Calendar Highlights: Dec. 13, 2011

Stock photo of a blue ornamentAs the days dwindle down to a precious few, here are some notable dates for the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012:

  • Dec. 16The Guildhall at SMU Cohort 14 Exhibition and Graduation, SMU-in-Plano. Paul Barnett, senior creative director of BioWare Mythic and the guiding force behind the critically acclaimed MMO game Warhammer Online, will deliver the graduation keynote speech.
  • Dec. 17: Last day of term and official date for conferral of degrees.
  • Dec. 17: All-University December Graduation Ceremony, 10 a.m., Moody Coliseum. Business and civic leader and SMU Trustee Carl Sewell (’66) will give the address. Faculty members may RSVP online for the Faculty Breakfast and processional.
  • Dec. 26, 2011-Jan. 2, 2012: University holidays.
  • Jan. 3-12J Term 2012 at SMU-in-Plano.

Stock photo of a wrapped holiday giftSMUSA plays Santa: The SMU Staff Association continues to collect gifts for United Way partner Children’s Medical Center of Dallas until Dec. 14, 2011. The Staff Association is accepting “ABCs” – action figures and dolls or their accessories; board games or handheld games and puzzles; and cards (as in gift cards, to child-friendly stores). Check the most current list of drop-off locations for the one nearest you.

Fine forgiveness: The Central University Libraries 2011 Food for Fines drive is on through Friday, Dec. 16. Every gift of a can or package of nonperishable food for the North Texas Food Bank equals a $2 credit toward outstanding library fines assessed from November 2011 onward. The waiver applies to materials from Fondren Library CenterHamon Arts Library and the ISEM Reading Room and for all SMU faculty, staff and students. Drop off donations at any listed library.

Book cover of 'Aiming at Maturity: The Goal of the Christian Life' by Stephen W. RankinCelebration station: President and Mrs. R. Gerald Turner host the 2011 All-University Holiday Party 3:30-5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19, in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.

Signed and sealed: SMU Chaplain Steve Rankin will sign his new book, Aiming at Maturity: The Goal of the Christian Life, from 2-4 p.m. Dec. 20 at Logos Bookstore, 6620 Snider Plaza. In this work, published by Wipf and Stock, Rev. Dr. Rankin draws from the Scriptures, from popular biblical interpretation, and from his own work as a teacher and minister to make the case for spiritual maturity. For more information, call the Chaplain’s Office at 214-768-4502.

2011 United Way campaign ends Dec. 31, but awareness continues

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas logoSMU’s 2011 United Way campaign enters its final weeks with $61,000 raised toward a goal of $70,000. The official deadline is Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011 – but this year’s Campaign Committee plans to extend faculty and staff involvement with United Way partner agencies into the new year.

“The end of the year is a great time to give, and the need right now is great,” says Steve Edwards, Faculty Senate president-elect and SMU’s 2011 United Way campaign co-chair. And as the campaign’s end draws near, faculty and staff support is crucial, he adds.

“We are truly blessed to be at such a fine University, and SMU itself has been reaching out more and more to the surrounding communities,” he says. “The University does not exist without Dallas, and Dallas benefits from our success. We are asking everyone at SMU to recognize this strong relationship with our city, and help those who need help through the United Way.”

Edwards points out that although the United Way name is well known, not many people know what the organization actually does. The United Way collects and then distributes money to partner organizations and does the work of making sure charities spend the money efficiently and effectively, he says.

“Through a competitive process, charities have to apply and justify requests for United Way support. This means that every dollar donated through the United Way is making the maximum impact,” Edwards says.

United Way stock photo of a man in a 'Live United' T-shirt The University’s support for the United Way starts at the top, Edwards says. He and co-chair Bill Dworaczyk, SMU Staff Association past-president, have received enthusiastic support from President R. Gerald Turner throughout this year’s campaign.

“President Turner has been faithful in helping us get the word out about the campaign and letting the leadership at SMU know that giving to our community through the United Way is a priority for the University,” he says. “Such efforts have been extremely helpful in raising the visibility of the United Way campaign at SMU.”

Park ’N Pony and the Staff Association have joined the campaign as well. Park ’N Pony has offered to waive campus parking fines in exchange for toy donations made by Wednesday, Dec. 14, to United Way partner agency Children’s Medical Center. Meanwhile, Children’s is also the focus of the Staff Association’s 2011 holiday toy and gift drive, which also concludes Dec. 14.

“SMU has wonderful, generous people, and just unleashing their creative energies is allowing us to make more of a difference,” Edwards says.

This year, student participation received “a big boost” in one-time $10 donations thanks to the campaign’s Text To Give strategy, spearheaded by Jennifer (JJ) Jones of Student Development and Programs, says Jeff Strese, executive director of human resources. The campaign committee plans to enhance faculty-staff involvement through organized trips to United Way partner agencies in North Texas in the coming year, he adds.

“We want to show how these donations impact and change lives,” Edwards says. More information is forthcoming, but Edwards is maintaining a list of individuals who would like to visit a specific United Way partner agency and invites interested faculty and staff members to contact him via e-mail.

The United Way Campaign sent an e-mail to all SMU faculty and staff members with a link and password to make a one-time donation or schedule a payroll deduction online. If you did not receive the e-mail or no longer have it, contact Kellyn Dunn to receive another copy.

You can also text SMU to 85944 to make a one-time $10 donation.

> Visit the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas online
> SMU Forum: Staff Association announces 2011 holiday party & service project
> SMU Forum: SMUSA, Park ’N Pony create “Toys for Tickets” holiday program

SMUSA, Park ’N Pony create ‘Toys for Tickets’ holiday program

Stock photo of holiday toysCampus community members with unpaid SMU parking tickets can save a fine and help make a child’s holiday season brighter, thanks to a partnership between the SMU Staff Association and the SMU Parking and ID Card Services Office (Park ’N Pony).

Through Wednesday, Dec. 14, SMU faculty, staff and students may pay off parking tickets with new, non-violent, unwrapped toys of a value equal to or greater than the cost of the tickets. The toys will be donated to SMU’s United Way Partner, Children’s Medical Center.

The program applies only to unpaid SMU parking tickets issued for unauthorized parking, parking without a permit, over-time parking or improper display of a permit.

To participate, bring your parking tickets and a receipt for the toys to the Park ’N Pony office, Suite 101, Expressway Tower between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

For more information, contact Park ’N Pony, 214-768-7275 (214-SMU-PARK).

‘A Clear Vision’ propels SMU’s 2010 United Way Campaign

United 2020 graphicSMU has embraced the theme of “A Clear Vision – Education, Income, Health” as part of the University’s 2010 United Way fund-raising drive. This year’s goal is $75,000, and the campaign continues through Dec. 31.

“Education, Income, Health” reflects the three pillars of United 2020, the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ ambitious set of goals for the next 10 years. The agency’s blue ribbon commission – which includes Geoffrey Orsak, dean of SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering – wants to prepare 50 percent more students to succeed in college, move 250,000 additional people out of poverty permanently, and improve community health through expanded access, preventive care and healthy behaviors, according to the United 2020 website.

> Learn more about United 2020

The initiative’s name encompasses both the target year and the idea of clear vision, says Jeff Strese, director of SMU Human Resources and the 2010 United Way campaign co-chair. The campaign is asking SMU community members to contribute $2 per week toward its goal.

“The United Way has helped us understand the impact that figure can have in practical terms,” Strese says. “Two dollars can provide baby formula for a family, or tax and financial counseling for persons that qualify.”

> Watch the United 2020 video

Currently SMU ranks 101st in total campaign contributions among more than 1,000 organizations in the North Texas area. The campaign chair hope to propel the University into the top 100 with the 2010 effort.

The campaign will continue to find ways to increase student involvement, say Strese and faculty co-chair Steve Edwards, associate professor in SMU’s Temerlin Advertising Institute, Meadows School of the Arts. Last year, SMU community members had the option to contribute by adding $1, $5 or more to on-campus transactions using Pony Express, a credit card or cash.

“We saw increases in giving from that,” Strese says. This year, he adds, the campaign will engage the Greek community and other student organizations by encouraging them to raise at least $25 each.

Campaign organizers are also planning to extend the University’s involvement into the spring. The Wellpower program will sponsor a University 5K walk/run to benefit the United Way, scheduled to take place in spring 2011.

> Visit SMU’s United Way homepage

Faculty and staff members may make a one-time gift or a choose a monthly payroll deduction. Donations can also be added to purchases at the following campus locations:

  • Einstein Bros. Bagels, Fincher Building
  • Java City, all locations
  • Mac’s Place, McElvaney Hall
  • Mane Course (Chick-fil-A, Pizza Hut, Subway), Hughes-Trigg Student Center
  • The Market & Montague’s, Hughes-Trigg Student Center
  • Meadows Cart (Starbucks), Owen Arts Center
  • RFoC @ Lee, Umphrey Lee Center
  • SMUothies, Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports

> Learn more from the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

United Way campaign gets personal for 2009

United Way 'Live United' logoIn an uncertain economy, many people have less money for charitable contributions even as the need for those contributions increases. SMU’s 2009 United Way campaign has stepped up to both these challenges by increasing this year’s fund-raising goal to $75,000 – 10 percent more than last year – and by making it easier for more individuals to give what they can.

Andrell Gautier“We felt the need this year to address the specific concerns of the economy and world, and how those factors are affecting the population of Dallas,” says Andrell Gautier (right), lead coordinator, Budgets and Operations, in SMU’s Department of Human Resources and a committee coordinator for the 2009 campaign. “The United Way offers many programs funded through donated dollars to assist everyone from individuals affected by the credit card crisis, to those living without medical insurance, to our veterans returning from combat, to those who are living month to month with the help of financial assistance.”

This year’s campaign hits closer to home than in the past, with its focus on personal stories from SMU faculty and staff members who have received help from the United Way.

Gautier is one such story. A former employee (and United Way campaign volunteer) at Loyola University of New Orleans, she found herself and her two-year-old son stranded in Dallas in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Unable to return to her home, job and support network, she received advice and assistance from United Way-affiliated agencies that helped her establish a new home in Texas and transition from surviving to thriving.

“Never in a million years did I ever imagine that I would need assistance, but I got to experience first-hand how my (United Way) contributions were put into action to those in need,” Gautier wrote in a campaign testimonial. “Now, I am able to pay it forward, and I hope that others see the importance of donating to the United Way in times of crisis and need.”

The 2009 campaign features several options for giving. Faculty and staff members may contribute through a pledge form or online through eWay. The campaign will also team up with the SMU Staff Association to make the Association’s annual holiday luncheon a benefit for the United Service Organizations (USO), a United Way member agency.

Students receive the added convenience of making contributions with their Pony Express card at dining locations throughout the campus. The campaign has also met with the Student Foundation and the Panhellenic Council.

“There is a sense of pride and accomplishment when a community comes together to help improve the lives of others,” Gautier says. “We want to unite the efforts of students, faculty, staff and retirees by recognizing the importance of all these groups in the SMU community.”

Visit SMU’s United Way campaign website at
Learn more about the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas
Make a pledge online
Read Andrell’s story

Calendar Highlights: Nov. 21, 2008

Thanksgiving cornucopiaThe SMU Forum is taking a break for the holiday and will return after Thanksgiving. Your news, calendar and For the Record items will be saved for upcoming issues. Keep sending your Forum news to Kathleen Tibbetts, 214-768-7672.

Turkey Day treats: SMU Catering is accepting Thanksgiving orders for cakes, pies, cookies and breads through Nov. 21. Make your choices from the 2008 menu and order form (PDF format), and follow the directions for placing your order in person or by mail, phone or fax. All prices include tax. Baked goods are for pick-up only and will be available Nov. 24-25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Umphrey Lee Center. Visa, MasterCard and checks (payable to SMU Catering) are accepted.

Sharing is caring: In response to the 29-million-meal gap for people living at or below the federal poverty level, the “Close the Gap” food drive intiative cosponsored by Meadows School of the Arts and SMU-in-Legacy continues through Nov. 24, 2008. Drop off items for the North Texas Food Bank in the campus collection boxes, or contribute through the online grocery cart.

Vincent Van Gogh, 'Head of a Peasant Woman'Lasting impression: The Meadows Museum‘s groundbreaking exhibition “From Manet to Miró” closes Dec. 2, 2008. See it soon – visit the website for museum hours. (Left, Head of a Peasant Woman by Vincent Van Gogh; pencil, conté crayon and black chalk on paper; 1884. Photograph by José Loren, courtesy of The Abelló Collection.)

Live united: SMU’s 2008 United Way campaign is now under way. Make a donation with Express Ca$h at the Hughes-Trigg Mane Desk, or contribute online and check your department’s progress.

Will sing for food: The 160-voice Resounding Harmony choir, directed by Timothy Seelig, will team up with the Meadows Chorale and Meadows Concert Choir for a benefit concernt at 8 p.m. Nov. 24 in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. The choirs will donate at least 50 percent of concert proceeds to the North Texas Food Bank and Crossroads Community Services. Tickets are $25 per person, available at or through Sandy Huneke at 817-913-9978.

Tate Series continues: The 2008-09 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series continues Dec. 2 with Philippe de Montebello, the longest-serving director of New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Find more information at the Tate Distinguished Lecture Series website.

We gather together: The SMU Faculty Club presents “Favorites from Presidents and Royalty” prepared by SMU Executive Chef Tim Schaub, as well as holiday music by pianist Bill Greene, at its 2008 Holiday Party 4-6 p.m. Dec. 3. Please bring two canned food items for the North Texas Food Bank. Faculty Club members are welcome to bring a guest. RSVP by Dec. 1 to Dee Powell, 214-768-3012.

Save the date: The 2008 Staff Association Holiday Luncheon takes place at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 11 in the Taubman Atrium, Owen Arts Center. Watch your e-mail or the Staff Association website for reservations information.

Howie MandelIn McFarlin Auditorium:

Nov. 21: TITAS presents two legendary acts – The Blind Boys of Alabama and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band – in the Dallas debut of Down by the Riverside at 8 p.m. Order tickets online or contact the TITAS box office at 214-528-5576.

Nov. 23: Congregation Nishmat Am presents comedian Howie Mandel at 7 p.m. Order tickets online or contact Ticketmaster at 214-373-8000.

Calendar Highlights: Dec. 13, 2007

St. Augustine's 'City of God' illustrated by Johann Amerbach, 1489Divine inspiration: Just two more days to see “Christian Writers and Their Readers” in Bridwell Library’s Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries – the exhibit, featuring a selection of Bridwell’s rare book holdings, closes Dec. 14. (Left, portrait of St. Augustine by Johann Amerbach from a 1489 edition of City of God.)

Partner up: SMU’s President’s Partners program supports your colleagues’ work and enhances the student experience – make your gift online by Dec. 31 and claim the deduction on your next tax return.

Giving season: SMU’s United Way campaign continues through Dec. 31. This year, you can make your tax-deductible contribution online: Visit the United Way website and enter Campaign Code smu2007, with your 8-digit SMU ID as user name, and the password smuuw2007. If you prefer to give the old-fashioned way (with a paper form), send your campus mailing address to Ellen Pryor or Bill Dworaczyk.

In McFarlin Auditorium:

Dec. 15-16: The Dallas Metropolitan Ballet presents The Night Before Christmas, featuring guest artists Julie Diana and Zachary Hench, principals with the Pennsylvania Ballet. Performances take place at 2 p.m. each day, with a 7:30 p.m. performance Dec. 15. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster.

Calendar Highlights: Dec. 6, 2007

The giving season: SMU’s United Way fund-raising effort continues through Dec. 31. This year, you can make your tax-deductible contribution online: Visit the United Way website and enter Campaign Code smu2007, with your 8-digit SMU ID as user name, and the password smuuw2007. If you prefer to give the old-fashioned way (with a paper form), send your campus mailing address to Ellen Pryor or Bill Dworaczyk.

Family fun: Meadows Museum celebrates the openings of three major exhibitions on Texas and American art with a Super Saturday Family Day, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 8. Coming of Age: American Art, 1850s to 1950s and two Jerry Bywaters exhibits provide the inspiration for hands-on artistic experimentation, films and special performances. Free and open to the public, all ages welcome. For more information, contact Carmen Smith, 8-2516.

Staff celebration: The SMU Staff Association holds its annual Holiday Luncheon noon-1:30 p.m. in the Taubman Atrium, Owen Arts Center. The festivities include music, prizes and a toy drive benefiting Children’s Medical Center. Cost is $11 per person; reservations must be made by Dec. 7. For more information, contact Cchea Nugent, 8-4319.

diana-and-hench-200.jpgIn McFarlin Auditorium:

Dec. 15-16: The Dallas Metropolitan Ballet presents The Night Before Christmas, featuring guest artists Julie Diana and Zachary Hench (left), principals with the Pennsylvania Ballet. Performances take place at 2 p.m. each day, with a 7:30 p.m. performance Dec. 15. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster.