Remembering SMU’s Civil Rights Champion, Dr. Dennis Simon

SMU Political Science Prof. Dennis Simon (first row, second from right) helped lead the way for the success of the Civil Rights Pilgrimage. Dr. Simon passed away Feb. 12 after a long illness.

SMU will remember the meaningful life and legacy of political science Prof. Dennis Simon today (Monday, April 3) at 2 p.m. in Perkins Chapel.

Key to Dr. Simon’s nationally respected career was his leadership in SMU’s Civil Rights Pilgrimage, an eight-day bus journey that takes SMU students, faculty and staff through the American South to see the places and meet the people involved in the Civil Rights struggle.

The trip is a powerful force for learning and change, as two SMU students recently told The Daily Campus:

“Standing on the steps of Little Rock Central High School gave me a profound appreciation of being able to obtain my education at Southern Methodist University.”
– SMU junior James Samuel

“The only way to combat … oppressive patterns is to learn the history of this country and stop trying to be so comfortable … We will only be fully human when we can identify with the pain of others and say everyone’s pain matters.”
– SMU senior Ashley Park

At the request of Dr. Simon’s family, memorial gifts should support SMU’s Civil Rights Pilgrimage (, a collaboration between the Office of the Chaplain and the Embrey Human Rights Program.

Gifts of fond memories about Dr. Simon also can be made via the Comments section of this post.

About Denise Gee

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