Gov. Bill Clements remembered as SMU alumnus and supporter

Bill and Rita Clements at SMU-in-TaosFormer Texas Governor William P. Clements Jr., a longtime major supporter of SMU academic programs, died May 29, 2011 in Dallas. He was 94 years old.

Clements’ relationship with SMU began in the mid-1930s, when he was an engineering student. Through the years he and his wife, Rita, have contributed more than $21 million for some of SMU’s highest academic priorities, including support for his special interest in the Southwest.

“Bill Clements’ generosity and guidance have made a significant impact on academic programs throughout SMU, with major gifts supporting engineering, theology, mathematics and history,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “By endowing the Clements Department of History, including a new Ph.D. program, and the Clements Center for Southwest Studies, he enabled students ranging from undergraduates to doctoral fellows to learn more about the history and cultures of this region. Bill and Rita Clements also made it possible for SMU to acquire, rebuild and offer academic programs at SMU-in-Taos, located on the site of historic Fort Burgwin in northern New Mexico. This facility has given generations of students and faculty a tremendous and unique resource for teaching, learning and research.

“Earlier, as chair of SMU’s Board from 1967-73 and again from 1983-86, Bill Clements led the formation of an endowment committee resulting in dramatic increases in market value. He led funding of the campus master plan that continues to guide our academic offerings, and with an eye for detail in bricks and mortar, he preserved the continuity of SMU’s Collegiate Georgian architecture.

“All this he accomplished with his typical no-nonsense approach and direct style of communication. His legacy as a business leader, public official and supporter of SMU will stand the test of time. He was a member of the SMU community for more than 70 years and he will be greatly missed.”

A memorial service honoring the life of Governor Clements will be held 4 p.m. Thursday, June 2 at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church.

Gifts to SMU in memory of Governor Clements can be directed to the William P. Clements Jr. Memorial Fund. Visit the SMU Giving homepage for information on how to make a gift to SMU.

> Read more on Gov. Clements and his more than 70-year relationship with SMU

Above, Bill and Rita Clements at the 2009 opening of new student housing they helped to provide for the SMU-in-Taos campus on the grounds of Fort Burgwin, New Mexico. Photo by Hillsman S. Jackson.

Green light: SMU-in-Taos housing receives LEED certification

Casita Clements, SMU-in-TaosCasita Clements, a recently constructed student residence at SMU-in-Taos, is the first commercial or institutional building in the Taos area to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council‘s LEED certification for sustainable, environmentally responsible construction.

The 3,457-square-foot adobe structure has been awarded the elite “gold” certification.

Six other student casitas on the Taos campus were recently renovated to meet green building standards and are currently being reviewed by the council for LEED certification. In addition, SMU-in-Taos broke ground July 23 for a faculty casita that will be renovated and expanded to meet LEED standards.

> More on the LEED rating systems

Casita Clements is one of only four university buildings statewide to achieve LEED certification. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson signed an executive order in 2006 requiring that future state-funded projects larger than 15,000 feet be built to meet LEED “silver” standards, mandating green construction for future projects at state universities.

As a private university, SMU is not bound by that order but undertook the commitment voluntarily.

“I think that is a great distinction to make,” said Julie Walleisa, an Albuquerque architect who chairs the New Mexico chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. “In my mind, it counts more that SMU wasn’t required to do this. And getting gold certification puts you above that requirement for state buildings.”

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program offers four levels of certification: certified, silver, gold and platinum. Candidates are judged on a point system that measures energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. The LEED program includes in the same category new construction for commercial and institutional projects ranging from retail buildings to campus residential projects and laboratories.

> Read more from SMU News

SMU-in-Taos: Upcoming classes for students and adult learners

23099D_145-3.jpg SMU-in-Taos, the University’s campus in northern New Mexico, is accepting applications for Summer and Fall 2010.

SMU-in-Taos has offered summer education programs tailored to the region’s unique cultural and natural resources since 1973. The campus launched a fall term in 2009, thanks to new and renovated casitas and other improvements that made the facilities usable in all seasons. During the fall term, students take 12 to 19 hours of courses that meet core undergraduate requirements in four “blocks.”

“Living in Taos has helped me really understand, perhaps for the first time, what it means to be part of a community,” says sophomore Lauren Rodgers, who participated in the first fall term. “I have one-on-one lessons with professors whose sole reason for being in Taos is me. The extremely small class sizes translate to amazing flexibility. And where else can you count shooting stars on your walk to the library?”

Adult learners can experience the unique environment of SMU-in-Taos during the University’s 2010 Taos Cultural Institute, scheduled for July 22-25. Courses taught by distinguished SMU faculty include archaeology, history, art and textiles, religion and regional wine and cooking. Classes and field trips are limited in size to allow for deeper discussions and individual attention.

For more information, e-mail the Cultural Institute or call 214-768-8267. For more information about summer and fall terms at SMU-in-Taos, call 214-768-3657.

Read about Taos scholarship opportunities in The Daily Campus.
• Read student blogs from SMU-in-Taos on the Student Adventures site, including Lydia, Rachel, and CJ

Calendar Highlights: Feb. 9, 2010

Santuario de Chimayo, TaosTaos Open House: SMU-in-Taos will give out application forms, program information and Valentine treats at its annual Valentine’s Day Open House 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 10 in Room 338, Blanton Student Services Building.

Watching your heart health: North Texas cardiologist Dr. Sarah Samaan (The Smart Woman’s Guide to Heart Health) will talk about cardiac health factors ranging from high blood pressure and diabetes to social networks and sleep during the first event in SMU Human Resources‘ 2010 Heart Health Month Lunch & Learn series. Bring your lunch and your questions for the seminar, scheduled for noon-1 p.m. Feb. 16 in the Hughes-Trigg Forum. Attendees will earn 1 Wellpower Body credit.

'Quest for Justice' book cover'Clements Center Brown Bag Lecture: Clements Center Fellow Stephanie Lewthwaite will speak on “John Candelario: Modernism in Black and White” noon-1 p.m. Feb. 17 in the Texana Room, DeGolyer Library. Bring your lunch.

Expanding Your Horizons Brown Bag Concert: SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts presents the Iranian traditional and folk music of the Alhon Ensemble at noon Feb. 17 in the Taubman Atrium, Owen Arts Center. Bring your lunch.

Faculty lecture and book signing: SMU Professor Emeritus of Communications Darwin Payne will discuss and sign copies of his latest book, Quest for Justice: Louis A. Bedford Jr. and the Struggle for Equal Rights in Texas (SMU Press, 2009), Feb. 18 in the Texana Room, DeGolyer Library. Reception at 6 p.m., lecture at 6:30 p.m., followed by signing. The event is free and open to the public – register online or get more information from the Clements Center for Southwest Studies, 214-768-3684.

Research Spotlight: The archaeology of childhood

Stock antique ABC blocksGalleries, shops and restaurants built inside restored homes ring the historic plaza of Ranchos de Taos in northern New Mexico. The plaza, once a hub of village life in Ranchos de Taos, is notably absent of children these days. Their families have been driven to the outskirts of the Catholic village by a booming tourism industry that has pushed up property values.

But the children left their mark, says SMU archaeologist Sunday Eiselt, who for three years has led digging crews in some of the homes through her work at the University’s Archaeology Field School at the SMU-in-Taos campus. They’ve unearthed children’s artifacts up to 100 years old, including pieces of clay toys, tea sets, doll parts, clothing, mechanical trains, jacks, marbles, child-care implements, modern plastic Legos, Barbie doll parts, action figures and jewelry.

Eiselt’s interest in childhood artifacts is unique because children are rarely documented in archaeological narratives – particularly in the Spanish borderlands, where they appear as victims of slavery and boarding schools.

Her pilot excavations in 2007 and 2008 revealed patterns that suggest children were integral to the workforce and household economy in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the 1930s, the evidence shows, they were drawn from the workforce into the home and pulled as a consumer into the expanding commercial market as well as into the public education realm, says Eiselt, an assistant professor of anthropology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Now Eiselt is launching the SMU-in-Taos Childhood Archaeology Project – thanks in large part to community relationships and trust formed over the past few years. A systematic and scientific examination of children’s lives will provide new perspectives on the dynamics of Spanish and American occupation of New Mexico, she says.

“When state resources and institutions are aimed at children’s lives, cultures are irrevocably changed,” she says. “We’re asking, ‘What can the archaeology of children tell us about the transformation of Hispanic Rio Grande communities over time?'” We’re investigating the impact of state expansion on child-rearing and education in the Spanish borderlands by examining childhood on the Ranchos de Taos Plaza.”

Read more at the SMU Research blog

Spaces still available for 2009 Taos Cultural Institute

SMU-in-Taos Cultural Institute participantsSpaces are still available for the 2009 SMU-in-Taos Cultural Institute, set for July 23-26. Now in its 5th year, the Institute provides an opportunity for parents, alumni and other SMU community members to learn about the Southwest – its colorful history, diverse cultures, rich art and literature, and ancient archaeological sites.

Cultural Institute courses are taught by distinguished SMU faculty and local experts against the backdrop of northern New Mexico. Offerings this summer include courses on Southwest cooking and wine, the life and art of Georgia O’Keeffe, Taos history and politics, the Los Alamos nuclear project, northern New Mexico’s geological history, digital photography and outdoor sports.

The registration fee of $700 per course covers tuition, designated meals and field trip fees. Class size is limited to allow for in-depth discussion and individual attention. Transportation and lodging are the responsibility of the student.

Learn more at or call 214-768-8267.

Taos Cultural Institute offers Summer 2009 slate

Taos image Now in its 5th year, the SMU-in-Taos Cultural Institute provides an opportunity for parents, alumni and friends of SMU to learn about the Southwest – its colorful history, diverse cultures, rich art and literature, and ancient archaeological sites. The 2009 Cultural Institute is set for July 23-26.

Cultural Institute courses are taught by distinguished SMU faculty and local experts against the backdrop of northern New Mexico. Offerings this summer include courses on Southwest cooking and wine, the life and art of Georgia O’Keeffe, Taos history and politics, the Los Alamos nuclear project, northern New Mexico’s geological history, digital photography and outdoor sports.

The registration fee of $700 per course covers tuition, designated meals and field trip fees. Class size is limited to allow for in-depth discussion and individual attention. Transportation and lodging are the responsibility of the student.

Learn more at or call 214-768-8267. (Left, a Taos image by Mandy Dake, a student in the Cultural Institute’s popular Digital Photography course.)

First fall-term courses in Taos begin in 2009

Taos, New Mexico mountaintop

In 2009, for the first time, SMU’s 300-acre campus near Taos, New Mexico will be open for fall-term classes.

The SMU-in-Taos program has offered summer education since 1973, but the rustic campus dormitories were impractical for use during colder weather. New construction, recent renovations and technological improvements will now allow students and faculty to live there comfortably during the fall and winter.

The fall program is open to students with a minimum 3.30 G.P.A. who will be sophomores in Fall 2009. Applications received by March 15 will be given priority, but they will be accepted through April 17.

SMU-in-Taos Executive Director Mike Adler says Taos Scholars will get a very personal education experience, combined with the lessons that the Taos community can offer through its unique history.

“These students will come back as leaders, with a greater appreciation of their academic life,” Adler says. “What we do so well in the summer, we can do even better in the fall.”

Read more from SMU News

SMU breaks ground for Taos enhancements

Former Texas Gov. Bill Clements and his wife, RitaSMU broke ground July 18 on new student housing at its Fort Burgwin facility in northern New Mexico. The event marked the first phase of planned enhancements to SMU-in-Taos that will make it available year-round.

Made possible by a $4 million gift to SMU from former Texas Governor William P. Clements Jr. (’39) and his wife, Rita (at left), the project also will include renovation of present student and faculty housing, state-of-the-art technology and a new student center.

SMU-in-Taos currently operates only during the summer because facilities are not suitable for use during cold weather. The goal is to accommodate 70 students for a fall semester starting in 2009, in addition to spring and summer terms.

Read more from SMU News.
See a video of the groundbreaking. video
More about SMU-in-Taos.

Former SMU interim president William Stallcup dies

William B. Stallcup Jr.William B. Stallcup Jr., who rose through the academic ranks to serve as SMU’s president ad interim during one of the most crucial periods in its history, died Saturday, June 7, at his home in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, following a long illness. He was 87.

A biology professor who never intended to be an administrator, Stallcup served in various administrative positions for half of his four decades at SMU. The most critical of these was when he was named SMU’s president ad interim in 1986 following the sudden retirement of SMU President L. Donald Shields and SMU’s sanctions for NCAA football rules violations. Stallcup provided leadership and integrity during this period by presiding over sweeping reforms in SMU’s athletics programs and governance structure, and helping restore public confidence in the University.

“A dedicated teacher, Bill Stallcup repeatedly answered the call to serve as an administrator in times of special need,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He provided leadership most importantly as interim president during a troubled time. SMU’s transition to brighter days would not have been possible without his leadership, integrity and dedication. He also was instrumental in helping to develop SMU-in-Taos as a unique educational resource. In the history of SMU, he stands out as an exemplary steward of positive change.”

Stallcup left mark as student, teacher, administrator