May 2019 News Perspective Online

Graduation Preview

Perkins’ May 18 Celebration of Degrees and Academic Achievements to be live-streamed at 2 p.m. CST via webcast at

May is a bittersweet season, when we say goodbye to graduates and wish them well in their new beginnings. Perkins School of Theology will honor graduating seniors with a variety of events, culminating on Saturday, May 18, with the University-wide Commencement Convocation and Perkins’ Celebration of Degrees and Academic Achievements.

Eighty-seven students are scheduled to receive their SMU diplomas from Perkins, including 12 December graduates, 71 May graduates and four summer graduates.

The series of graduation events begins with a Sending Forth Service at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 8, at Perkins Chapel. Preaching at this service will be Evelyn Parker, associate dean of Academic Affairs and Susanna Wesley Centennial Professor of Practical Theology. At this event, graduating Perkins seniors will be recognized and will receive a blessing; a senior class luncheon will follow at 12:45 p.m. in Kirby Parlor. Families are welcome.

On Friday, May 17, the Senior Class Worship Service will take place in Perkins Chapel at 5 p.m., followed by the Senior Class Banquet at 6:30 p.m. in the Great Hall at Highland Park United Methodist Church. Graduating seniors attend free of charge.

Graduation Day is Saturday, May 18, with the University-wide Commencement Convocation taking place at 9 a.m. in Moody Coliseum. The event will feature Doug Parker, chairman and chief executive officer of American Airlines, and will be live-streamed at Students must obtain tickets for themselves as well as their guests for this event. Details are here. Each candidate may obtain up to four tickets for guests. Seating is limited and is first come, first served. A ticket does not guarantee a seat.

Tickets may be requested beginning Wednesday, May 8, at 9 a.m. at Logon by providing your secure SMU logon credentials. Only participating students are eligible to request tickets. Candidates are allotted four tickets for the Commencement Ceremony. All candidates must have an entry ticket to participate in the morning ceremony.

Following the Commencement, there will be a lunch at 11 a.m., a Senior Class Photo at 12:45 p.m. on the steps of Perkins Chapel and a Celebration of Degrees and Academic Achievements at 2 p.m. in the Highland Park UMC sanctuary. Preaching at this program will be Paula Dobbs-Wiggins, a psychiatrist in private practice and adjunct professor of the Practice of Pastoral Care at Perkins School of Theology.

Note that the sanctuary is typically very crowded for this program; doors open at 1 p.m. There is no limit on the number of guests that graduates may invite. Diplomas will be awarded at this event. This program will be live-streamed via webcast at

Immediately following the presentation of diplomas during the Celebration of Degrees and Academic Achievements, a reception for Perkins graduates will take place at 3:30 p.m. in the Great Hall of Prothro Hall. The reception is free for graduates and their guests, as well as Perkins faculty, staff and students.

Click here for more information about SMU Commencement. For a map of the SMU campus, visit