May Commencement Weekend is fast approaching!

We want to share several important reminders as you prepare for the event.

  • Purses and other bags are not allowed in Moody Coliseum!!  Please carefully review the bag policy for detailed information.
  • SMU has established standard, large venue safety and security requirements for events held in Moody Coliseum (similar to those in place for an athletic event).  All guests entering Moody will go through security screening and certain items are prohibited.  Be sure to carefully review the list of prohibited items by clicking here.
  • Beginning on Wednesday, May 8 at 9 AM through Friday, May 17 at 4 PM, your student can request guest admission tickets.  All guests, regardless of age, must have a printed entry ticket for the Baccalaureate Service (undergraduate candidates only) on Friday evening, May 17 in McFarlin Auditorium and a printed entry ticket for the all-university Commencement Convocation on Saturday morning, May 18 in Moody Coliseum.  Baccalaureate and Commencement guest tickets can be requested only by candidates who have indicated they will attend the ceremonies in my.SMU.  Candidates are allotted 2 guest tickets for the Baccalaureate Service (undergraduates only) and 4 guest tickets for the all-university Commencement Convocation.  Seating is limited and is first come, first served.  A ticket does not guarantee a seat.  Saving seats is not permitted; parties should enter together.  Once the venue reaches capacity, guests will be directed to a nearby simulcast location.  Simulcast locations do not require a ticket.  It is a violation of SMU policy for a candidate to sell or barter an academic ceremony guest ticket and may result in the loss of access to guest tickets and/or a referral to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards for a policy violation.  Each ticket has a unique code and can only be used once.  Once a ticket code has been used to gain admittance to the ceremony venue, no other use of the code is permitted.  Both ceremonies will be streamed online ( and simulcast at alternate campus locations.  More information about tickets can be found by clicking here.  Each school has their own diploma presentation ceremony and tickets may be required.  For information on school ceremonies, please click here.
  • Mobility-impaired seating is also limited on a first-come basis.  Guests seated in mobility-impaired seating are allowed one attendant/family member to accompany them.
  • Please make plans to arrive early and expect heavy traffic delays.  Candidates and guests may park in any of the University’s parking facilities.
  • Join us on Twitter!  Go to #SMUgrad and start posting today through graduation!!  Share tweets and images.  They may appear on the jumbotron in Moody on Commencement day!
  • Detailed information about guest tickets, security requirements and school diploma presentation ceremonies can be found on the May Commencement website.

If you have questions, please contact Enrollment Services at 214-768-3417 or by email.

We look forward to celebrating with you and extend our congratulations.

Protect against the flu: A message from the SMU Health Center

As the spring term begins, SMU’s Dr. Bob Smith Health Center is reminding students to take precautions against the flu and help prevent its spread by getting a flu shot as soon as possible, if they have not yet already done so.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cases of flu are increasing in Texas and across the country. We are closely monitoring flu advisories and reports from Dallas County and the CDC.

A flu shot and additional precautions

At SMU’s Health Center, flu shots are available to students at no cost, while supplies last. The Health Center (214-768-2141) is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Students are asked to bring their SMU IDs to the Health Center.

We are reminding students to take additional precautions, including to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, and to get plenty of rest to keep the immune system working at its best. Students also are reminded to be aware of flu symptoms.

More information about the flu is at, including campus resources and guidelines for preventing and treating the flu.



Message from SMU Police on campus security

The following message was sent to SMU students, faculty and staff on January 18:

Dear SMU community,

As the semester begins, SMU Police want to inform you about an incident on campus and also remind you to be aware of your surroundings. As always, if you see or hear suspicious activity, please call SMU Police at 214-768-3333.

At 11 p.m. Thursday, January 17, 2019, a student reported that a man forcibly took her cellphone outside Loyd Residential Commons, on the building’s east side. The suspect is described as a black male in his early 20s and approximately 5 feet, 10 inches tall. He was wearing black pants and a black Texas Tech hooded sweatshirt with red sleeves.

After taking the cellphone, the suspect ran to the Mustang Parking Center and entered the passenger side of a black four-door Nissan Altima, which drove north on Bush Avenue.

The suspect may have been involved in an earlier attempt Thursday night to take a cellphone from a group of students outside Arnold Dining Hall.

SMU Police ask anyone who may have information about this incident to call 214-768-3333. Information may be reported anonymously through the SMU Police Department’s Silent Witness Program by calling 214-SMU-2TIP or online at

The Police Department’s highest priority is the security of our campus community. In response to this incident, SMU Police are increasing patrols at night, in addition to their normal 24/7 patrols.

Please remember:

  • Program 214-768-3333 into your cellphone to reach SMU Police. Be aware that because the campus is at the intersection of several police jurisdictions, 911 calls made from a cellphone can reach any one of them, depending on your location.
  • Take note of blue-light phones across campus and in parking centers. They connect directly to SMU Police.
  • Use a security escort at night. SMU Safety Escort by Tapride offers free rides on campus from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. SMU Police can provide campus rides when the safety escort is not available.

SMU Police are available to provide crime prevention education and self-defense training to student groups. Other resources include the Office of Violence Prevention & Support Services (214-768-4512) and SMU Counseling Services (214-768-2277).

Our Police Department thanks you for your safety awareness, which plays an important role in campus security.


SMU Assistant Chief of Police Jim Walters

Protect against the flu: A message from the SMU Health Center

The following message was emailed to parents January 10. If you do not currently receive SMU emails but would like to get them, please fill out this form with your contact information.

Dear SMU Parent,

As SMU prepares for the spring term, we are reminding students to take precautions against the flu and help prevent its spread by getting a flu shot as soon as possible, if they have not yet already done so.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cases of flu are increasing in Texas and across the country. While reports indicate that this flu season’s vaccine may be less effective than in previous years, getting vaccinated continues to offer the best protection against the flu. We are closely monitoring flu advisories and reports from Dallas County and the CDC.

A flu shot and additional precautions

Because flu can spread by contact with people who are ill, we recommend that students get a flu shot at a local pharmacy, clinic or physician’s office to develop protection against the flu before the spring term begins, if they did not already get vaccinated this fall at campus clinics or during winter break.

At SMU’s Dr. Bob Smith Health Center, flu shots are available to students at no cost, while supplies last. The Health Center is currently open during its normal operating hours, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Students are asked to bring their SMU IDs to the Health Center. Update: Appointments are not required for flu shots.

We are reminding students to take additional precautions when they return to campus, including to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, and to get plenty of rest to keep the immune system working at its best. Students also are reminded to be aware of flu symptoms.

More information about the flu is on the SMU website, at, including campus resources and guidelines for preventing and treating the flu.

We look forward to continuing to provide services that support your student’s health and well-being in 2018.


The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center staff

Seasonal stress: How to help campus community members

SMU students walking outside a residence hall, fall colors

As SMU enters both the holiday and exam seasons for Fall 2017, the Office of the Provost is asking that all University community members look out for signs of stress among campus community members.

The weeks from Thanksgiving to the end of finals are “a time of significant stress for many members of our community,” wrote Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven Currall in an e-mail message dated Nov. 13, 2017. “We ask each of you to be aware of signs of stress in yourself and those around you. In particular, I ask that you be aware of signs of stress among students, especially first-year students as they are experiencing their first round of final exams.”

In addition, Currall urged students “who feel the stress of the season and finals” to visit the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center and make use of the many health resources available to them.

Currall also urged faculty and staff members to become familiar with SMU’s Caring Community Connections page: “This website allows us to convey our concerns about students so that the University’s support staff are able to provide students with appropriate information, caring, and advice.”

If you have concerns about students and are not sure what to do, please refer to the Student Affairs brochure “Concerned About an SMU Student?” or contact the Dean of Student Life Office at 214-768-4564.

In addition, these SMU offices can help, either with advice or referrals:

  • Counseling Services, 214-768-2277
  • Dean of Student Life Office, 214-768-4564
  • Office of the Chaplain, 214-768-4502
  • SMU Police Department, 214-768-3388

Physical exercise is often a good antidote to stress, Currall added, “and SMU is fortunate to have the extraordinary resources of the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports available for faculty, students, and staff. Please take advantage of these facilities even during these busy times.”

Currall ended his message by encouraging the SMU community to take care of each other. “If you have the opportunity, I urge you to reach out to an individual who is separated from family and friends during this time and invite them to share some of your traditions and goodwill of your family and friends,” he wrote.

Free flu shots available at shot clinics and Health Center

Stock photo of man receiving shotThe Dr. Bob Smith Health Center has announced its schedule of free flu shot clinics for September-November 2017, with the first session set for Tuesday, Sept. 19 in the lobby of Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports.

Clinics will take place at various locations around the main campus, as well as the East Campus and SMU-in-Plano. All clinics are open to students and benefit-eligible faculty, staff, SMU retirees and retiree spouses.

Free inoculation also are available at the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center on a walk-in basis.

> Flu information at

  • Tuesday, Sept. 19 – 2-6 p.m., Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports lobby
  • Wednesday, Sept. 20 – 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports lobby
  • Thursday, Oct. 5 – 2-6 p.m., Law School Pit, Underwood Law Library
  • Monday, Oct. 9 – 1-4 p.m., Loyd All-Sports Center
  • Tuesday, Oct. 17 – 1:30-3:30 p.m., Expressway Tower, East Campus
  • Thursday, Oct. 26 (HR Fair) – 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Hughes-Trigg Student Center
  • Wednesday, Nov. 1 – 3-6 p.m., Building 3, SMU-in-Plano

> Dallas County influenza resources and updates available at

To keep the clinic visit as short as possible, students should take these steps:

> Find statewide resources at

How to help: Disaster relief guidance from SMU’s CEL Center

SMU’s Community Engagement & Leadership Center provided the following information to students on September 1, 2017:

Over the past several days, we have seen a multitude of individual students and student organizations step up with compassion and express a desire to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. We would like to provide a few important guidelines to ensure your support can be the most beneficial during this time.


Donate money through trusted organizations. The most effective way to support disaster survivors is to donate money and time to trusted, reputable voluntary or charitable organizations.

  • Student Senate has established an SMU Student Disaster Relief Fund with the goal of providing a significant contribution to disaster relief efforts from the SMU community.
  • If your organization would like to collect cash donations for the SMU Student Disaster Relief Fund or other nonprofit organizations, or in-kind donations, please contact the Community Engagement & Leadership Center.

Give blood. The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center is sponsoring a blood drive with Carter BloodCare, which will send donations to its partners affected by Hurricane Harvey and local hospitals. Carter BloodCare is accepting donations at the Flagpole:

  • Tuesday, September 5, 11 a.m.-2:40 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 7, 10:15 a.m.-3:15 p.m.
  • Friday, September 8, 10 a.m.-1:40 p.m.

Donors should bring a government-issued photo ID, and should not fast before donating. Contact with questions.

Get your philanthropic initiatives approved. All student and student organization philanthropic initiatives must be reported and approved by the appropriate campus resources, including the Community Engagement & Leadership Center, Student Activities and the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Contact for approval.

Report your philanthropic initiatives. The Community Engagement & Leadership Center requires that students and student organizations report any philanthropic initiatives via our Donation Report Form.


Don’t give unsolicited goods. Please do not collect or donate unsolicited goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, medicine or perishable food. When unsolicited and used personal items are donated, helping agencies must redirect their staff away from providing direct services to survivors in order to sort, package, transport, warehouse and distribute items that may not meet needs.

Don’t set up unsupervised collection boxes around campus. Unsupervised collection boxes will not be permitted on campus. All collections for in-kind or financial donations on behalf of a nonprofit organization should be treated as an event and staffed during a specific, approved time period.

Don’t self-deploy to the affected areas. The State of Texas is asking volunteers not to self-deploy, as unexpectedly showing up can create an additional burden for first responders. The National VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) also has noted that the situation may not be conducive to volunteers entering the impacted zone and that individuals may find themselves turned away by law enforcement. To ensure volunteer safety, volunteers should go only to affected areas with a specific volunteer assignment, proper safety gear and valid identification.


The recovery process will be long, and there will be many opportunities to volunteer in coming months and years. The Community Engagement & Leadership Center will make the campus community aware of future opportunities for general volunteers to help contribute to Hurricane Harvey relief.

If you have questions about how you or your student organization can contribute to Harvey relief or any other volunteer need in the community, please contact the Community Engagement & Leadership Center at

A message from President Turner regarding Hurricane Harvey

Dear SMU family member,

Our SMU community has watched with alarm and sadness since Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Gulf Coast on Friday, leaving widespread suffering, loss and destruction in its wake.

Our deepest sympathy goes to all who are feeling the impact of this disaster, including SMU families and students whose loved ones and homes are in the affected regions.

We have communicated with students about SMU resources here to support them. These include confidential counselors at SMU Counseling Services, which can be reached at 214-768-2277. An emergency contact number is provided 24 hours a day. Counseling Services is located in the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center, and appointments are free. The Chaplain’s Office, located in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center, also provides confidential counseling and can be reached at 214-768-4502.

Through SMU’s Caring Community Connections (CCC) program, family members, faculty, staff and fellow students can submit any concerns about students’ well-being in order to connect them with help. The CCC form is online:

SMU has reached out to Rice University and the University of Houston to offer assistance. In addition, many in our SMU community are offering prayers, support and donations to those who have been affected. I believe our community will continue to find ways to help as needs evolve in Dallas and across the state.

Among these efforts, the SMU Student Senate is raising funds for disaster relief, with the goal of providing a significant donation to the relief effort from the SMU community. The students’ “Help 4 Houston” effort will last for four days – through Saturday, September 2.

In the days and weeks ahead, SMU will continue to monitor this unprecedented disaster, as well as state and local relief efforts and needs. The SMU community stands with our Gulf Coast students, families and neighbors. We will continue to send our prayers and support.


R. Gerald Turner

Taking precautions against the flu

SMU health officials remind students, faculty and staff to take precautions against the flu and help prevent its spread by getting a flu shot.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends that people who have not yet gotten a flu shot do so, with flu activity increasing across the country and expected to continue in coming weeks. The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center is seeing an increase in students exhibiting flu-like symptoms.

Free flu shots, while supplies last, are available to SMU students at the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Students should bring their SMU ID to the Health Center.

Additional precautions

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer frequently, especially after touching common surfaces such as door handles. Cover your mouth with either a disposable tissue or a sleeve when coughing or sneezing, and avoid touching your face. Avoid contact with people who are sick. Get plenty of rest to keep the immune system working at its best.
  • Be aware of flu symptoms. Flu symptoms include fever with cough or sore throat, and sometimes runny nose, body aches, headache, vomiting or diarrhea.

What to do if sick with the flu

  • Stay home and limit contact with others until you no longer have a fever (a temperature of less than 100.5 F) for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • Seek medical attention if experiencing acute symptoms such as body aches, cough or a fever of more than 100.5 F.
  • Students with the flu should email their professors as soon as possible and let them know they have the flu.
  • If symptoms get worse after you have been on medication for three or four days, return to your healthcare provider to make sure you have not developed a secondary infection.
  • Those with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, or those who experience complications should call the Health Center at 214-768-2141.

To order meals for pickup by a friend

Resident students who have flu-like symptoms may order meals by phone from Arnold Dining Commons or Lee at the Umphrey Lee Center and have a friend pick up the meals from the location. Students who are ill may order food off the menu of the day, including soup.

Students should provide their name and ID number when calling. The meals will be deducted from their meal plan.

To order a meal, please call:

  • Arnold Dining Commons: Matt Thompson, 803-235-6881
  • Lee: Thomas Hermanson, 214-768-3922

If unable to reach either number, call Jonathan Tyson, 214-213-3340.

For more information about the flu

  • Contact the Health Center, 214-768-2141
  • Visit


Supporting student well-being and academic progress

The following information is provided by Deanie Kepler, director of Parent and Family Programs, and Christi Contreras, director of Parent Giving:

The end of the fall semester and the holiday season are quickly approaching. As students begin to prepare for final exams, we’d like to share information from SMU resources to provide support.

Health and well-being

We were so pleased this year to mark the opening of the new Dr. Bob Smith Health Center, a state-of-the-art facility that provides students with comprehensive health care. The Health Center is home to Medical Services, Counseling Services, a full-service pharmacy and SMU’s health education program (; 214-768-2141).

At SMU Counseling Services, students can obtain confidential help with stress, anxiety, depression or other concerns. Dr. Cathey Soutter, director of SMU Counseling Services, encourages parents to be aware of any signs of distress when talking with their students, such as withdrawal from normal interests, crying or emotional outbursts, or changes in class attendance or in sleeping or eating routines. Parents can remind students of counseling resources on campus (; 214-768-2277, an emergency contact number is provided 24/7). In the event of any concern about a health or safety emergency, please call SMU Police (214-768-3333, available 24/7).

We’d also like you to be aware of the SMU Dean of Student’s “Caring Community Connections,” a system for family members, faculty, staff and students to provide confidential information in order to connect students who may need support with resources. A form is online at Please also check with your student that his or her emergency contact information is kept up to date in

Two serious health and safety issues on campuses across the country are sexual misconduct, particularly among acquaintances, and alcohol and substance abuse. On SMU’s health and safety website – – you can find information about SMU policies, campus and community resources, education and prevention. All students are expected to “live responsibly,” upholding high standards of behavior, respecting the rights of others, and assisting others in need.

Finally, please remind your student to stop by the Health Center to get a free flu shot if he or she has not yet done so.

Academic support

At SMU’s Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center (A-LEC), learning specialists help students make a plan for final exams. They recommend creating a daily study schedule, using library resources and meeting with professors during office hours. At the A-LEC, students can obtain free tutoring, take workshops and review essays with English faculty members. If you would like to show support during exams, the A-LEC suggests sending encouraging messages and a reminder of your student’s strengths (; 214-768-3648).

Winter break is a good time to consider learning experiences beyond the classroom, such as Engaged Learning projects, internships through the Hegi Family Career Development Center and SMU Abroad programs. Winter and summer breaks also offer opportunities to earn credits through SMU JanTerm, MayTerm and other Summer Studies courses, both on the main Dallas campus and at SMU-in-Taos. The University Advising Center can help students plan ahead (; 214-768-2291).

We hope this information helps support your student’s continued progress at SMU. Below is contact information for SMU resources, and please do not hesitate to contact either of us directly if you have any questions or concerns. You can reach Deanie Kepler at 214-768-4797, or, and Christi Contreras at 214-768-4746, or

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