SMU Grad Fair Feb. 21-22 for May graduates

Students graduating in May 2019 are invited to learn about Commencement at the SMU Grad Fair on the first floor of the Blanton Building:

  • Thursday, February 21, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Friday, February 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

At the Grad Fair, candidates may:

  • Order regalia for special early pricing
  • Record a “shout-out” to be played on the jumbotron in Moody Coliseum for family and friends (Friday only)
  • Take a cap and gown photo or professional headshot
  • Purchase a class ring and announcements
  • Complete the Student Engagement survey for SMU swag
  • Learn about career services available through the Hegi Family Career Development Center

More information about May Commencement Convocation is online.

2019-02-20T15:44:58+00:00 February 20, 2019|News|

SMU names new Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

Melinda (Mindy) Sutton Noss ’97 has been named Associate Vice President and Dean of Students in SMU’s Division of Student Affairs. She will join the University May 20, 2019.

Sutton Noss currently serves as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at the University of Mississippi, a position she has held since June 2014. She is returning to the Hilltop in her new role, having previously served as Associate Dean of Student Life in SMU’s Division of Student Affairs from 2012 to 2014. Sutton Noss also earned her bachelor’s degree in 1997 from SMU, where she was a Hunt Leadership Scholar.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Sutton Noss back to SMU,” said Kenechukwu (K.C.) Mmeje, Vice President for Student Affairs. “As a former associate dean and an alumna of SMU, she has unique insights into the student experience and a deep connection to our campus community. She brings expertise in areas including student leadership, inclusion and cross-cultural engagement, Greek life and conduct. We look forward to the contributions she will make in supporting students and their development as world changers.”

At SMU Sutton Noss will be responsible for overseeing the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center, the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports and the Department of Student Support, Advocacy and Accountability, which includes Student Conduct and Community Standards.

“SMU is a special place to me, and I am delighted to be returning to the Hilltop in this role,” Sutton Noss said. “My experience as an SMU student changed my life in immeasurable ways, and I am excited to be in a position that helps create transformative experiences for current and future generations of SMU students. I look forward to being back on campus and working with students, staff and faculty as the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students.”

Prior to her tenure at Ole Miss and SMU, Sutton Noss served in roles at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Texas at Tyler, the University of Houston and Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.

She is active in several professional organizations, including the National Association of Student Affairs Administrators (NASPA), the Association of Student Conduct Administrators (ASCA) and the Association of Fraternity and Sorority Advisors (AFA). In addition, she currently serves as a vice president on Gamma Phi Beta Sorority’s International Council.

A native Texan, Sutton Noss earned her undergraduate degree in public relations with minors in English and French from SMU; a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs from Indiana University – Bloomington; and a doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Austin in educational administration, focusing on higher education leadership.

2019-02-18T15:37:41+00:00 February 18, 2019|News|

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.



2019-01-24T17:13:39+00:00 January 24, 2019|Health and Safety, News|

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

2019-01-18T17:38:06+00:00 January 18, 2019|Health and Safety, News|

SMU names new dean of Residence Life and Student Housing

Melinda Carlson

Melinda Carlson

Melinda Pullen Carlson, a student affairs professional with expertise in residence life and student learning, has been named assistant vice president and dean of Residence Life and Student Housing at SMU. She will begin her duties January 22, 2019.

“Melinda is a dynamic leader who strongly believes in creating vibrant residential communities that promote academic engagement and student development,” said K.C. Mmeje, SMU vice president for student affairs. “Her compelling vision for SMU’s Residential Commons, her student-centered approach and her depth and range of experiences made her the clear choice for this position. I look forward to the continued growth of our Residential Commons under her leadership.”

Carlson was selected after a competitive national search, which was coordinated by a campus committee chaired by Adam Cebulski, assistant vice president and chief of staff in Student Affairs.

Carlson has 25 years of experience in higher education, most recently at Saint Louis University, where she served as director of housing, residence life and student involvement, and provided oversight for campus dining.

She previously served as associate dean of students and chief judicial officer at the University of Mississippi, where she advised student government, supervised fraternity and sorority life staff and coordinated campus crisis response.

Her other positions have included associate director for residence life at the University of Mississippi, associate dean of students and director of student housing and residence life at Arkansas Tech University, assistant director of residence life at the University of Northern Colorado and coordinator of academic enhancement services at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Carlson attended Eastern Illinois University and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education, with a focus on guidance and counseling/college student personnel. She is involved in the Association of College and University Housing Officers – International and the American College Personnel Association, and has served as faculty for the National Housing Training Institute.

2018-12-18T13:56:49+00:00 December 18, 2018|News|

Robert H. Dedman, Jr., to speak at December Commencement

Civic and business leader Robert H. Dedman, Jr. ’80, ’84, chair of the SMU Board of Trustees, will be the keynote speaker at SMU’s December Commencement Convocation on Saturday, December 15, at 9:30 a.m. in Moody Coliseum.

“We are honored to welcome Robert H. Dedman, Jr. to December Commencement,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Mr. Dedman personifies the enterprising spirit that drives and defines SMU.”

  • Watch December Commencement live at at 9:30 a.m. December 15.
Robert H. Dedman, Jr.

Robert H. Dedman, Jr. ’80, ’84

Dedman received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1979 before earning an M.B.A. with highest honors and a J.D. cum laude from SMU.

Dedman is president and CEO of DFI Management, Ltd., and the general partner of Putterboy, Ltd., the owner of the Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in North Carolina. After working on Wall Street with Salomon Brothers, he went on to a successful career at ClubCorp, a leading operator of golf courses, private clubs and resorts. He was named president in 1989, CEO in 1998 and chairman in 2002. The Dedman family sold the company in 2006.

At SMU, Dedman is continuing the historic leadership and vision of his parents, Nancy Dedman ’50 and the late Robert H. Dedman, Sr. ’53 LLM, who served on the SMU Board of Trustees from 1976 to 2002 and as its chair from 1992 to 1996. Their major gifts to SMU have had a sweeping impact, including in the areas of humanities and sciences, law and lifetime sports.

Robert H. Dedman, Jr. began his term as Board chair in June 2018 after serving as vice-chair and chair-elect. He was elected to the Board in 2004 and since 1990 has served in numerous SMU committee and board leadership roles. He currently is a member of the Board’s Special Committee on Development, the Pony Power Leadership Committee and the Tate Lecture Series Board. He also serves on the Dedman College Executive Board and the Dedman School of Law Executive Board. He previously chaired the Dedman School of Law Executive Board and 21st Century Council, an advisory organization to the SMU president.

A philanthropic and civic leader, Dedman also sits on the Southwestern Medical Foundation Board, the UT Southwestern President’s Advisory Board and the UT Austin Development Board. He is past chair of the Texas Business Hall of Fame.

Dedman wrote and published Our Star Service Journey in 1998 and compiled two anthologies of quotes, Thoughts on a Purposeful Life and A Journey of Life.

More than 550 undergraduate and graduate SMU students will earn their degrees this fall.

Rotunda Recessional

December Rotunda Recessional for undergraduate candidates will take place at 5 p.m. Friday, December 14, on the Main Quad by the Flagpole. Students should gather by 4:45 p.m.

 December Commencement Convocation

December Commencement will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, December 15, in Moody Coliseum with a student, faculty and platform party procession.

Doors open at 8 a.m., and guests are encouraged to be seated by 9:15 a.m. The ceremony lasts about two hours.

No guest tickets are required, but seating is limited. Free parking will be available in the University’s parking centers.

No outside food or drink is allowed inside Moody Coliseum. Limited concession service will be available from 8 to 9:30 a.m.

  • Click for more information for Commencement candidates, students, faculty and guests
  • On social media: Share your happiest graduation moments with us using #SMUGrad!

Security screening instructions and prohibited items at Commencement

Please allow ample time for screening at Commencement. All candidates/guests are screened with a hand wand or metal detector; all bags are checked. Commencement participants and guests should not bring the following prohibited items to Moody Coliseum, including but not limited to, animals (except service animals), backpacks, banners, binocular cases, briefcases, camera bags, cans, cinch bags, computer bags, coolers, diaper bags, fanny packs, firearms, flags, glass items, guns, inflated balloons, knives of any size and type, laser pointers, luggage, noisemakers, purses larger than a small clutch, radios, seat cushions with zippers, pockets or compartments, selfie sticks, signs, stun guns, throwing objects, umbrellas (unless threat of rain or raining) and weapons. No outside food or drink is permitted in Moody Coliseum.

For guests, all bags must be clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and may not exceed 12 X 6 X 12 inches. Bags may be one-gallon clear plastic resealable storage bags. Small clutch purses with or without straps, no larger than 8.5 X 5.5 inches, are permitted. The clutch does not have to be clear and may be carried separately or within an approved plastic bag. Items that are medically necessary are evaluated individually. Candidates are not allowed to bring clear bags but the small clutch is permissible.

2018-12-12T13:28:19+00:00 December 12, 2018|News|

Grad Fair is October 19 for December candidates

Students graduating in December 2018 are invited to learn about Commencement on Friday, October 19, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the SMU Grad Fair on the first floor of the Blanton Building.

At the Grad Fair, December candidates may:

  • Order regalia for special early pricing
  • Record a “shout-out” to be played on the jumbotron in Moody Coliseum for family and friends
  • Take a cap and gown photo or professional headshot
  • Purchase a class ring and announcements
  • Learn about career services available through the Hegi Family Career Development Center

More information about December Commencement is online.

2018-10-10T17:18:20+00:00 October 10, 2018|News|

Honors Convocation and Hilltop Excellence Awards set for April 16

Honors Day Convocation - Jodi Cooley, Bob Kehoe and studentsSMU’s annual celebration of high achievement in academics and community life takes place during the 2018 Honors Convocation and Hilltop Excellence Awards on Monday, April 16.

Honors Convocation begins at 5:30 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium, and the Hilltop Excellence Awards ceremony takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.

> Coming April 16: Watch Honors Convocation live on the web at

SMU reserves one Monday each April to celebrate the achievements of students, faculty, staff members, trustees and administrators in the two ceremonies. The Honors Convocation recognizes academic achievement at the University and department levels.

> Read the full list of SMU’s 2018 Honors Convocation award and honors recipients

Maria Dixon HallThis year’s convocation speaker is Maria Dixon Hall, senior adviser to the SMU Provost, associate professor in the Division of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs in Meadows School of the Arts, and adjunct associate professor of homiletics in Perkins School of Theology. Appointed in August 2016 as Senior Advisor to the Provost for Cultural Intelligence, Dixon Hall is charged with oversight of the University’s efforts to ensure that all members of the SMU community are equipped to effectively create, collaborate, and work on solutions to change the world. In this role, she is responsible for development and implementation of the University’s new cultural intelligence curriculum and training program.

As director of mustangconsulting, Dixon Hall heads a staff of some of SMU’s best and brightest communication students. The group serves a global client list that includes corporate, nonprofit, and religious organizations such as Southwest Airlines (Dallas), The Dance Theatre of Harlem (New York), the Ugandan American Partnership Organization (Kampala/Dallas), The Lydia Patterson Institute (El Paso), and Carry the Load (Atlanta/Dallas).

A graduate of the Culverhouse School of Business at the University of Alabama, Dixon Hall earned her Master of Divinity and Master of Theology from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, as well as a Ph.D. in organizational communication and religion from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

> Find more information on Honors Convocation

Later, the University will present several awards for excellence – including its highest honor, the “M” Award – during the 2018 Hilltop Excellence Awards. The ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.

Follow SMU Student Activities @SMUStuAct for live updates from the ceremony, and share your Twitter and Instagram posts from the Hilltop Excellence Awards with the #HilltopExcellence hashtag.

> Learn more about the Hilltop Excellence Awards from SMU Student Life

– Kathleen Tibbetts

2018-04-03T14:01:12+00:00 April 3, 2018|News|

AT&T CEO Randall L. Stephenson to deliver Commencement address

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

2018-04-03T14:03:48+00:00 April 3, 2018|News|
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