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.

2017-11-21T15:19:30+00:00 November 21, 2017|Health and Safety, News|

Tune in: SMU Homecoming for Heroes 2017

SMU students who are veterans of U.S. military service served as grand marshals of SMU’s annual Homecoming parade Nov. 4. The theme was “Homecoming for Heroes.”

Other Homecoming events included class reunions, the SMU vs. Central Florida football game and the Mustang Band Centennial Pigskin Revue, as well as concerts, exhibits, open houses, events for graduates of individual schools, mini-reunions and worship services.

Watch the video from SMU News’ Myles Taylor.

2017-11-29T13:39:30+00:00 November 9, 2017|News, Photo and Video Gallery|

Mustang Band: Celebrating 100 years of spirit

They are the first students to arrive in the stands at Ford Stadium and the last to leave. Their spirit and traditions rival any campus organization.

Meet the hub of SMU spirit – the Mustang Band, making music for 100 years. The Mustang Band celebrates its centennial at its annual Homecoming performance, Pigskin Revue, on Nov. 3, 2017. Festivities begin at noon in the Mustang Band Hall with a band alumni mini-reunion, followed by the Centennial Celebration at 6:30 p.m. in the Mack Grand Ballroom in Umphrey Lee. Pigskin Revue, a student-produced music, dance and comedy show, begins at 8:15 at McFarlin Auditorium. For tickets and to register, click here.

On a typical fall afternoon, band director Don Hopkins ’82 rolls up his sleeves to lead a practice in the new Mustang Band Hall, dedicated in 2014 in the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports. Students file down the stairs into the band headquarters where Tucker leads the band into the beginning notes of Sing, Sing, Sing by Benny Goodman.

Band members practice five hours a week in addition to game day commitments. Most band members and the twirler are supported by scholarships. The 75-member Mustang Band prides itself on its uniqueness among other university bands as well as among SMU student organizations.

“The band has always been small,” Hopkins says. “But with all the brass and saxophones, we hold our own.”


2017-10-26T11:41:58+00:00 October 26, 2017|News, Photo and Video Gallery|

SMU dedicates new Payne Stewart SMU Golf Training Center

SMU Athletics
dedicated a state-of-the-art golf training facility at Trinity Forest Golf Club on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017. The Payne Stewart SMU Golf Training Center is named in honor of the 1979 alumnus who became the 1989 PGA Champion, two-time U.S. Open Champion and a member of five U.S. Ryder Cup teams.

Myles Taylor of SMU News attended the dedication and has created a video exploration of the new center. Tap the YouTube screen to watch it, or click here to watch the video in a new window. video

The 6,700-square foot facility features team locker rooms, coaches’ offices, a conference room, a workout center and kitchen. The center also houses a hitting bay featuring premier equipment, including the Swing Catalyst, which tracks weight shift throughout the swing as well as four video motion-capture cameras and monitors to show swings. A TrackMan system uses dual radar technology to track both club movement and the ball at the moment of impact. This equipment provides the perfect foundation for analysis, enabling the Mustang golfers to use real-time data to improve their games.

The Payne Stewart SMU Golf Training Center also includes 70,000 square feet of teeing ground, a 45,000 square-foot putting and chipping green and a challenging nine-hole short course.

“Facilities like the Payne Stewart SMU Golf Training Center, the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center, the new SMU Tennis Center, the renovated Moody Coliseum and the planned Indoor Performance Center are examples of the University’s commitment to compete at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

“Our commitment to competing for championships and enhancing the student experience requires continued investment in our infrastructure,” said SMU Director of Athletics Rick Hart. “This great facility is just another sign of that commitment by our donors and our university. SMU, its donors and fans have made significant investments in athletics in recent years, and we thank them for their support.”

— Written by Nancy George

> Read the full story from SMU News

2017-10-24T14:22:34+00:00 October 24, 2017|News, Photo and Video Gallery|

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

2017-09-14T16:02:05+00:00 September 14, 2017|Health and Safety, News|

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

2017-09-05T16:34:41+00:00 September 5, 2017|Health and Safety, News|

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

2017-08-30T14:50:25+00:00 August 30, 2017|Health and Safety, News|

Watch SMU’s 103rd Opening Convocation live August 20

President R. Gerald Turner will deliver the opening address, “World Changers Shaped Here,” at SMU’s 103rd Opening Convocation. The ceremony beings at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017 in McFarlin Auditorium.

The entire Convocation will be streamed over the internet via beginning at 4:30 p.m. Click or tap the screen below to watch. The broadcast begins one hour before the ceremony starts.

SMU Board of Trustees Chair Michael M. Boone ’63, ’67 , Faculty Senate President Paul Krueger and Student Body President David Shirzad will also give remarks. The Meadows Convocation Chorus, directed by Pamela Elrod Huffman, will provide music, accompanied by Sarah England.

> Download a PDF of the 103rd SMU Opening Convocation program

2017-08-20T16:43:45+00:00 August 20, 2017|News, Photo and Video Gallery|

Welcome back, SMU families!

SMU’s faculty and staff prepared all summer for our students’ return to the Hilltop. Now we have less than a week until we kick off the fall semester!

From fostering innovation in the classroom to building spirit in the Commons, the students bring campus to life. We look forward to seeing you back again.

Dr. K.C. Mmeje, Vice President for Student Affairs

2017-08-15T12:31:00+00:00 August 14, 2017|News, Photo and Video Gallery|
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