civilization from UT-Austin in 1973, taught journalism at the University for 30 years. He has written extensively about Dallas history and is the author of numerous books, including his most recent, Quest for Justice, a biography of Louis A. Bedford Jr. (SMU Press, 2009).

Payne says that although he had known about SMU athletics and been a sports fan all his life, “I was surprised at the national prominence SMU football teams achieved in the 1920s because of coach Ray Morrison,” Payne says. “The teams’ reliance on the forward pass became a national sensation, popularizing it as an offensive weapon, and SMU was perhaps the first Southwest Conference team to schedule significant intersectional games.

“Although football suffered after the ‘death penalty,’ other SMU sports teams generally thrived, and together they provided the University with one of the best all-round sports programs in the nation for private universities. There were many prominent athletes through the years who largely have been forgotten, and I hope this book will help bring them the attention they deserve.”

The editorial advisory group included Roman Kupchynsky II ’80, president of the Lettermen’s Association; Chuck Hixson ’70, former SMU quarterback and president-elect of the Lettermen’s Association; C. Paul Rogers III, professor of law and faculty athletics representative for SMU since 1987; Joan Gosnell, University archivist; and Russell L. Martin III ’78, director of DeGolyer Library.

Published jointly by the Lettermen’s Association and SMU’s DeGolyer Library, In Honor of the Mustangs costs $55 per copy, including tax and shipping. Make checks payable to “DeGolyer Library, SMU” and note “sports book” on the memo line. Fill out and return the order form (PDF format) to DeGolyer Library, SMU, Dallas TX 75275-0396.

For more information, contact Pam Anderson, 214-768-0829. Copies also are sold at Culwell & Son, across Hillcrest Avenue from SMU’s main campus. For more information, call 214-522-7000.

Written by Susan White for SMU Magazine

> Read the full article from SMU News
> Learn more about the book at the DeGolyer Library website
> Visit SMU Magazine online

March 2, 2011|News|

The envelope, please: SMU’s role in preserving Oscar history

1942 Oscar ceremony photoWhile Hollywood prepares to celebrate the 82nd annual Academy Awards March 7, 2010, North Texas can look to SMU to find priceless pieces of Oscar history.

SMU library collections include almost 70 years of Academy Award history, such as Greer Garson‘s 1942 Oscar for “Mrs. Miniver,” four 1951 Academy Award envelopes (complete with red seals and winners’ names), and Horton Foote‘s original screenplay and dialogue notes for his 1983 Oscar-winning screenplay, “Tender Mercies.”

“I’ll never forget that when Mr. Foote came to SMU in 2003 to receive an honorary degree, we had displayed some of the early manuscripts of his play, The Trip to Bountiful,” says Russell Martin, DeGolyer Library director.” He looked at the pages on view in the exhibit case and said, ‘I think I’ll change that. I think I can make it better.’ And so it goes: Literary manuscripts are tangible links to the writer and the creative process. When researchers study such materials at SMU, they help advance our understanding and appreciation of literary works.”

The ephemera from past Oscar ceremonies represent aspects of the physical culture of the Hollywood industry – one of the most influential facets of American society and global culture in the 20th century, says Rick Worland, professor of cinema-television in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

“Everyone knows the catch-phrase, ‘The envelope, please.’ To actually have several of the envelopes from the 1951 ceremony, literally fished out of a trash can, might seem cultish or just dumb,” Worland adds. “But being able to see ephemeral objects such as this can help bring the bit of cultural history alive for people from now on.”

(Above, Greer Garson – left center – at the 1942 Academy Awards with, left to right, Van Heflin, Teresa Wright and James Cagney.)

Read more from SMU News

March 2, 2010|News|

Early editions highlight DeGolyer’s ‘Origin’ exhibition

Early editions of Charles Darwin's 'On the Origin of Species'When Charles Darwin‘s On the Origin of Species was first published in 1859, only 1,250 copies of the book were printed. Subsequent printings were not much larger, 3,000 at the most, despite five additional editions published through 1872.

The collections of SMU’s DeGolyer Library include a copy of each of the six editions published in Darwin’s lifetime, as well as the numerous impressions made for each edition – including more than 60 volumes printed through 1890. Those editions form the nucleus of a major exhibit about the father of evolution.

“On the Origin of Species: Texts and Contexts for Charles Darwin’s Great Work” will appear Sept. 8-Dec. 9, 2009, as part of “Darwin’s Evolving Legacy,” SMU’s yearlong celebration honoring both the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s seminal text and the 200th anniversary of his birth. The exhibition will be accompanied by comments from the popular press of the time, as well as other books and publications by Darwin, including his famous The Voyage of the Beagle.

“The Charles Darwin collection is one of the hidden jewels in the library. While we are best known, perhaps, for our Western Americana and railroadiana, our books and journals in the history of science are extraordinary,” says Russell Martin, DeGolyer Library director.

“We hope the exhibit will be a visual feast,” Martin adds. “We”ll get to see how the book itself evolved over time – text, bindings – and how Darwin fit into the scientific and popular literature of his day. Many of the books are annotated by former readers, so we can see the notes his contemporaries made.”

Read more about the exhibition in the Spring 2009 issue of Annotations, the newsletter of SMU’s Central University Libraries.

Find more Darwin Year events
Visit DeGolyer Library online

September 1, 2009|Calendar Highlights, News|
Load More Posts