Academics SMU Abroad Travel

Studying Abroad at SMU

Hey, y’all! My name is Jake Greene and I am a sophomore studying Finance and Markets & Culture. I am originally from Austin, Texas, but I am currently living in Richmond, Virginia with my family.

SMU is lucky to have a great Study Abroad office that encourages students to expand their horizons and take classes outside of Dallas. Students can pick from summer or semester-long programs to take classes for their majors/minors or fulfill UC requirements. There are programs across the world – from yoga courses in Bali to language immersion programs in Spain. Pick a place, and SMU can help you make it reality.

Last summer, I had the opportunity to study at University College (the oldest of the 39 colleges in the University of Oxford) for five weeks through the SMU-in-Oxford program. It was one of the highlights of my SMU experience, and I can’t help but think about a few things that I miss about England and the program.

The Classes

I took two classes on the University College campus – one class about European Diplomacy, and another about 18th Century England that was taught by a real Oxford professor. The classes were always interesting, as we took day trips to learn about history in the places where it actually happened (English landmarks like Stonehenge, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Westminster Abbey). Because of this unique class structure, I was able to develop closer bonds with my professors and better understand the material.

The Culture

Whether it be for a few weeks or a full semester, studying abroad allows you to become immersed in a new culture. By the end of the five weeks, I realized that I wasn’t just an American tourist in Europe – I was a real Oxford student. I knew the best study spots, I had a favorite grocery store, and the guy at the kebab shop even knew my order (shoutout to Ahmed). I still miss the English culture, and my experiences have inspired me to move abroad at some point in the future.

The Friends

Lastly, the incredible friendships that I made throughout the five weeks was one of the best parts about my time in England. We studied together, made memories in the Univ pub, and traveled on the weekends. Living together and studying abroad is a great bonding experience, and I am so glad that I was able to become friends with people that I still see at SMU.

Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I highly recommend it if you have the opportunity. SMU students are World Changers, and studying abroad is the perfect opportunity to expand horizons and make unforgettable memories.

Pony up!

Ambassadors Campus Life Spirit and Traditions

A Big Smood

 Hey, y’all! Our names are Ian Perkins-Smith (‘21) and Palmer Beldy (‘22), and we love listening to music. Whether it’s bopping to a new playlist while we are studying in Fondren or cheering on Ian and the Mustang Band at football games, we always like to keep it fun and jam out. Because of this, it’s only right that we made a playlist that we think fits SMU’s vibe. There are a bunch of dope songs to listen to, but we curated our top ten songs to give you a preview of what life is like at SMU. We have a lot to offer you here, and hopefully, these songs can help you see yourself as a Mustang.

The Top 10 Best Songs to Get You in the Smood

  1. All my Exes live in Texas – George Strait

George Strait is an absolute, bona fide, Texas legend, so we included one of his most iconic songs on the playlist. Throughout the song, George shouts out a few Texas cities and how it’s a place that he would “dearly love to be”, and we know you will say the same thing after your first semester. If you aren’t from the South, you might start saying the word “y’all,” or you might pick up a pair of cowboy boots – who knows! All we do know is that you’re going to love Dallas.

  1. Hotel California – The Eagles

C’mon – who doesn’t love this classic? We love Texas, but we also love the out of state kids! There are students from all over the country and from around the world on the Hilltop, and you will get to meet tons of new people during your time at SMU. We know that a lot of students come from California, so here’s a shout out to show some California Love and welcome everybody from the wild, wild west.

  1. American Teen – Khalid

Khalid is now an honorary Mustang after he performed at SMU last spring! Program Council, a student programming organization on campus, was able to plan a big concert for the student body, but there are so many other ways to get involved on campus. With over 200 organizations, you can do big things here at SMU, and maybe even meet a celebrity or two along the way!

  1. Sunday Best – Surfaces

This song touches on the relaxation, being carefree, and the persistent nature of the SMU spirit, but the title highlights the other side of the SMU community as well. While maintaining good vibes, Mustangs really know how to dress! You can see fellow Mustangs dressed to the nines at Boulevards before football games, important meetings, and other special events that happen around campus.

  1. Sure Thing- Miguel

Just like cash and the rubber band and a match and a fuse (boom!), you and SMU are a sure thing. We can’t wait for you to start your SMU journey!

  1. Hooked on a Feeling – Blue Swede

Boulevarding in the Fall, Perunapalooza, Moody Magic, and so much more – once you experience what it means to be a Mustang, there is no going back. You’ll be hooked on SMU!

  1. Texas Sun – Leon Bridges, Khruangbin

Although it gets hot (and we mean really hot) in Texas, nothing can beat a bright, sunny day in Dallas. Make sure to grab a blanket and soak up some rays on Dallas Hall Lawn, or snap some pictures of an infamously beautiful Dallas sunset.

  1. Down – Jay Sean, Lil Wayne

If you are down, there is always something to do in Dallas. Sporting events, concerts, a killer art scene, or even just walking around Uptown with your friends – you name it! So, make sure you are down, down, down, down, down to explore this fantastic city.



  1. Do You Wanna Do Nothing With Me? – Lawrence

Sometimes you need to slow down and maybe do a little bit of nothing! Dallas Hall Lawn is a beautiful sprawl of grass in front of our undeniably iconic Dallas Hall. When it’s warm outside, especially in the spring, people love to hang out with friends, play Spikeball, hammock, or even do homework there. It’s a great way to make sure that you’re a full-time human and not just a full-time student.

  1. Get Down On It – Kool and the Gang

Mustangs love a good get together, and we know that this song represents that part of the SMU community. Mustangs love to bust a move, whether it’s at formals, in the stands at a football game, or honestly in Fondren library (as a study break, of course), and Kool and the Gang gives you the best opportunity to do just that.

Honorary Mention: Bartender – T-Pain, Akon

We’re not gonna lie, we just love this song, BUT it’s a jam nonetheless. Just like the bartender in this song thinks T-Pain is cool, we think you’re cool, and we can’t wait to meet you in the Fall!

For all 90+ songs, tap the link below. Thanks for reading our post, and we can’t wait for you to experience SMU!


Apple Music:

(As fun as President Turner and our staff are, this playlist is not endorsed by the university – this is just for fun and made independently by us!)

Pony up!

IPS and PB

Ambassadors Campus Life Student Organizations

Get Involved at SMU!

Hey y’all!

My name is Christian Hammond, and I’m a junior ambassador here at SMU studying biology and political science with minors in European studies and French. I’m originally from Memphis, Tennessee, so SMU and Dallas were an amazing fit for me: southern hospitality combined with all the opportunities and amenities that an incredible city like Dallas has to offer.

Like so many of y’all in high school, I was extremely involved before I came to SMU; I played soccer for a club and my high school, did choir and theater, was an Eagle Scout, and loved being involved with a few service organizations at my high school. Needless to say, when I arrived at SMU as a first year in the fall of 2017, I was ready to jump straight in to everything SMU had to offer.

A “Night at the Club” my freshman year was the best way possible for my college career to start out. For those of you who don’t know, NATC is basically an organizations fair right before the first week of class where every campus organization sets up a table, pushes free t-shirts and food and candy on you, and gets you to sign up for their organization. I gave out my email and number to probably 30 different people that night, and within the first two weeks of school I was already doing community service with Mustang Heroes, attending a campus ministry, and playing intramural soccer and volleyball.

One of the coolest things about SMU’s student involvement programs is that if there’s something you want to do that, by some impossible stretch of the imagination, isn’t already supported on campus, it’s extremely simple to start your own organization. After serving with and leading in Mustang Heroes for two years, a good friend of mine, Darian Taylor, approached me to help him start the Big Event on SMU’s campus. The Big Event is the nation’s largest day of collegiate community service, and we started it in order to give every single SMU student a straightforward and accessible outlet to volunteer with their community and to be united through service. It was so simple to start: all we needed was an advisor, bylaws that we drew up, and funding, which we got easily through Student Senate, and voila: a new student organization!

I think the most important thing that I’ve learned about being involved on campus is to make sure you’re only doing things that you are personally invested in. It’s so easy, especially your first year, to be sucked into saying “yes” to every club and every position that comes your way, but I learned hard and fast that it’s hard to balance school, a social life, organizations, and sleep at the same time. One of the biggest lessons you’ll learn at SMU is how to say no: SMU students are so talented, so involved, and so well-rounded that after a few years, I’ve learned that my “no” is infinitely more valuable than my “yes.” By now, I’ve narrowed down my involvement to the things that I truly care about and that have made a difference in my life. I love being involved with my Greek chapter and serving on the Interfraternity Council executive board, attending my student ministry the Wesley House, working as an ambassador, and serving on the Big Event team. These opportunities have given me a platform to make a difference in my community, and that’s what student involvement is really all about: finding ways to invest in the communities that have invested in you.

Can’t wait to see how y’all get involved on the Hilltop next year! Pony up!


Christian Hammond

Class of 2021

Life Around Dallas Texas

Your Dallas Guide

Dallas has a little bit of everything, whether you want to see an up-and-coming band or eat dinner on a downtown rooftop. Growing up in Dallas, I have been lucky to experience this city for 21 years, and it has been so much fun seeing the city through fresh eyes with my friends from out of state. With both world-class museums and delicious food all residing in the same city limits, it can be hard to pick the best of the best, but here is a Dallas guide from a Dallas native.

Deep Ellum 

One of the coolest areas in Dallas, Deep Ellum, is home to amazing music, eccentric food, and unique shops. I personally love Deep Ellum because I take improv classes at Dallas Comedy House every week and have met so many amazing people there. And I had one of the most surreal experiences when I ran into Halsey outside her show at Club Dada and got to snap a picture with her.

Here are my top hits in Deep Ellum.

(Do not forget to snap a picture in front of the many murals)

Downtown Dallas

Many people forget that Dallas has an actual downtown scene, where students come to both to eat, shop, and work. I have spent the last two semesters interning in Downtown Dallas at the D Magazine office, and working in Downtown has been one of my favorite college experiences. Run Downtown to see a Stars or Mavs game at the American Airlines Center, or plan a night out to see a Broadway show at the AT&T Performing Arts Center; Downtown has a ton to do!

Uptown & Oak Lawn

On the Hilltop, we are lucky to have so much around our campus directly, whether it be a short walk or a 5-minute drive. Mockingbird Station is right across the highway, and Uptown is just a short drive, giving us lots of options for a quick dinner off-campus, or spending time with friends. That is one of the best things about SMU; it’s a small town in a big city.

I have loved growing up in Dallas and spending my college years here. I hope this list provides some insight into what the city has to offer and why living on the Hilltop is worth it.

Pony Up,

Kathryn Chavez

Ig: @Kathrynchavez


Research at SMU

Hi! My name is Eliana Abraham and I am a sophomore from Plano, TX double majoring in biology and health & society and minoring in psychology on the pre-health track.

The professors at SMU, in addition to teaching classes, conduct research in their respective fields. Opportunities for research exist outside of the hard sciences. Two examples from my own friends are projects for history and economics. My research experience began after my freshman year during which I discovered a new interest.

Before attending SMU, I had never taken a psychology class. After enrolling in PSYC 1300 with Dr. Susan Hornstein during my first semester, my fascination with the subject led me to decide to add a psychology minor to my academic career. When considering the research opportunities at SMU, I decided to send emails to biology and psychology labs. This method of reaching out to any lab that interested me was suggested by professors and student mentors.

Ultimately, I became an Undergraduate Research Assistant for the Anxiety and Depression Research Center (ARDC) at SMU. This center tackles anxiety and depression from clinical intervention and biological perspectives. I personally help with Natalie Tunnell’s project studying the effects of a particular therapy for pregnant women. When I became a Research Assistant, this study was still being approved by the Institutional Review Board. Since joining the ARDC, my tasks have included extensive literature reviews, creating the online versions for the surveys, and recruiting participants. It has been an incredible experience to be a part of this project from its beginning. Moving forward, I plan to continue my work at the ARDC. This time next year, I hope to pursue my own project under the guidance of Natalie, the other PhD students, and the directors of the center.

Once realizing my passion for psychology and finding the ARDC, I was able to so easily envision how this research opportunity would greatly enhance my academic life at SMU. Regarding academics, my two recommendations to incoming students would be to let yourself be pleasantly surprised by a class and to connect yourself to the opportunities on campus, even if that’s by sending emails expressing your interest. SMU is the place to explore your newfound passions, and to have those passions be shaped into an incredible experience, with the help of your mentors.

Ambassadors Athletics Campus Life Spirit and Traditions Student Organizations

SMU Homecoming 2019

Last year, I had the privilege of serving as the Homecoming Chair for SMU. Homecoming is a special time for SMU when the entire community of students, faculty, alumni and university neighbors come together to celebrate a time of togetherness and school spirit. My committee and I planned a fun filled week with a pep rally, a philanthropic dance marathon and a parade with over thousands of attendees. We had 31 homecoming candidates that spanned 18 different organizations. I am so proud to say that in 2019, we had the most diverse participation ever with groups such as the Association of Black Students and Theta Tau, the engineering fraternity.

This year I picked the theme to be “Homecoming: A Tradition as Old as Time.” Each organization was given a chance to submit their choices and we had great themes such as the The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Alice in Wonderland. At the start of the week, we started out with our pep rally, Rock the Vote. The entire student body was invited to our football stadium where we asked the candidates questions for everybody to get to know them better and their personality. Our dance and cheer squad also performed to start the week on a fun note.

We had a parade with 9 fully built floats, 4 decorated golf carts and 3 decorated vehicles. Floats were decorated over the course of a week with 10 hours each day available for members of each organization to come decorate. During the parade, each candidate or pair of candidates rode in the parade with their organization walking behind and cheering. They passed out stickers, cups, and fun other items to the people watching the parade.

We then finished the day with an amazing 59-51 win against East Carolina University. I loved being able to put my own spin on Homecoming and get to work with my committee to plan such a special day.  I learned lots of amazing lessons and am so grateful for the experience.

Pony Up!

Abby Johnson

Class of 2021

Academics Ambassadors Campus Life Careers

Why I Chose SMU!

SMU has given me…

an outstanding education.

inspiring friends who will make a difference in the world.

the opportunity to push myself to higher achievement.

experiences with a variety of accomplished people in the world.

travel to gain education in various locations.

connection with the local Dallas community.

internships with top companies, such as Amazon.

leadership capabilities.

the best memories.

an experience of a lifetime.


As an SMU Senior finishing my last semester from home, I am grateful for the time I was able to spend on campus, although I for sure took my time there for granted. I have had the opportunity to reflect on truly what SMU has meant to me over the past 4 years during this global pandemic. I have come to realize that SMU provided me a community that went way beyond the classroom.

Originally, I chose SMU because of the medium-sized student population, the city of Dallas, wide range of alumni community, and the individuals I met while touring campus prior to attending were inspiring and challenged me to choose a school that would help me achieve my dreams. Little did I know when I made the decision to attend SMU the benefits have totally gone beyond my initial expectations. SMU has really pushed me to define my values and understand what I want in life. This has enabled me to seek employment in areas that really matter for a long-term career. As a whole, the SMU student body is a community of leaders and future world changers. SMU students don’t just sit back and watch as the world changes them… they seek out opportunities to change the world. Dallas is truly a launching point to achieving dreams and making large impacts globally.

As I sit in my living room at home as an out of state student, I long for the missed days on the SMU campus with my friends. However, at SMU, college isn’t just 4 years… it is truly a lifetime. A lifetime of an education, connections, and leadership abilities that will make great dreams become platforms to greatly impact the world. While my time at SMU is coming to an end, I am truly grateful for the SMU community that will continue no matter where life takes me. Four years ago, I was a lost Freshman searching for a community that would aid in the shaping of my future. As I will soon gain my SMU diploma, I will leave this campus as a strong, independent world changer leaving with a firm foundation of an education and a community that will support me no matter the unforeseen future. SMU has ignited my passions and a drive to achieve my dreams. 4 years fly by so soak up every moment of it!!

Once a Mustang, always a Mustang!

Laura Catherine Harrell

Class of 2020


Ambassadors Campus Life Life Around Dallas Student Organizations

SMU, Service, and (Connor) Saeli

Hey everyone! My name is Palmer, and I am a sophomore studying Public Relations and Advertising. I am originally from California, but I live in Lexington, Kentucky, now. Dallas is the perfect blend of the big city culture of Los Angeles and the southern hospitality of the Bluegrass state.

Some of the best and most memorable experiences of my life have been at SMU. There is always something to do, and always someone to do it with. Whether you are Boulevarding on a Saturday or studying in a coffee shop in Deep Ellum, it is easy to become busy and let the time fly by. But, if you have some extra time, one of my favorite ways to meet other SMU students and learn about the Dallas community is through service and philanthropy! It might not be as glamorous as beating TCU (Go Stangs!), but if you like to volunteer or need some service hours for a scholarship, here are a few of the service experiences that have shown me what it means to be a Mustang.

Mustang Heroes 

Mustang Heroes is the biggest service organization on campus. Mustang Heroes works with over ten nonprofits in the Dallas area, and so there are plenty of options for students to choose from, whether it is tutoring little kids or walking dogs at the animal shelter.

The Big Event 

The Big Event is the largest, one-day, student-run service project in the nation. The Big Event was established at Texas A&M University in 1982 and continues to impact communities 36 years later. Each Spring, tens of thousands of students nationwide gather to serve their communities. It is so much fun to get to see so many friends, faculty, and staff members on one day and get to hang out and have fun while we help the community!

Dance Marathon

Dance Marathon is a year-long fundraising initiative that raises money for Children’s Health in Dallas. At the end of the year-long effort, we have a big dance party for 6 hours to celebrate all of SMU’s work in supporting the kids and families at Children’s. There are games, family speakers, music, performers, and more! For Dance Marathon 2019, we had Connor Saeli, an SMU grad and contestant on The Bachelorette, come and help us out! I am on the exec board for Dance Marathon, and so I got to work with the hospital families that visited and introduced them to Connor. I have never seen The Bachelorette or The Bachelor (sorry Bachelor nation!), but it definitely shows “once a Mustang, always a Mustang.”

There are so many more ways to get involved on campus, but these are a few of my favs! If you have any questions about these organizations or involvement on campus, please reach out at

Pony up!

Palmer Beldy

SMU Class of 2022


Ambassadors Athletics Spirit and Traditions

SMU Spirit and Traditions

I always knew I had made the right decision to come to SMU, but it wasn’t until the early end of the semester that I really looked back and realized how grateful I am for the memories I have made here. As the end of  my junior year was cut off due to the pandemic, I found myself thinking–  The next time I step foot on campus, I will be entering my final year as a Mustang. This thought led  my mind down a path of endless memories, as if I was watching a slow-motion movie of my time at SMU.

The memories that stood out the most were some of my favorite events and traditions that have made my time as a Mustang so special. First, convocation when I was nervously walking alongside girls I hadn’t met, little did I know they would become some of my closest friends. As we walked through Dallas Hall around the seal and were welcomed into the SMU community, I remember feeling goosebumps trying to picture what my next four years would be like. That walk was so symbolic for me and will forever be one of my favorite traditions here at SMU.

Fast forwarding a few weeks, I finally got to experience my first Boulevard. As I walked down the Boulevard,  I was surrounded by students wearing white, showing their school spirit. I was amazed by the lines of tents decorated with extravagant chandeliers, each blasting music, and even some with puppies sporting red and blue uniforms. It was then that I truly realized why it is called Boulevarding– it is so much more than just a tailgate. Families happily walk up and down the Boulevard running into old friends, and walking with their future Mustangs. However, you have never truly experienced the Boulevard until you take a picture with Peruna.

As I sat there reflecting on my favorite traditions, the Celebration of Lights instantly popped into my mind. This event happens every year around Christmas time. This tradition will always be close to my heart, not only because of the delicious hot chocolate, but because everyone is truly welcome to join together in celebration.  During the tradition, people from the Dallas community as well as those across Dallas gather together to sing Christmas Carols in front of Dallas Hall as we watch every tree light up the lawn. For me, this tradition symbolizes the community  that SMU creates. Not only is it a celebration of Christmas and friendship, but it is a moment to celebrate the honor of being a Mustang. SMU provides an incredible community with endless traditions that make the University so special. Not only has SMU given me the opportunity to expand my knowledge in an academic setting, they have opened doors for further opportunities and have made me feel at home.

Pony Up,

Ana Paula Martinez

Class of 2021

Arlington, TX


Ambassadors Campus Life Uncategorized

Dining Hall Hacks

Hi everyone! My name is Ankita and I’m majoring in Advertising and Sociology with minors in History and Graphic Design. Today I’m going to share my ultimate guide to the dining halls here at SMU. After three years of eating on campus, I’ve definitely learned a few tricks! Some of these require hopping around stations but they’ll really take your meals to the next level. 







  1. Upgraded Oatmeal: Oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfasts at the dining hall. The oatmeal comes plain and unsweetened, so I make sure to add lots of toppings to  give it flavor and make it more filling. My favorite toppings are peanut butter (by the toaster,) bananas, granola, brown sugar, and raisins, but I’ve also added berries and apples.
  2. Breakfast tortilla: I get my eggs scrambled with some cheese and pico de gallo and throw them into a tortilla. You can add whatever proteins and vegetables you want to this. I always put some Cholula on mine!
  3. Breakfast sandwich: I recently discovered this, and it is so easy. Grab a croissant and fill it with whatever you’d like for an easy breakfast sammie. My favorite combos are eggs, meatless sausage, and cheese, but you could easily do this with bacon or sausage.


  1. Upgraded Fried Rice: My favorite way to spice up fried rice is by adding eggs from the omelet bar. Grabbing eggs and veggies from the other stations is an easy way to add protein and flavor. Sometimes, I get vegetables and sauce and then I make my way over to the salad bar for some quinoa to add extra protein.
  2. Loaded Nachos: Arnold’s Tex-Mex station has all the tools you need to make your own nachos. You can add any of the proteins offered and top with queso, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos, and whatever else you’d like!
  3. Pink Vodka Pasta Sauce: This hack changed the way I ate pasta at Umph completely. Get pasta with half marinara and half alfredo sauce, and when mixed it turns into a pink vodka sauce! The consistency and texture is perfect and the combination adds tons of flavor.


  1. Starbucks Cups: These cups are lifesavers and are great for taking snacks with you on the go. My favorite things to add are Goldfish (by the salad bar!), baby carrots, and cereal. 
  2. Arnold Palmers: Super easy! Mix equal amounts lemonade and sweet tea for your very own Arnold Palmer.
  3. Root Beer Floats: Add some ice cream from the soft serve station to root beer/your favorite soda for an easy float!


  1. Ice Cream Sandwiches: This hack works best during lunch in Umph when cookies come fresh out of the oven. Grab two and add ice cream for your very own ice cream sandwich!
  2. Upgraded Waffles: Mix and match different toppings to upgrade your waffle! My roommates and I used to make a “waffle of the week” where we would all split a Texas-shaped waffle with different themed toppings. We added ice cream, brownies, cookies, cereal, or whatever else looked interesting.
  3. Affogatos: Add some coffee to ice cream for a DIY version of an affogato! Super classy and also tastes amazing.
  4. Caramel apples: Grab an apple from the front and some dulce de leche/caramel syrup from the ice cream topping bar for an easy dessert!

And there you have it! Let me know which ones you end up trying out. Don’t be afraid to get creative and create your own culinary masterpieces!

Ankita Padarthy

Class of 2021

Ambassadors Campus Life Residence Life and Student Housing

SMU Res Life Survival Guide

Hi everyone! My name is Cristina Mauldin, and I’m a senior here at SMU! I’m on the Pre-law track with majors in Spanish and Education and minors in Philosophy and Religious Studies. I’m originally from Mansfield, TX (about 26 miles Southwest of SMU), and I currently serve as a Resident Assistant in Armstrong Commons! I’m going to share with you my top 5 tips for living in the Residential Commons; think of it as an SMU Res Life Survival Guide!


5. Bring supplies. SMU RLSH (Residence Life and Student Housing) has a website which lists all of necessary supplies for living in the commons. Some examples include Twin XL bedding, pillows, a mirror, shower caddy/shoes, surge protector, decorations, etc.




4. Pack seasonally. This means bring mostly summer/fall clothing (and maybe 1 or 2 winter coats) first semester and mostly winter/spring clothing spring semester. Your closet will thank you!



3. Use commons resources. Each commons has a leadership team which is the combination of your RCD, FIR, RA’s, and Commons Council with members who are extremely involved in the commons/on campus. Ask them every question you have! In addition, each building comes equipped with lounges, game rooms, and study rooms for you to use and even special rooms such as music studios, meditation rooms, or libraries for entertainment. We also get AWESOME swag (check out my Armstrong Commons hat and my roommate Anna’s Armstrong shirt).


2. Get involved. Every commons has this thing called “Commons Council” which is the governing council over your commons. As a member, you can help plan events, take on leadership positions, and help your commons compete for commons cup points! (The Commons Cup is SMU’s version of the Triwizard Tournament from Harry Potter).





1.BE YOURSELF! The commons are meant to be your home away from home! This is the place where you will make your first friend group that feels like family and possibly join a leadership team the works for the betterment of your commons community. Your authentic self is an asset to both of these things so 100% bring it!

Ambassadors Campus Life General Life Around Dallas Uncategorized

What I Miss Most About SMU

Hey guys, I’m Zac from San Diego,CA majoring in Finance and Corporate Communication & Public Affairs.

College students across the country are struggling with the reality that their time on campus has been cut short. I know for me; it has been hard to walk away from the friendships that I have made here, especially with the seniors who won’t be returning to campus the next time I do. SMU has been my home for the past three years, and I have grown to love the culture that encompasses our beautiful campus in Dallas, Texas. Other than being away from the amazing friends I have made at school, there are a few other things that come to mind when thinking about what I miss most about SMU…

The Katy Trail

A beautiful 3.5-mile trail that begins at the edge of campus and stretches all the way downtown to the American Airlines Stadium. A few miles down the trail you can find the Katy Trail Ice house, which is a classic destination for good food and drinks.


Dallas Hall Lawn 

Dallas Hall Lawn is the ideal place to sit and enjoy a sunny Dallas day with your friends. There are dogs running about, people playing spikeball and hammocks in between trees. It’s a special place that is also home to many of our long-standing traditions like Boulevarding, Peruna Palooza (our mascot, Peruna’s, Birthday party) and Celebration of Lights.

Fondren Library 

Or what most students refer to as “Club Fondy,” is the first floor of Fondren Library. It is the ideal place to grab a quick snack, work on a group project, chat with friends or even meet with a mentor for a cup of coffee.


Armstrong Commons  

I am fortunate that Armstrong has been my home on campus for the past 2 ½ years. Some of my best friends and memories came from living in Armstrong. I now serve as a Resident Assistant and greatly miss the residents I used to interact with each and every day.

Dallas Food 

The restaurants in Dallas are like none other. A few of my favorite spots include Velvet Taco, Mi Cocina, Sixty Vines and GapCo. However, my favorite place when I am craving really good food, is the Honor Bar. You have to order the Ding’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich.

I am already counting down the days until I step foot back on campus for one last time, as me and my friends start our senior years together.

Pony up!

Zac Scornavacco

Class of 2021



Meet Naomi!

Name: Naomi Samuel

Classification: Junior

Major: Marketing and English

Why SMU? SMU made a huge impression on me because it’s the first college I had ties to. My parents are immigrants so I knew little about American universities. I visited SMU a few times through extra credit opportunities through the International Baccalaureate program at my high school. Once I visited, I knew it was the school for me.

Favorite thing about SMU? The beautiful campus and abundance of resources.

Favorite place on campus? The Bridwell Library. I don’t go often but it’s beautiful in such an elegant way.

Words of Advice to Diverse Applicants: Reflect on what diversity means to you. Think about how comfortable you are navigating spaces where very few other people look like you. It’s not always easy, especially if you don’t come from a background that looks like SMU. It tests your confidence. It can also test your patience. It’s really up to you as an individual to decide if it’s for you. You definitely grow, but it’s no easy feat. 

Additional Highlights about your personal story: Being a business student, SMU provides unmatched opportunities in Texas. I had 100% security in my future after my first year of college, which has made me sound in my decision. 


Meet Raven!

Name: Raven Battles

Classification: Junior, Class of 2019

Major: Philosophy with an emphasis on Ethics, Law and Security with a minor in Law and Legal Reasoning

Why SMU? While SMU was not my immediate first choice, I quickly fell in love with the campus when I visited for an Admitted Student Reception day in late April. I chose to attend SMU because of the degree programs available, beautiful campus with easy access to downtown Dallas, the options to study abroad, the multiple organizations established on campus, and finally the financial incentives.

Favorite thing about SMU? My favorite things about SMU are the faculty and staff. I have had the opportunity, through running an organization and work study, to meet many individuals from administrators and assistants to dining staff and groundskeepers. They have made me feel not only welcomed but also have offered encouragement and pointed me to the resources that I needed to succeed throughout my time here. 

Favorite place on campus? My favorite spot on campus is the third floor of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. It is the hub for student organizations and houses resources for these organizations to thrive. I find I spend a lot of time in this building, particularly on the third floor, in the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and the Student Activities Office, which among other orgs, houses Greek life.

Perspective about diversity on campus. Diversity on SMU’s campus is one of those areas that I did not see a lot of as I stepped onto campus my freshman year. However, in the short time that I have been here (3 years), it’s the area in my opinion most improved. I have had the privilege of working closely with individuals who have and are continuing to implement tools necessary in the building of diversity in student body numbers, faculty and staff hires, and the inclusion of courses made available to students who seek to learn more about diversity and cultural sensitivity. 

Words of Advice to Diverse Applicants: SMU is not the place for those who are comfortable with sitting back and coasting for the next four years. However, if you are the type who likes to see and make change happen, then this campus is a great space to do. There are active communities here fully stocked with resources and support to help you in your journey here at SMU. My advice is to find them, get involved, and don’t be afraid to redefine the labels of this school. It will not only help SMU grow, but you just might find at the end of your time here that you have grown as well.


Meet Audrey!

Name: Audrey Ngo / Ngô Quế Anh

Classification: Sophomore

Major: Health & Society / French

Why SMU? Financial Opportunity + Dallas connections 

Favorite thing about SMU? Abundance of shady areas on campus to nap or read outside. 

Favorite place on campus? Bridwell Library- prettiest place to study!

Words of Advice to Diverse Applicants: Don’t let the crowd get you down- you being confident in yourself is the greatest advantage you have in any path in life.

Additional Highlights about your personal story: (i.e. scholarships, work study, ability to pay, exposure to new cultures, unique experiences, faculty, student organizations, etc.): Get involved, get involved, get involved. SMU, being a primarily white institution, provides the perfect environment for a diverse student to rise above their peers at more prestigious schools. Being involved in Student Senate, SMU Debate, a sorority, and College Democrats has given me more connections to potential careers than I ever could have imagined.