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Nobel laureate Barry C. Barish to receive honorary SMU doctorate during 103rd Commencement, May 19, 2018

Barry C. BarishNobel laureate Barry Clark Barish, Ph.D., Linde Professor Emeritus of Physics at the California Institute of Technology and a leading expert on cosmic gravitational waves, will receive an honorary doctoral degree during SMU’s 103rd all-University Commencement ceremony. The event begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Moody Coliseum.

Barish shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2017 for his work in establishing the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the first observations of gravitational waves – disturbances in the fabric of space and time predicted by Albert Einstein based on his General Theory of Relativity.

He will receive the Doctor of Science degree, honoris causa, from SMU during the ceremony.

On Friday, May 18, Dr. Barish will give a free public lecture on campus. “Einstein, Black Holes and Gravitational Waves” will begin at 3 p.m. in Crum Auditorium, Collins Executive Education Center, on the SMU campus. The lecture will be preceded by a reception at 2:15 p.m. Free parking will be available in the University’s Binkley and Moody garages, accessible from the SMU Boulevard entrance to campus.

RSVP online to attend the Barry Barish Public Lecture

“Dr. Barry Barish has changed the way we see the universe with his work,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “His accomplishments as an experimental physicist have broken new ground and helped to confirm revolutionary theories about the structure of our cosmos.”

“Conferring an honorary degree is an important tradition for any university,” said SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven C. Currall. “For SMU, this year’s decision takes on special meaning, as the University is the home of a highly-regarded Department of Physics deeply involved in research ranging from variable stars to the Higgs boson. Dr. Barish and his record of world-changing accomplishment represent the very best of his field. He’s an outstanding example of what all our graduates can aspire to as they begin their own professional endeavors.”

Einstein predicted in 1916 that gravitational waves existed, generated by systems and regions such as binary stars and black holes and by events such as supernovae and the Big Bang. However, Einstein thought the cosmic waves would be too weak to ever be detected. Barish’s work at LIGO resulted in the first observation on Earth of these cosmic ripples on Sept. 14, 2015 — emanating from the collision of two black holes in the distant universe.

Barish was the principal investigator for LIGO from 1994 to 2005 and director of the LIGO Laboratory from 1997 until 2005. He led LIGO from its funding by the National Science Board of the National Science Foundation (NSF) through its final design stages, as well as the construction of the twin LIGO interferometers in Hanford, Washington, and Livingston, Louisiana.

In 1997, Barish established the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), an organization that unites more than 1,000 collaborators worldwide on a mission to detect gravitational waves, explore the fundamental physics of gravity, and develop gravitational-wave observations as a tool of astronomical discovery. Barish also oversaw the development and approval of the proposal for Advanced LIGO, a program that developed major upgrades to LIGO’s facilities and to the sensitivity of its instruments compared to the first-generation LIGO detectors. Advanced LIGO enabled a large increase in the extent of the universe probed, as well as the discovery of gravitational waves during its first observation run.

Bookmark SMU Live for the May Commencement livestream: smu.edu/live

After LIGO, Barish became director of the Global Design Effort for the International Linear Collider (ILC)—an international team that oversaw the planning, design, and research and development program for the ILC—from 2006 to 2013. The ILC is expected to explore the same energy range in particle physics currently being investigated by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), but with more precision.

Barish joined Caltech in 1963 as part of an experimental group working with particle accelerators. From 1963 to 1966, he developed and conducted the first high-energy neutrino beam experiment at Fermilab. This experiment revealed evidence for the quark substructure of the nucleon (a proton or neutron) and provided crucial evidence supporting the electroweak unification theory of Nobel Laureates Sheldon Glashow, Abdus Salam and Steven Weinberg.

Following the neutrino experiment, Barish became one of the leaders of MACRO (Monopole, Astrophysics and Cosmic Ray Observatory), located 3,200 feet under the Gran Sasso mountains in Italy. The international collaboration set what are still the most stringent limits on the existence of magnetic monopoles. Magnetic monopoles are the magnetic analog of single electric charges and could help confirm a Grand Unified Theory that seeks to unify three of nature’s four forces — the electromagnetic, weak, and strong forces — into a single force. The MACRO collaboration also discovered key evidence that neutrinos have mass.

In the early 1990s, Barish co-led the design team for the GEM (Gammas, Electrons, Muons) detector, which was one of two large detectors scheduled to run at the Superconducting Super Collider near Waxahachie. Congress canceled the accelerator in 1993 during its construction — but major elements of the GEM design and many members of its team were integrated into LHC detector projects at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Barish became Caltech’s Ronald and Maxine Linde Professor of Physics in 1991 and Linde Professor Emeritus in 2005. From 2001 to 2002, he served as co-chair of the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel subpanel that developed a long-range plan for U.S. high-energy physics. He has served as president of the American Physical Society and chaired the Commission of Particles and Fields and the U.S. Liaison committee to the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP). In 2002, he chaired the NRC Board of Physics and Astronomy Neutrino Facilities Assessment Committee Report, “Neutrinos and Beyond.”

Barish was born in 1936 in Omaha, Nebraska, to Jewish immigrants from a part of Poland that is now part of Belarus. He grew up in the Los Angeles area and earned his B.A. degree in physics and his Ph.D. in experimental physics from the University of California-Berkeley in 1957 and 1962. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Barish is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Physical Society.

In 2002, Barish received the Klopsteg Memorial Lecture Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers. His honors also include the 2016 Enrico Fermi Prize from the Italian Physical Society, as well as the Henry Draper Medal, the Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research, the European Physical Society’s Giuseppe and Vanna Cocconi Prize, and Fudan University’s Fudan-Zhongzhi Science Award (all in 2017).

Barish holds honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Bologna, the University of Florida, and the University of Glasgow.

> Visit the SMU Commencement homepage: smu.edu/commencement

Philanthropist and actor Jeff Bridges to deliver final 2017-18 Tate Distinguished Lecture Tuesday, May 1

Jeff BridgesPhilanthropist, artist, musician and Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges will deliver the final talk in SMU’s 2017-18 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series on Tuesday, May 1, 2018.

Emmy Award-winning Dallas film critic Gary Cogill will moderate the sold-out Anita and Truman Arnold Lecture. The event begins at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

The Tate Series will announce the events in the 2018-19 series before Bridges’ lecture. Arrive early and be among the first to know next year’s lineup.

> Follow Jeff Bridges on Twitter: @TheJeffBridges

A seven-time Oscar nominee, Jeff Bridges has been active in Hollywood since 1970. He won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as a faded country-western musician in the 2009 film Crazy Heart. His most recent nomination was for his role as Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton in the 2016 film Hell or High Water.

Outside of the big screen, Bridges is the founder of the End Hunger Network and national spokesman for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.

Bridges has also produced and narrated a new documentary, Living In the Future’s Past, exploring the origins and impulses of humans as a species, as well as the environmental challenges facing the world. The 2018 USA Film Festival has scheduled a free screening with director Susan Kucera in attendance at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 26, at the Angelika Film Center in Mockingbird Station. Tickets will be available at 6 p.m. at the USA Film Festival table inside the theater.

The evening lecture is sold out. All SMU community members are invited to the free Wells Fargo/Turner Construction Tate Lecture Series Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m. Tweet questions for Jeff Bridges to #TalkTate.

On the night of the event, students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible free seating at the evening lecture. Seats will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.

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

Shawn Achor, expert in the science of happiness, to speak in SMU’s 2017-18 Tate Disinguished Lecture Series Tuesday, April 10

Shawn AchorShawn Achor, best-selling author and noted researcher in the science of happiness, will deliver the Ebby Halliday Companies Lecture in SMU’s 2017-18 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series.

The lecture takes place at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 10 in McFarlin Auditorium.

> Follow Shawn Achor on Twitter @shawnachor

A native Texan, Achor is considered a leading expert on human potential. His research into happiness and positive psychology has unveiled evidence that changing one’s mindset about stress alters the physical effects of stress.

In 2007, Achor founded GoodThink, a company that offers coaching services and seminars focused on positive psychology to improve workplace performance. He is the author of the New York Times best-sellers The Happiness Advantage (Crown Publishing, 2010) and Before Happiness (2013). His most recent work is Big Potential, published in January 2018, in which he advocates for an approach to success and happiness based on “how well we connect with, relate to, and learn from each other.”

Achor received his B.A. degree from Harvard University and earned an M.A. in Christian and Buddhist ethics from Harvard Divinity School.

The Happy Secret to Better Work,” a speech Achor delivered at TEDxBloomington in May 2011, has accumulated more than 17 million views and ranks among the 25 most popular TED Talks of all time.

All SMU community members are invited to the free Tate Lecture Series Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m. Tweet questions for Shawn Achor to #TalkTate.

On the night of the event, students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible free seating at the evening lecture. Seats will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.

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

Updated SMU Facts map available for 2018; order by April 17

2018 SMU Facts Map, photo by Hillsman S. Jackson

The SMU Facts map has been updated for 2018, and it’s now available for order.

The map folds down to a compact 3- by 6-inch size. On one side, a three-dimensional view of campus offers information about each SMU school, Mustang athletics, the Meadows Museum and the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

The other side has vital statistics about University facilities, finances and student body, as well as important information about rankings, libraries, student life, alumni, research activity and much more – plus new and updated information on degrees conferred, external research funding, DFW alumni and other vital statistics.

Print copies are still only 25 cents each, and there is no minimum order. Maps are expected to arrive by early May.

To order copies, please send quantity, delivery location and account number to Lisa Barnes, marketing services director, by Tuesday, April 17, 2018.

AT&T CEO Randall L. Stephenson to address SMU students during 103rd Commencement May 19, 2018

Randall L. Stephenson, ATT CEORandall L. Stephenson, chairman and chief executive officer of AT&T, will be the featured speaker during SMU’s 103rd all-University Commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Moody Coliseum.

Since rising to the position of CEO in 2007, Stephenson has guided AT&T through a number of major milestones, including the ongoing acquisition of Time Warner, the 2015 acquisition of DIRECTV, and the purchase of Mexican wireless companies to create a North American network.

Stephenson also has led AT&T’s breakthrough “It Can Wait” campaign – an awareness program educating drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. The program has amassed more than 19 million pledges of support.

“We are honored to have a pioneering business and technology leader of Mr. Stephenson’s stature as featured speaker at Commencement,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He is a striking example of what can be accomplished when someone possesses a clear vision of where they want to go. I know he will inspire each of our graduating students to form their own grand vision of what they want to accomplish in their lives with the knowledge they’ve acquired at SMU.”

AT&T contributed $2.5 million to SMU in 2016 to endow the AT&T Center for Virtualization and fund its research into the fast, reliable cloud-based telecommunications necessary for global activity. SMU and AT&T have also partnered with other organizations to create the Payne Stewart SMU Golf Training Center at the Trinity Forest Golf Club, which will become home to the PGA Tour’s Byron Nelson this year and annually host NCAA invitational tournaments and additional high-profile professional and amateur events.

Stephenson began his career with Southwestern Bell Telephone in 1982 in Oklahoma. He served as the company’s senior executive vice president and chief financial officer from 2001 to 2004, and from 2004 to 2007 as chief operating officer. He was appointed to AT&T’s board of directors in 2005.

Stephenson is a member of the PGA TOUR Policy Board and National Chairman of the Boy Scouts of America. He received his B.S. in accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma and his Master of Accountancy from the University of Oklahoma.

SMU expects to award more than 2,500 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees in the University-wide ceremony. The University’s individual schools and departments will host diploma ceremonies throughout the day.

— Written by Kenny Ryan

> Keep up with the latest SMU Commencement information at smu.edu/commencement

David Petraeus, former CENTCOM commander and CIA director, to deliver Tate Distinguished Lecture Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Gen. David PetraeusDavid Petraeus, retired U.S. Army general and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, will deliver The Jones Day Lecture in SMU’s Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series Tuesday, March 20, 2018. The lecture will begin at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

One of the most decorated military officers in U.S. history, Petraeus served for 37 years in the U.S. Army and rose to the level of four-star general. He commanded coalition forces during the Iraq War and was named commander of United States Central Command. After retiring from the military, Gen. Petraeus served as director of the CIA.

Currently, Petraeus is a member of the global investment firm KKR. He also serves as chairman of the KKR Global Institute, which provides analysis of geopolitical and macro-economic trends, as well as environmental, social, and governance issues.

Petraeus earned his B.S. degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, from which he graduated in 1974 as a distinguished cadet in the top 5 percent of his class. In 1983, he earned the General George C. Marshall Award as the top graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He holds master’s and doctoral degrees in international relations from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

All SMU community members are invited to the free Tate Lecture Series Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m. Tweet questions for David Petraeus to #TalkTate.

The evening lecture is sold out. Students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible free seating at the evening lecture. Seats will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.

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

Ford Foundation president Darren Walker to speak in SMU’s 2017-18 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series Tuesday, Feb. 27

Darren Walker, president, Ford FoundationDarren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation and one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, will deliver The Oncor Lecture in SMU’s Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018. The lecture will begin at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

As president of the nation’s second largest philanthropic fund, Walker has been a leader in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. He led the philanthropy committee to bring a resolution to the city of Detroit’s historical bankruptcy.

Prior to joining Ford, Walker was vice president of the Rockefeller Foundation, where he managed the Rebuild New Orleans initiative after Hurricane Katrina. In the 1990s, as COO of Harlem’s largest community development organization, the Abyssinian Development Corporation, Walker oversaw a comprehensive revitalization program of central Harlem, including over 1,000 new units of housing. He also had a 10-year career in international law and finance at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and UBS.

> Follow Darren Walker on Twitter: @darrenwalker

In addition, Walker is a member of the Commission on the Future of Rikers Island and chair of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance. He also serves on the boards of Carnegie Hall, New York City Ballet, High Line, Arcus Foundation and PepsiCo. In 2016, TIME magazine featured him on its annual list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the recipient of 10 honorary degrees and university awards.

Walker was a member of the first Head Start class in 1965 and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, which recognized him with its Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2009.

> Visit the Ford Foundation online: fordfoundation.org

All SMU community members are invited to the free Tate Lecture Series Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m. Tweet questions for Darren Walker to #TateTalk.

The evening lecture is sold out. Students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible free seating at the evening lecture. Seats will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.

— Written by Kenny Ryan

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

Emily Lawler, whose reporting shed light on USA Gymnastics sex-abuse scandal, to speak at SMU Thursday, March 1, 2018

Emily LawlerJournalist Emily Lawler has spent more than a year reporting on a decades-spanning sex-abuse scandal involving a Michigan State University sports-medicine specialist. On Thursday, March 1, 2018, she will visit SMU to discuss the story that has made global headlines and helped spark the #MeToo movement.

Lawler, capitol and business reporter with the MLive Media Group in Lansing, has written extensively about the sexual assault and child-pornography charges surrounding former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, including his trial and conviction. She continues to follow the story and its implications for journalism, political and public affairs, and public relations.

She will speak at 5:30 p.m. March 1 in 241 Umphrey Lee Center and will be available for questions and answers until 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Associate Professor Sandra Duhé, Division of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Meadows School of the Arts.

Save the date: Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad to speak at 2018 SMU Women’s Symposium on Wednesday, March 7

Ibtihaj Muhammad, Stars and Stripes

U.S. saber fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the United States in the Olympic Games, will deliver the Emmie V. Baine Lecture during the 53rd SMU Women’s Symposium. The all-day event is scheduled for Wednesday, March 7, 2018.

Muhammad was a member of the U.S. national fencing team that won gold in the 2014 World Championships and at the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games. She earned a bronze medal in women’s team saber at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, becoming the first female Muslim-American athlete to medal in Olympic competition. She will speak during the lunchtime session on the Symposium’s 2018 theme, “Hit Like a Girl.”

> Follow Ibtihaj Muhammad on Twitter: @IbtihajMuhammad

During the Rio Olympics, Muhammad became an international symbol of diversity and tolerance. In 2017, she also inspired Mattel’s first hijab-wearing Barbie, designed in her image. The doll, which is part of the Barbie “Sheroes” collection, comes dressed in fencing gear as well as a headscarf. It will go on sale later this year.

A native of Maplewood, New Jersey, Muhammad holds bachelor’s degrees in international relations and African and African-American studies from Duke University. She is a member of the Peter Westbrook Foundation fencing club, founded by the five-time U.S. Olympic Team member and 1984 men’s individual saber bronze medalist who was the first African-American to win a national fencing title.

> Find a complete 2018 Women’s Symposium schedule here

The SMU Women’s Symposium, created in 1966 as part of the University’s commemoration of its 50th anniversary, attracts hundreds of attendees each year. One of the longest-running events of its kind, the symposium features workshops, lectures and networking sessions designed to broaden and amplify women’s perspectives on campus and in the community.

The event is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Hughes-Trigg Student Center. SMU faculty, staff and students receive discounted registration. Sign-up is requested by Thursday, March 1, 2018.

> Register online at smu.edu/womsym

Michael Bloomberg receives Medal of Freedom from SMU’s Tower Center

Michael Bloomberg with SMU students

SMU Tower Scholars attended the Tower Center Medal of Freedom Forum with Michael Bloomberg (front row, center) on January 29, 2018. The event took place at the Meadows Museum.

Businessman, philanthropist, author and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg received on Jan. 29, 2018, the Tower Center Medal of Freedom from SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies. The honor, presented every two years, recognizes “extraordinary contributions for the advancement of democratic ideals and to the security, prosperity and welfare of humanity.”

Bloomberg was elected the 108th mayor of New York City in 2001 and won re-election in 2005 and 2009. As the first New York mayor elected after the 9/11 attacks, he put emergency preparation, infrastructure issues, education, and environmental and health regulations at the center of his concerns. During his tenure, he balanced the city budget, raised New York teacher salaries; unveiled PlaNYC: A Greater, Greener New York to fight climate change and prepare for its impacts; and co-founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns (now Everytown for Gun Safety), a nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to reducing the number of illegal guns in U.S. cities.

“In the aftermath of the worst terror attack on U.S. soil, Michael Bloomberg led New York City out of mourning and back into its place as one of the most important cities in the world. He took the city’s public education system and poverty issues head on during his two terms as mayor,” said SMU Trustee Jeanne Tower Cox ’78 in her introduction. She also lauded Bloomberg’s work with his foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, which focuses on five areas that echo his priorities as mayor: public health, the arts, government innovation, the environment, and education.

Born in Boston in 1942, Bloomberg graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1964 with a B.S. degree in electrical engineering. He earned his M.B.A. from Harvard in 1966 and served as a partner in the Wall Street investment bank of Salomon Brothers before founding his own company. Innovative Market Systems, later renamed Bloomberg L.P., went on to revolutionize the rapid graphing and distribution of business and financial information and ultimately made him a billionaire. After his mayoral service, Bloomberg returned to serve as CEO of Bloomberg L.P. at the end of 2014.

In 2017, with a personal fortune Forbes magazine reported to be $47.5 billion, Bloomberg was listed among the 10 richest people in the world. Forbes estimates his wealth as of January 2018 to be $52.7 billion. In 2010, he became a founding participant in The Giving Pledge, a campaign in which the world’s wealthiest individuals and families pledge to contribute at least half their net worth to philanthropic causes.

Previous Tower Center Medal of Freedom recipients include former U.S. Secretaries of State James A. Baker III and Colin Powell, former British Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, U.S. Senator John McCain, historian David McCullough, former commander-in-chief of U.S. Central Command Gen. Tommy R. Franks (Ret.), former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, and former First Lady Laura Welch Bush ’68.

The SMU Tower Center was created to commemorate the late U.S. Senator John G. Tower, whose life was dedicated to public service and education. In the spirit of John Tower‘s commitment to educate and inspire a new generation of thoughtful leaders, the Tower Center seeks to bridge the gap between the world of ideas, scholarship and teaching, and the practice of politics. The primary mission of the Tower Center is to promote the study of politics and international affairs and to stimulate an interest in ethical public service among undergraduates. The Tower Center is an academic center where all parties and views are heard in a marketplace of ideas, and the Center will pursue its mission in a nonpartisan manner.

> Visit SMU’s Tower Center online: smu.edu/tower

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