Campus Life Spirit and Traditions Student Organizations Uncategorized

Homecoming’s Top Perks

Alex HibbardHomecoming is an exciting time at SMU, and this year was no exception. Southern Methodist University was founded in 1911 and opened for 1915. This Homecoming was the 100th birthday of SMU and the faculty and students filled the entire week with fun activities to celebrate 100 years.

Every Homecoming, organizations pair together and participate in different activities. The Homecoming theme this year was based on previous years themes and organizations stuck to their designated theme the entire week. From Field Day to Rock the Vote, members from the organizations participated in all Homecoming events to try and earn points for his/her organization. Throughout the week, individuals painted Mustangs (Peruna Painting), decorated banners, built masterpieces using cans of food, shared images on social media, and built a float.

The celebration expanded way beyond the events listed above. Because this was the 100th birthday celebration of SMU, the school threw many events for students, faculty, and alumni. One of the first big events was the concert in Moody Coliseum. SMU brought in the Eli Young Band and students were able to attend the concert with just the swipe of their ID card. The band was incredible and it was a great way to celebrate SMU’s 100th year. On September 24th, SMU’s actual birthday, students, faculty, alumni, and other notable individuals were all on the north side of campus, celebrating with food, music, and carnival games.

The 100th year celebration ended Saturday Night after the football game with an incredible fireworks show. Fans went down to the field and looked up into the sky as fireworks were shot from all around the stadium. It was one of the most incredible firework shows I had ever been to and it was a great way to end a memorable week.

-Alex Hibbard


Campus Life Spirit and Traditions Student Organizations

SMU’s Centennial Homecoming

Caroline Gurley
I got to visit with President Turner after handing out prizes to Homecoming Queen and King winners!

This year’s Homecoming Celebrations are going to be remembered for a long time to come. SMU had its one hundredth birthday on Thursday, September 24th-the Thursday of Homecoming week! Because of this momentous achievement, SMU celebrated the achievements of the past century and the goals of the next all throughout the week. Students filled their free time by participating in the Homecoming activities and competitions held by SMU’s Student Foundation. I got to participate this year in Homecoming by leading it; I had the honor of being this year’s Student Foundation Homecoming Chair. This means that I got to work with an amazing group of students to plan the whole week. I’ll take some time now to describe what we did.

The week began on Friday, September 18th with candidate interviews. The candidates quickly showed the judges how involved they are at SMU and how much SMU means to them. Float building began the next day. Each year, student organizations build floats that are seen in the Homecoming parade. It is a large part of the competition for Homecoming spirit points, so teams give their best effort to make their float the best!

Sunday was a day full of fun. While float building continued, members from each organization participated in Field Day. Field Day is a race around campus. Each team must figure out a clue to find their next location and perform a task at that location. Each location was a blast!

Each day during the school week had a ton of activities planned as well! On Monday, each organization cheered loud at Rock The Vote, a pep rally celebrating the Homecoming candidates. Coach Chad Morris made an appearance and spoke to everyone about the game coming up. It was awesome! Tuesday was CANstruction. CANstruction is the philanthropic event of Homecoming. Organizations build structures out of cans that are then donated to the North Texas Food Bank. Wednesday was the Centennial Concert Celebration hosted by Program Council. They brought Cam and the Eli Young Band to campus to celebrate the University’s birthday at midnight. Thursday was the university’s 100th birthday. The day was full of celebrations and ceremonies; one that was particularly special was the Centennial Celebration. Thursday was also the night for late night float building that lasted until 2am. The organizations were working hard to finish their floats!

Finally, the weekend arrived! Saturday was a big day for everyone. The parade kicked off the celebrations for that day. Following the parade was the boulevard and then the football game against the James Madison Dukes. Following the game, SMU ended the birthday celebration with the best fireworks show Dallas has ever seen. SMU and the surrounding community came together to celebrate this momentous event. It really was a week that will be remembered for a long time to come!

-Caroline Gurley

Campus Life Spirit and Traditions

A Whole New Era for SMU

This year campus feels different. Yes, the improvements being made on campus are hard to miss, and so are the changes to the menu in Arnold, but the real difference is the student body’s renewed confidence in our football program. The past few years haven’t exactly been the best for our team, but it’s already apparent that this season we can expect great improvements from SMU football.

We love our team

The arrival of Chad Morris signaled a new, better direction for our team. The former offensive coordinator for Clemson, Coach Morris seemed excited to be at SMU from the moment he got here. He brought with him some new staff, but more importantly, new energy for the football program. In his first few weeks at SMU, along with recruiting he spent time at other SMU events: he was at the welcome for the basketball team after they beat UConn away, stopped by the sorority houses in February, and went above and beyond to make sure campus felt his arrival and sensed his commitment to our team. Yes he just got here, but it’s hard not to notice the impact Chad Morris’s presence has had on our campus.

Our team has also improved in some pretty marked ways over past several months. The football players seem more cohesive; at the games they seem to genuinely enjoy themselves, playing or not, they can be spotted all over campus together on their hoverboards, jetting from class to class. It’s been a pleasure to watch them play with a confidence I haven’t seen since I started at SMU two years ago. Matt Davis has done a wonderful job leading the team as quarterback, the offense and defense have both stepped up in big ways thus far, and everyone who has a big hand our games in other areas: the band, the cheerleaders, the Pom squad, and the fans have this football season’s experience–even with only two games played so far–distinct from any other I can remember.

-Tammy Winter


Spirit and Traditions

Football; Our First Big Win with Chad Morris!

Chad Morris getting dunked by our football players!
Chad Morris getting dunked by our football players!

Excitement is really building at SMU! My last blog post featured the hiring of Coach Chad Morris and this one is about his first win at SMU. On Saturday, September 12th, the SMU football players walked off their buses and headed down the boulevard for the Mustang Walk. The Mustang Walk is something the team does before every home game. It gives the fans a chance to interact with the players prior to the game and it gets everyone excited for the game. The Mustang Walk ends at the stadium where the players head in and get prepared for the game. Just sitting in the stands, I could feel everyone’s excitement as they entered the stadium that afternoon. The energy was incredible.

SMU played the University of North Texas and in remembrance of 9/11, the players wore new blue helmets with an American flag on the Mustang. This day also marked the end of a 665-day streak since the Mustangs last won in Ford Stadium. SMU won 31-13 that day. As someone that gets to work with these players every day in the training room, I can tell you that I have never seen them more excited than they were after the game on Saturday. One of our wide receivers even dunked Coach Morris with Powerade after the game.

To celebrate, some of the training staff headed to Whataburger after the game and you wouldn’t believe who we saw pulling through the drive through: none other than Coach Morris himself with his wife Paula!

Less than 24 hours later, the team was back in the weight room and on the field practicing to get ready for their game on September 19th against TCU. The win over UNT was the first of many more wins to come. This was the motivational video played for the team before beating UNT: If this doesn’t get you excited for the new era of SMU football and Coach Morris, then I’m not sure what will!

Pony Up and Beat TCU!

At the football game!
At the football game!

By: Sarah Lynn Woodruff

Ambassadors Athletics Campus Life Spirit and Traditions

ESPN College Game Day

This past month, College Game Day came to SMU, and it was one of the best days for SMU basketball. The day started at 8AM bright and early on a Saturday when they aired the show at our very own Moody Coliseum. As soon as I arrived, we were given free grilled cheese (who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese), and I got to take a picture with our live mascot Peruna. They also handed out tons of spirit items such as game day hats and posters.

ESPN Game day

Then SMU and its biggest fans filled the coliseum to support our basketball team. T-shirts were thrown throughout the whole event, and I actually caught one, which was a first for me. The day continued with a half court shot contest where an SMU student won $18,000 right at the buzzard. It is the second time this season that State Farm has given out $18,000.

The day continued with the big game that night against UCONN. SMU basketball ended up winning 73-55 making the college game day one for the books.

GAme day 2

By Kelsey Buttrell

Ambassadors Athletics Spirit and Traditions

A New Era For SMU Football

On December 1st, 2014, Chad Morris was named the new SMU Head Football Coach. Coach Morris comes to the Hilltop after five seasons as the offensive coordinator for Clemson. Morris brings a new level of excitement to the team, something we haven’t seen in a while. In just 64 days, Coach Morris and his staff were able to attract a strong initial recruiting class of 22 Texas guys. I can’t even begin to imagine what he will be able to do with an entire year of recruiting. There are however a few things everyone should know about Coach Morris and his staff before our first football game at home against Baylor on September 4th, so here they are:

Athletics Football Head Coach Chad Morris Announcement

1. Everything is fast paced. Have you seen #Tempo or the amount of Red Bull Coach Morris drinks?
2. “You never answer the phone on the first ring and you never show anybody that you’re tired” – Coach Morris
3. This coaching staff knows that there are a lot of players within a $10 tank of gas so they want to keep recruiting within Texas and especially within DFW.
4. Coach Morris has a “you’ve got to kill me to beat me attitude” and is ready to overcome in obstacles or challenges that are put in his way.
5. Lastly, Coach Morris WILL turn this football program around. He hasn’t taken a break from recruiting or working on the playbook since he arrived on campus. Coach Morris said it best himself, “You’re going to see an exciting brand of football. We’re going to be on of the biggest turnarounds in college football before this is over with.”

Spring practice begins after spring break. I can’t wait to see all the hard work that these players and coaches have put in this off-season in the weight room and on the field pay off. It’s a new era of Pony Football and I hope you all will be there to support Coach Morris and our SMU football team this fall!

SMU Football Schedule

Check out and use the hashtag #PonyUpTempo on social media throughout the season to track SMU’s success!

By Sarah Woodruff

Ambassadors Campus Life Life Around Dallas Spirit and Traditions

A Passion Rediscovered

When I was 6 years old, my mom bought my twin sister and me our first Dixie Chicks CD. She used to travel for work a few times a month, and one of the weeks that she was away, my dad helped my sister and I learn to sing the song “Long Time Gone” together. After a whole week of practicing, we performed it for my mom, and that performance was the beginning of my passion for music and – more specifically – for singing. My sister and I started singing everywhere we went: Christmas parties, the streets of downtown Dallas, the French Quarter in New Orleans, Times Square (right next to the “Naked Cowboy”!), and pretty much anywhere we could get the attention of a few people and sing for them. As I grew up, I got so distracted with preparing for college and doing homework and filling out applications that I stopped focusing on music. My junior year of high school, I started a local indie-rock band with my best friends, and we started playing at benefit concerts and coffee shops, and all of a sudden, I fell in love with singing and performing again.


But wait – what does any of this have to do with SMU?

Well, fast forward to college. Life gets busy again, band members scatter amongst different universities, and I forget, once again, to pursue what makes me feel the most alive. Thankfully, though, SMU helped me to remember.

At SMU, during Family Weekend every year, we have a talent show with acts ranging from singing to dancing to beat-boxing. The new drummer in my band and I got together and decided to audition with one of our original songs. We made it through auditions and we were able to actually perform at the talent show. It was absolutely exhilarating. If you’ve never performed something personal and precious on stage for your peers and family members, you might not know how nerve-wracking, yet rewarding it feels, and words could never do this feeling justice. But because of the opportunities that SMU provides for its students to really engage in what they love, I got to experience this feeling once again.


In addition to the Family Weekend Talent Show, I was given another opportunity to perform the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with one of my best friends at Celebration of Lights, one of SMU’s most notable traditions that takes place in early December every year and involves hot chocolate, live music, and Christmas lights. Once again, SMU afforded me the opportunity to show an audience what I love and what keeps me excited about life. I’m not a music major, and I could probably never be at the talent level of the students in Meadows School of the Arts, but I still get to live out my passion for music on a large scale because of SMU.

So, I might not be singing Dixie Chicks songs anymore, but I’m constantly reminded to pursue that 6-year-old’s dream here at SMU, 14 years after it all started.


By Jacqui Jacoby

Ambassadors Campus Life Spirit and Traditions

Sing Song

I could not act, sing, or dance even if my life depended on it. Before college the only musical role I ever played was a pig that just oinked in the background when I was in elementary school. That was the extent of my acting career. After being at SMU for a year and a half now, I’ve had so many experiences that I never thought I would have been able to do including Sing Song. SMU Program Council, a student organization, hosts this annual event every spring where Fraternities, Sororities, and other student organizations audition to be a part of this huge musical show, Sing Song. Even though I wasn’t much of a musical type of person, I ended up being in my fraternity’s group. Our fraternity was paired with another sorority, and we started to get to work. We practiced twice a week, about an hour per practice. It was hard work, but it was a ton of fun. 10271443_478342442295037_5801221688479936640_oBy the day of the show we were prepared. Basically our musical was about cavemen falling in love and dancing to Kesha. We ended up winning 3rd place, along with a nice cash prize! Our hard work had paid off, and it was an incredible experience. I had never thought I would have done anything like this in college. We actually just started to prepare for this year’s Sing Song, and I can’t wait to see the finished product!

By James Jang

Ambassadors Campus Life Life Around Dallas Spirit and Traditions

Summer on Campus

I am so excited that this summer I will be here on campus at SMU working AARO. For those that don’t know, AARO is an acronym for “Academic Advising Registration & Orientation” and I will be an AARO leader for next year’s first year students! I applied for the job way back in November and am pleased to say that I am a proud member of the 2015 Orientation team. As part of being an AARO Leader, we are required to take a class with Lindsay Koch and Jomita Fleming, two of the staff members in charge of the orientation programming here at SMU. We’ve been studying a lot about leadership and how to effectively allocate one’s skills to apply them in the best way possible. We have such a unique grouping of people and a mesh of backgrounds, and we truly are such a wonderful representation of the school’s diverse population. I am working with some friends that I’ve made over my two years as a student, and also have had the opportunity to get to know some people that I hadn’t met before. A couple Thursdays ago, we actually got a chance to see a Dallas Stars game at the American Airlines center with the whole “O-Squad.” It was great to do something so fun in the heart of Dallas, while also having the opportunity to introduce and familiarize myself with some of my co-workers and fellow Mustangs.

I can’t wait to meet the next wave of SMU students over the summer and help be a part of their integration into this fantastic school. Getting situated to a new school isn’t easy, but I want to make sure that the transition is as smooth and fun as possible. As always, Pony Up!

By Evan Giacomini

Ambassadors Athletics Campus Life Spirit and Traditions

Bringing Moody Magic to the Top 25

This past week, the SMU men’s basketball team remained in the top 25, by landing a spot as the 21st best team in the country! News like this excites all Mustang fans, and the crowd at the game on Wednesday was one of the loudest I have heard. The team, unfortunately, was not able to pull out the win that night against Cincinnati, but sometimes a loss is good for the team. It put a little fire in the bellies of our players, and the team went on to handily beat undefeated Tulsa in Tulsa the following Saturday to keep us in the rankings. Moody With all of the hype surrounding the basketball team, my friends and I are starting to get organized for a couple major events. What are those events? The first is the American Athletic Conference basketball tournament, in which we will compete over the second half of spring break in Hartford, Connecticut, and the second is the NCAA Tournament first and second round. The anticipation for these events has my friends and I buying plane tickets to witness the culmination of what could amount to a historic season for the Mustangs!

By William O’Connor

Ambassadors Athletics Campus Life Spirit and Traditions

Moody and March Magic

2015 at SMU has already started off with a bang and the men’s basketball team has dominated the New Year. SMU’s 23-6 overall record, 14-3 conference record, have led the Mustangs to the top of the American Athletic Conference, just one game behind Tulsa. Mustang basketball tickets are hard to come by these days as the team, led by Hall of Fame Coach Larry Brown, is having a great season. After the Mustangs did not make the NCAA Tournament last year, we proved to the Nation that we could perform by making it to the NIT Championship game at Madison Square Garden. This year, the ‘Stangs scheduled a difficult out of conference schedule to prove to the NCAA that we could play with good teams around the country. Although we lost a few tough games, SMU came away with a big win against Michigan and has not looked back since.
SMU basketball games are a blast to attend. George W. Bush, Tony Romo, Troy Aikman, and Avery Johnson are just some of the stars that attend basketball games in Moody Coliseum. Since the reopening of Moody Coliseum, SMU has only lost two home games and the ‘Stangs show no signs of stopping. Led by point guard Nic Moore and power forward Markus Kennedy, the SMU Mustangs have really proven that they can compete with the best around. It has truly been an exciting season and I cannot wait to see where the Mustangs end up in March!

By Alex Hibbard

Spirit and Traditions

The Magic of Pony Ears

DSC_9664By Elishah Ramos

If you have had the opportunity to spend time on campus, you may or may not have experienced seeing pony ears. Like many other Texas schools, we too have a hand sign, and although it may not be a claw or some horns, we have pony ears. Essentially, to make pony ears, you simply make a peace sign with (commonly) your right hand, and then let your first and middle fingers relax just enough so they’re slightly bent – caution: you want them relaxed just enough so that it feels comfortable, otherwise, if you do too much, you may end up with a completely different mascot from across the metroplex!

Pony ears play a huge role in supporting the Mustangs in Moody Coliseum. This season has certainly challenged the Mustangs with strong opponents; however, the team always plays with so much heart and the players give it their best. The student section, too, gives huge support for the Mustangs as some may put on costumes, coordinate chants, or simply cheer on the guys on the court. The student section always seems synchronized, especially with free throws: everyone throws the pony ears up and keeps quiet and still as one of our guys steps up to shoot. Despite the fact that Moody gets packed full of spectators, it gets so quiet that you can even hear when someone coughs or sneezes once the pony ears go up. Then, once you here the ball gracefully go through the basket everything goes back to the way it was. Moody Coliseum gets loud, excited, and even emotionally invested for our basketball team, but if you leave your pony ears at home, you might feel out of place. Even at the end of the game we raise our pony ears one more time to sing our alma matter, for all sporting events, regardless if we win or lose. So make sure that if you find yourself on campus to bring your pony ears too – especially for sporting events!

Spirit and Traditions

Building Spirit at the RC Olympics

larryBy Alex Hibbard

Earlier this month SMU had its first annual RC Olympics, and I was lucky enough to attend. I was participating in the Olympics for the McElvaney Residential Commons.  The event started at 3:00 as all of the Commons gathered at Prescott Field.  The open ceremony was full of games, guest speakers, and chants.  Larry Brown was one of the speakers at the event and I was lucky enough to get a picture with him prior to his speech.

(Picture: Alex Hibbard and JP Preisser take a photo with Basketball coach Larry Brown at the RC Olympics)

After the opening ceremony, the teams went to Dedman Fitness Center where the games began.  Games in the RC Olympics ranged from bubble soccer to cup stacking and battleship to rock paper scissors.  At the end of the night, the teams went outside to the volleyball courts where we played dodge ball.  The overall winner of the RC Olympics was Boaz Residential Commons.  Although McElvaney did not place, we had an awesome time and I am looking forward to next year!

The Residential Commons system at SMU has really transformed residence life thus far.  More students living on campus have really boosted school spirit.  The Residential Colleges have all had hall dinners and unique traditions and programs.  It has only been three weeks of school, but I am so excited to see SMU head in this new direction!

Spirit and Traditions

Celebrating the Season

By Liz Dubret and Billy Hightower

As we were on our way to work today, we noticed the Christmas lights were being put up for the Annual SMU Celebration of Lights! One of our most popular and well attended SMU traditions occurs at the beginning of December to kick off exams. At this function, everyone comes to the Dallas Hall Lawn with their friends and enjoys hot chocolate while singing Christmas Carols and listening to President Turner read us a Christmas story. This program, sponsored by Student Foundation, is not only an event focused on the students, but also on the community. Anyone can sponsor a child from Caesar Chavez and do activities like cookie decorating and holiday crafts and give them a gift from their wish list. The night ends with everyone lighting a candle and then all of the lights are turned on. The entire boulevard and the Dallas hall columns are covered in lights, and the campus becomes absolutely breathtaking!

Spirit and Traditions

Homecoming: Hawaiian Style

By Amie

I always tell prospective students to visit SMU on a football weekend if they are ever in limbo about the SMU experience. This homecoming weekend put that statement into action because the entire SMU campus was full with pride. Homecoming weekend is huge in many aspects, but for student organizations it means hard work that extends past homecoming week. 

I had the honor of serving as a homecoming candidate for the Association of Black Students and Asian Council this year. Competitions between organizations included field day, peruna painting, window painting, and many others. However, a huge bonding experience comes with float building, which lasts all week long. Floats this year included everything from huge sombreros to a life size cow. Organizations truly get creative with these floats since they are showcased in a homecoming day parade. It was amazing to stand on our float, pass out leis, and witness the SMU and Highland Park community support SMU students and all of our hard work.

This year’s homecoming was beyond fabulous and I can only hope that you will be able to experience one for yourself in the near future 😉

Pony Up!