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Alumni

SMU Alumna’s New Book Focuses On First Pets And Their Famous D.C. Address

Outfitted with a webcam on his collar, “First Dog” Barney captured a canine’s view of White House Christmas preparations in 2002 during the first term of President George W. Bush. The video went viral and an online star was born.

Pets.WhiteHouse.comp“Barney was used in such an important way, offering a look inside the White House at a time when it was closed to the public after 9/11,” says author Jennifer Boswell Pickens, whose new book, Pets at the White House, focuses on the famous canines, felines and other pets that have occupied 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Pickens portrays the special role of first pets in more than 200 carefully selected photographs, many of which have never been published before, as well as a multitude of anecdotes. Each administration, from Kennedy to Obama, is covered in its own chapter. Pickens, a 2000 graduate of SMU with a degree in American history, also includes an overview of pets owned by earlier first families.

“Like all families, I think the first families were very comforted by their pets and it shows in the photographs,” says Pickens, who lives in Dallas with husband Bryan ’99, their four young daughters and two dogs.

This is her second volume to offer a distinctive look inside the most prestigious address in Washington, D.C. Pickens, a noted White House social expert, published her first best-selling book, Christmas at the White House, in 2009.

“It’s very special to me that every living first lady wrote the introduction to her section of the book,” says the author. SMU alumna Laura Bush ’68 also contributed the forward.

Author Jennifer Pickens is currently working on a third White House-related book.
Author Jennifer Pickens is currently working on a third White House-related book.

While poring over images for that book, Pickens was drawn to photos that featured the first pets. “So, before I was even finished with the first book, my second book was well under way,” she says.

She intentionally selected topics that not only interest her, but also hold universal appeal.

“What I love about my books is that they are on subjects that can bring all Americans together,” she says. “No matter which side of the political aisle you are on, everyone can appreciate the White House at Christmastime and what it represents, as well as the history of our famous ‘first pets.’”

Both coffee-table books are published by Fife and Drum Press, which she and her husband founded in 2009.

Her first book took four years of research and interviews, and along the way, Pickens learned that “each presidential library has its own personality. They’re all very different,” she says. She gives the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum staff high marks for being “very helpful and responsive. They’re great to work with.”

Pickens also gained a new appreciation for her academic training at SMU. “James Breeden, Glenn Linden and other professors really pushed students to do solid research for papers and presentations,” she says. “I learned to ask the right questions, and when you’re cold-calling librarians and archivists, you need to know what to ask to get the information you need.”

Jennifer Pickens’ books may be purchased in the gift shop of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, as well as at other presidential libraries throughout the country and from national booksellers.
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News

‘An Excellent Beginning Has Been Made’

Librarian Dorothy Amann in a 1940 Rotunda yearbook photo, SMU Archives
Librarian Dorothy Amann in a 1940 Rotunda yearbook photo, SMU Archives

SMU was truly fortunate in its first librarian, Dorothy Amann, a remarkable woman who almost single-handedly oversaw the transformation of the library from a miscellaneous assortment of books to a useful working collection with some claims to distinction. She began her work in 1913, before the University opened, and she retired in 1949. Others in the library’s history may have served longer than her 36 years, but none has made a more lasting contribution to its welfare. Not only are most of the materials she acquired still part of the SMU collections, she also established high standards of service for the staff, a time-honored tradition. She had a real gift for identifying talent in others and encouraging its development. Many of the women she hired (and SMU’s librarians were exclusively women, and almost exclusively single women, in the early years) shared her commitment to the cause, and they embarked on their task with missionary zeal.

Dorothy Amann (1874-1967) was born in Mississippi and grew up in Smithville, Texas. As a child, Amann had considered becoming a doctor but, after her mother’s death, she proceeded to the Eastman College of Business in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Her business career took her to various newspapers in the South, to the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, and eventually to a law office in Midland, Texas, where, in 1913, she was contacted by Frank Reedy, bursar of SMU. “He just said he wanted me to come to Dallas and talk to him. I didn’t know what for, but there was a lot of hoorah in West Texas about a major college – Methodist at that – being started, and I was curious.”

SMU's first library in Dallas Hall, 1922, SMU Archives
SMU’s first library in Dallas Hall, 1922, SMU Archives

Amann’s curiosity, energy and unflagging good cheer made her the perfect person to direct SMU’s library in the early years. Although she was reading for the law in Midland, she must have been persuaded that taking a chance on a place like SMU offered more scope for a woman of her abilities and interests than an uncertain law practice in Midland. She was 39 and ready for a change, and so in October 1913, she joined Reedy, President Hyer and two accountants – the sum total of the SMU administration – at an office in the Methodist Publishing House in downtown Dallas, rolled up her sleeves and went to work.

In addition to various administrative duties under President Hyer, she also took part in the sorting of the packages of books that were arriving almost daily. “There had been coming to the University for two years before the opening many donations from people in Texas and neighboring states,” she wrote in 1935, “and these also had to be handled and gleaned for possible values.” Many of these books were given by Methodist ministers, or by the widows and families of ministers whose rounds on the earthly circuit were over.

By 1914, Amann and the rest of the University had moved to the construction site that was Dallas Hall, without utility service but with more space. “During the year preceding the opening, the University staff, as a whole, was busy with matters pertaining to organization of all kinds for reception of students,” Amann remembered later, “and so the work of details for library organization did not have the attention it deserved. Of course, all such work for [the] best library services should have been under way for many months before the students arrived.”

With a few student assistants in the fall of 1915, Amann culled the best of the donated books, ordered new materials and put out the first card catalogue in the spring of 1916. “An excellent beginning has been made toward the accumulation of a University library,” she wrote in the official SMU catalogue. “During this first year, 7,000 volumes were acquired, and this nucleus of books will be increased steadily and rapidly by the addition of works carefully selected with reference to their immediate usefulness to the several departments of the institution.”

Today the libraries hold four million volumes and celebrate 100 years of service to the University . It all began with Dorothy Amann.

Excerpted from a chapter by Russell L. Martin III ’78, ’86, director of DeGolyer Library, in From High on the Hilltop… Marshall Terry’s History of SMU, available from DeGolyer Library and major book retailers.
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News

From George To George: Presidential Resources Make History At SMU

President R. Gerald Turner

As we note SMU milestones of the past 100 years, this year we also mark a new highpoint in our timeline of progress. In a rare and remarkable moment in the history of higher education and our nation, SMU hosted five U.S. presidents April 25 for the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. And with the opening, SMU officially became one of the few U.S. universities to host a presidential center, housing a library, museum and independent institute.

SMU’s growing reputation as a center for research was a dominant theme during the dedication, which attracted more than 8,500 guests and 600 international reporters. We achieved unprecedented visibility for SMU through media coverage – in a four-day period more than 1.1 million media stories around the globe mentioned SMU as the home of the Bush Center. Social media postings reached an all-time high.

SMU began celebrating the Bush Center opening on Founders’ Day April 19, part of our Second Century Celebration 2011-2015. We held an official Bush Center welcoming ceremony on the main quad. The more than 3,000 attendees were surprised by a visit by former President George W. Bush. SMU student leaders presented him with 100 letters of welcome written by their classmates. And in honor of the Bush Center’s opening, our trustees funded the purchase of a historic journal by a 19th-century Western explorer, which became our four millionth library acquisition.

These achievements coincide happily with our Year of the Library, so called because we are commemorating SMU’s hiring in 1913 of our first librarian, Dorothy Amann, and the purchase of our first book. Helping us celebrate this special year, the Bush Presidential Library is co-sponsoring an exhibit of George Washington’s personal copy of the U.S. Constitution, including his handwritten notes. From July 14-27, SMU’s DeGolyer Library will display the document, part of its “Hail to the Chief” presidential exhibit July 14-October 4.

In this SMU Magazine, you will read more about the developments I’ve mentioned, along with major new gifts supporting expansion of our libraries.

So, our Year of the Library truly is rewriting the history of our resources for research. We thank everyone whose generosity is marking new milestones for the SMU libraries.

R. Gerald Turner
President

Categories
News Uncategorized

SMU Libraries: Poised For A Second Century As ‘The Heart Of The University’

YLHED
Jennifer Robb calls Fondren Library Center her “second home.” Robb, a junior majoring in applied physiology and biology, studies in the library almost daily. On the Tuesday before spring finals started, she set up her laptop and checked out a movie to review for a class on Hispanic film.

“When I’m studying or working on a research paper, I never have to leave the library,” she says. “All the resources I need are right here.”

As part of the Year of the Library celebration, SMU invites alumni to share library stories from their student days by emailing them to Paulette Mulry, director of development, Central University Libraries, at pmulry@smu.edu. Information also may be mailed to her at P.O. Box 750135, Dallas, TX 75275-0135. Be sure to include your graduation year and a phone number.
As part of the Year of the Library celebration, SMU invites alumni to share library stories from their student days by emailing them to Paulette Mulry, director of development, Central University Libraries, at pmulry@smu.edu. Information also may be mailed to her at P.O. Box 750135, Dallas, TX 75275-0135. Be sure to include your graduation year and a phone number.

While it is doubtful that SMU’s founders imagined libraries abuzz with students like Robb using laptops, tablets and smartphones, or scholars around the globe gaining access to the University’s special collections via the Internet, they did have a clear vision for building a great University with a library as one of its cornerstones. Provision for the first library was made in 1913, well in advance of SMU’s opening to students
in 1915.

In 1940, Fondren Library, SMU’s first library building, opened with Charles C. Selecman, the University’s third president, speaking these words: “The library is the heart of the University.” That description, inscribed below Selecman Tower in Fondren Library Center, still rings true today.

Fast-forward to 2013 as the University community commemorates the Year of the Library, a 12-month celebration of the fundamental importance of the libraries to the intellectual life of SMU. Programs and exhibitions planned throughout the year provide opportunities to discover the rich resources and one-of-a-kind collections housed in the nine facilities that constitute the largest private academic library system in the Southwest.

Planned improvements to Fondren Library Center will expand collaborative work spaces and upgrade technology to meet student needs today and in the future.
Planned improvements to Fondren Library Center will expand collaborative work spaces and upgrade technology to meet student needs today and in the future.

The Year of the Library quickly became the year of new milestones. On Founders’ Day, April 19, the SMU Board of Trustees commemorated the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center by presenting a rare volume to DeGolyer Library in honor of former President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush ’68. The journal of American explorer John Maley, recounting his 1810-12 travels through the trans-Mississippi West, including Texas, represents SMU libraries’ four millionth volume.

The preservation of Maley’s eyewitness account of exploration illustrates how the libraries have acclimated to the shifting needs of students and scholars over the past century. While honoring the tangible and tactile brilliance of works on paper, the libraries embrace new technology as a catalyst for learning and research. Maley’s original 188-page text will be archived for study today and by future scholars as part of DeGolyer’s already strong holdings on Western Americana. At the same time, the document will be available to researchers everywhere online. Central University Libraries’ Norwick Center for Digital Services team, using its new Hasselblad H4D-200MS – the highest-resolution camera on the market – captured each page of the book as a digital image.

Likewise, the realities of serving new generations of users in new ways require reconfiguring spaces. Renovations planned for Perkins School of Theology’s Bridwell Library and CUL’s Fondren Library Center take into account essential technology upgrades and changing learning styles to accommodate small group study and work on collaborative projects.

Hayden Hodges, a junior majoring in engineering management with a minor in math, likes what he has heard about the remodeling plans. He says there is no substitute for physically going to the library and studies at Fondren Library “about two to three times a week.”
“I like the idea of having more places where students can study together or even just hang out in a comfortable spot,” he says. “The better it is, the more I’ll come.”
– Patricia Ward

Categories
News

History On Display: Washington’s Documents To Be Exhibited July 14-27

In a year of remarkable experiences centered on libraries, SMU will present another history-making event when President George Washington’s personal copy of the Acts of Congress goes on display at DeGolyer Library July 14-27. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

For two weeks the priceless piece of U.S. history will be part of DeGolyer’s summer exhibit, “Hail to the Chief: American Presidential History in Word and Image,” July 14-October 4.

George Washington's annotated copy of the Acts of Congress will be exhibited at SMU July 14-27. Photo courtesy of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association
George Washington’s annotated copy of the Acts of Congress will be exhibited at SMU July 14-27. Photo courtesy of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association

The 106-page, leather-bound Acts of Congress with Washington’s annotations includes his copy of the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and other laws passed by the first session of Congress.

Washington’s volume will be part of a larger exhibit of presidential materials drawn from various DeGolyer collections.

For the convenience of visitors, the exhibit will be open during regular library hours, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, as well as on these weekends only:

  • 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 14 and July 21
  • 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 20 and July 27

On Saturday, July 20, history comes to life from 9 a.m. to noon during a special community event. Bring the family to enjoy free colonial-themed activities, crafts and performances, and by signing the exhibit guest book, receive a discount on tickets to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Register here.

The Acts of Congress at DeGolyer Library is sponsored in partnership with the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and will be the ninth stop on a seven-month, 13-stop tour of the nation’s presidential libraries. The tour is made possible by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association (MVLA) and the National Archives and Records Administration. The MVLA, which operates Washington’s historic estate, purchased the Acts of Congress at auction for a record $9.8 million in June 2012.

More Year of the Library Exhibits and Programs

Bridwell Library
Entry hall – “Documents from the First Decade of SMU,” a selection of 18 documents produced between 1911 and 1920 that offer insight into the development of the University, will be on view through August 18.

Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries – “Highlights from Bridwell Library Special Collections: The Reformation” in June and July, and in the fall, “Fifty Women,” featuring more than 50 books from the Bridwell’s special collections that date from the late Middle Ages to the beginning of the 20th century and were written, produced, owned or inspired by women.

Find more exhibit information here.

DeGolyer Library

“Treasures of the DeGolyer Library,” featuring materials from some of SMU’s most significant special collections, will be on view October 24 through February 28, 2014. Find more library information here.

Hamon Arts Library

“Color and Chiaroscuro Prints,” featuring selections from the Jerry Bywaters Special Collections, September 16- December 31 in the Hawn Gallery. Find more library information here.

Friends of the SMU Libraries

  • Thursday, August 29, 5 p.m. – Wes Moore, author of The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, the 2013 Common Reading selection. Location to be determined. Co-sponsored with the Common Reading Program.
  • September 19, 7 p.m. – Jamie Ford, author of Songs of Willow Frost. Highland Park United Methodist Church (HPUMC), 3300 Mockingbird Lane. Co-sponsored with HPUMC and Friends of the Highland Park Public Library.
  • October 8, 6 p.m. reception, 6:30 p.m. lecture and book signing – Andrew Isenberg, author of Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life. DeGolyer Library. Co-sponsored with Clements Center for Southwest Studies and DeGolyer Library.

Find more information about Friends of the SMU Libraries here.

 

Categories
2013 News Spring 2013

Founders’ Day: Welcome To Presidential History

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The 43rd president of the United States was the surprise guest of honor at a colorful, music-filled, ceremony welcoming the George W. Bush Presidential Center to campus on Founders’ Day April 19. More than 3,000 SMU alumni, students, faculty and staff applauded as Bush walked down the steps of Dallas Hall to the speaker’s platform.

“You see a guy who’s grateful, really grateful, that the leadership of SMU and the Board of Trustees made it possible that Laura and I could build the Bush Presidential Center on this campus,” Bush said. “Today is a day to give thanks, and I’m the most thankful person here.”

Former President George W. Bush with student leaders (from left) new Students' Association vice president Jaywin Singh Malhi '14, secretary Katherine Ladner '14, outgoing president Alex Mace '13 and new president Ramon Trespalacios '14.
Former President George W. Bush with student leaders (from left) new Students’ Association vice president Jaywin Singh Malhi ’14, secretary Katherine Ladner ’14, outgoing president Alex Mace ’13 and new president Ramon Trespalacios ’14.

Following student performances of music specially composed for the festivities, SMU President R. Gerald Turner continued the theme of gratitude. “First, of course, to George W. Bush and Laura Bush …, we’re honored with your historic decision to place this center on our campus.” Turner also expressed his gratitude to the Bush Library Selection Committee, Bush Foundation, National Archives and Records Administration and SMU alumni, faculty, students and staff.

“The long-term impact of the Bush Presidential Center on SMU, on Dallas and on our nation can really only be imagined at this time,” Turner said. “However, if the activities of the past two years [with the Institute] are any indication, this unique national resource will help change lives around the globe.”

Other SMU and community leaders welcomed the former president, including University Park Mayor Richard B. Davis, who presented President Bush with a “Bush Ave.” street sign. Portions of Airline Road and Dublin Street near the Bush Center have been renamed Bush Avenue to commemorate the new center, located on SMU Boulevard.

SMU trustees honored George and Laura Bush (center) by acquiring a historic journal for DeGolyer Library. The presentation included (from left) Dean of Central University Libraries Gillian McCombs, SMU President R. Gerald Turner, Trustee Chair Caren Prothro, and DeGolyer Director Russell Martin.
SMU trustees honored George and Laura Bush (center) by acquiring a historic journal for DeGolyer Library. The presentation included (from left) Dean of Central University Libraries Gillian McCombs, SMU President R. Gerald Turner, Trustee Chair Caren Prothro, and DeGolyer Director Russell Martin.

Outgoing student body president Alex Mace ’13 presented a bound book of student letters welcoming the Bush Presidential Center to President Bush, along with a tiny Mustang cheerleader outfit for Bush’s new granddaughter, Margaret Laura Hager.

The Board of Trustees honored the Bushes by purchasing a previously unknown journal, An Account of Four Years Travels, by American explorer John Maley, which became the four millionth volume at the SMU libraries.

In addition, SMU Board of Trustees chair Caren Prothro presented a resolution from the Board. “Today is the culmination of literally years of work and collaborative efforts of thousands of individuals,” she said. “The entire world will be watching the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center next week, and we are honored that SMU is a full party in this project.”

Founders’ Weekend included “Inside SMU” informal classes, a briefing by Turner, Golden Mustang reunion, donor receptions, a picnic with faculty, an open house at the Meadows Museum and activities with SMU football players.

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Categories
2013 News Spring 2013

George W. Bush Presidential Center Dedication Attracts World Attention

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It came in the form of five presidents, including President Barack Obama. It was the first gathering of the so-called President’s Club in several years, bringing together Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the center of their attention and expressed admiration on this day.

It came in the form of more than 10,000 visitors from around the world, including heads of state such as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

They came to help dedicate the George W. Bush Presidential Center, housing the first presidential library and museum of the 21st century, the first such facility of the social media age, and the third to be located in Texas.

“This is a Texas-size party, worthy of what we’re here to do today: celebrate the legacy of the 43rd president,” Obama said. He praised Bush’s “incredible strength and resolve that came through the bullhorn after the September 11 attacks, his compassion in advancing global health, and his bipartisan efforts on education and immigration. He is a good man.”

For SMU President R. Gerald Turner, the “significance of April 25 cannot truly be described or predicted, as it opens up the home of documents and artifacts chronicling a unique time in U.S. history. No matter what one’s political views, the Bush Center establishes SMU as a major resource for presidential history. The world truly came to SMU on April 25, and it will continue to do so because of the Bush Center.”

The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is the 13th such resource in the nation operated by the National Archives and Records Administration, a federal agency. The George W. Bush Institute, an independent public policy organization, reports to the Bush Foundation.

Presidents Obama, Bush, Clinton, G.H.W. Bush and Carter at the dedication of the Bush Library at SMU.

PRAISE-HED3Starting April 22, the SM U campus became hospitality central hosting 12 events in five days planned by the Bush Foundation, ranging from private dinners for donors and dignitaries to the formal dedication ceremony to a massive block party co-hosted by SMU and the Bush Center. For the pageantry of the dedication, a massive stage and seating area were erected on the north side of the Bush Center along SMU Boulevard, with seating also on the nearby intramural field. SMU faculty, staff and students not attending the ceremony watched simulcasts online, in McFarlin Auditorium or at an outdoor screen.

Each former U.S. president made remarks praising Bush for progress on issues they share in common.

In his remarks, Bush turned the spotlight on SMU. “I want to thank the people who have made this project a success. President Gerald Turner runs a fantastic university … with active trustees, dedicated faculty and a student body that is awesome,” the latter remark eliciting a huge cheer from students in the audience. He continued, “Today I am proud to dedicate this center to the American people.”

To plan and execute dedication events, Bush Center staff and vendors worked with SMU departments throughout the University. The campus resembled a giant fairground, with tents, stages, outdoor viewing screens, media platforms, special fencing for security zones, and seating areas, all in various stages of assembly. More than 600 media representatives from around the world converged on campus, among them Diane Sawyer of ABC and Matt Lauer of NBC. An episode of Meet the Press was filmed in a journalism class with host David Gregory.

SMU staff made sure the campus exuded hospitality – with welcome banners, information booths, campus maps listing nearby restaurants, and numerous “comfort stations” (read: portapotties).

After the ceremony, SMU’s libraries, the Meadows Museum and other campus attractions held open houses for visitors to sample the University’s resources.

More than 200 members of the SMU community volunteered to help the Bush Center beyond performing their regular duties, while others assisted in their professional capacities. Many staff members began shifts at 4 a.m. with an uncertain end time. Because security was tight, visitors and media had to arrive hours before the 10 a.m. ceremony to accommodate inspections and screening by magnetometers.

“SMU’s goal from the start was to be a gracious host,” said Brad Cheves, SMU vice president for development and external affairs. “That meant no task was too trivial. There were administrators driving golf carts to get visitors across campus. Others helped guests board shuttles at the nearby DART rail station. It was round-the-clock service, and we were honored to provide it,” said Cheves, who co-chaired SMU’s dedication event team with Tom Barry, SMU vice president for executive affairs.

One of the biggest challenges for SMU was to change campus parking assignments for most students, staff and faculty April 24-26. To accommodate those being affected, SMU rented a parking lot downtown, ran shuttles to campus and encouraged use of mass transit. The University decided not to cancel classes, but concern about crowds and traffic led some faculty to hold classes online, some staff to work from home (and some students simply to stay home). Officials in University Park, Highland Park and Dallas helped spread the word about road closures and high-traffic areas, “and our neighbors were very patient about any inconveniences,” Cheves said. “The result was an orderly, accommodating and hospitable campus that presented the best face of SMU.”

At the same time, SMU was under the watchful eyes of more than 200 law enforcement personnel from SMU police and local, state and federal agencies, in addition to the U.S. Secret Service, which supervised security for the dedication. F-16 jets and helicopters could be heard flying nearby.

The capstone event, especially for SMU community members not present at the dedication ceremony, was an evening block party on the intramural field and lighting of the Bush Center’s Freedom Hall. Those events attracted more than 13,000 students, faculty and staff and their families, SMU neighbors and Bush Center guests. Featuring games, food and entertainment by students and alumnus Jack Ingram ’93, the block party culminated with a nine-minute pyrotechnics show. It included a pattern-changing light show on the Bush Library façade. Fireworks formed a giant “W” in the sky.

A huge welcome sign on Moody garae served as the backdrop for the evening block party celebrating the dedication of the Bush Presidential Center.PREVIEW-HED

On April 29, SMU students, faculty and staff got a preview of the Bush Museum, opened exclusively for them in advance of the public opening May 1. (Admission will remain free to students, faculty and staff.) They saw museum exhibits ranging from the somber to the inspirational, as well as a lighthearted look at life in the White House. Among exhibits drawing the most attention were those on the 9/11 attacks. The museum houses floor-to-ceiling twisted and charred pieces of steel from the second tower of the World Trade Center. Visitors are encouraged to touch. Even though the Museum’s exact replica of the Oval Office represents the setting for difficult, world-changing decisions, the sunny room served as a welcome counterpoint, eliciting excitement as students took turns posing for photos in the presidential chair.

Others found the Museum’s Decision Points Theater worthy of serious attention. “You listen to the facts about a particular controversial issue and then decide how you would handle it if you were president,” said Christine Buchanan, SMU professor of biological sciences. “At first I was skeptical and suspected that it was rigged, but after watching visitors vote to disagree with what the president actually decided to do, I have more confidence in the display. It does require you to think or at least to listen.”

Buchanan hopes the Bush Museum visit will “inspire students to visit other presidential museums or read further on the issues of that administration.”

IntersectHed

Issues that remain close to the Bushes – global health, education, economic growth and human freedom – are the focus of the Bush Institute, an independent policy organization that includes initiatives advancing women and the military. Although the Institute is housed in the same building as the Library and Museum, the Institute faces west toward campus as a symbolic gesture inviting academic interactions. The Library and Museum entrance faces north on SMU Boulevard. The 226,565-square-foot Bush Center occupies 23 acres featuring Texas prairie landscaping.

Its intersection is SMU Boulevard and the new Bush Avenue, representing renamed portions of Airline and Dublin.

The Bush Institute already has worked collaboratively with SMU. Active since 2010, the Institute has sponsored 12 symposia on campus attracting more than 2,500 participants from around the world and involving faculty and students in related disciplines. Various SMU schools and centers have co-sponsored Bush Institute programs, are engaging in joint research projects or have made concurrent appointments of Institute Fellows to the SMU faculty. President Bush has visited SMU classes on topics ranging from journalism to immigration, and more than 100 students have served as Bush Center interns in its temporary facilities.

On April 19, SMU celebrated Founders’ Day as part of its centennial commemoration. Events included an official welcome ceremony for the Bush Center, with Bush as a surprise guest. Student leaders presented Bush with 100 letters of welcome written by their classmates. “Mr. President, you probably don’t know it, but you and I have been pen pals since I was in the fifth grade,” wrote Cole Blocker ’15. “Now I have the privilege again of writing to you to thank you and Mrs. Bush for establishing the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the campus of SMU. I believe that Mrs. Bush said it best when she said, ‘There’s nothing like a trip to the library.’”

The journey begins.

Fireworks conclude the dedication of the Bush Presidential Center on the SMU campus.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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Alumni

Calling All Mustangs! Tele-Pony Students Want To Talk With You

Tele-Pony student callers look forward to talking with alumni when they gear  up again in the fall.
Tele-Pony student callers look forward to talking with alumni when they gear up again in the fall.

Student Ade Guobadia ’16 believes working with Tele-Pony offers a priceless fringe benefit: As a caller with SMU’s telemarketing outreach program, she has the opportunity to meet and talk to alumni across the country.

“I’ve had some really good conversations,” says Guobadia, a first-year student from Dallas majoring in business with a minor in creative computation. “I recently spoke to an alumnus who majored in physics and electrical engineering and is now involved in physics research. He offered me some great advice about graduate school.”

On any given night, Guobadia and other student “voices” of Tele-Pony gather in a call center on campus for an experience that allows alumni to share personal stories and offer advice to today’s students, while helping their alma mater thrive in its second century.

Tele-Pony employs about 35 student fundraisers each semester. Working in groups of up to 15, students clock nine to 12 hours each week. The call center operates 6-9 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays, and 1-7 p.m. on Sundays from August through May.

From August 2012 to May 2013, students talked with nearly 23,000 alumni and parents in all 50 states and spent a total of 6,056 hours on the phones.

Each call is intended as a genuine two-way conversation, says Emily Kavy ’11, who worked for Tele-Pony as an undergraduate and has managed the call center for the last two years.

“Most of our students are outgoing, involved in University life and passionate about SMU,” she says. “They truly enjoy swapping stories with our alumni. And, as students, they are directly affected by the generosity of our constituents.”

TelePony2From contributing to scholarships and financial aid to funding research projects and campus technology upgrades, annual gifts from alumni ensure that SMU will continue to attract high-caliber students.

“I have a scholarship, and whenever possible, I let our alumni know that their gifts really do make a difference in students’ lives,” Guobadia says.

Alumni annual giving also influences national university rankings. Publications such as U.S. News & World Report, which publishes its Best Colleges guide each September, factor in the percentage of yearly donations by alumni in determining ratings.

“A gift to the University is so much more than a dollar amount. It is a statement of pride in SMU and a vote of confidence in our future,” says Marc Bullard ’15, a sophomore majoring in communications studies with minors in business and psychology.

Over the past year and a half, Bullard estimates he has spoken to “hundreds, if not thousands, of alumni. I’ve talked to graduates ranging from the class of 1932 to the class of 2012.”

Bullard’s favorite conversations are with those who recount stories from their student days. “One alumnus in particular, who graduated in 1961, told me the story of how he met his wife here at SMU – they are still married today. We probably spent 20 minutes talking about how SMU has changed and what things were like for him over 50 years ago.”

When Tele-Pony gears up again in August, student callers will be ready to listen. All alumni have to do is answer the phone.

Categories
Alumni

SMU Alumnus Plays Endearing Deputy On Longmire

Adam Bartley '01 on the set of Longmire. Photo courtesy of A&E
Adam Bartley ’01 on the set of Longmire. Photo courtesy of A&E

Adam Bartley, who earned a bachelor’s degree in theatre from SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts in 2001, plays the endearing Deputy Ferguson, known as “The Ferg,” on the A&E series Longmire. Bartley’s character, described as “loyal, sweet, well-meaning and eager to please,” provides some of the more lighthearted moments on the drama that puts a Wyoming outback spin on the police procedural genre.

Bartley talked about the series, now in its second season, with The Dallas Morning News July 1, 2013. In the interview, he said he feels “lucky” to have attended SMU:

“Southern Methodist is one of the top undergraduate theater companies in the country. It’s an incredible program. For me to be accepted as one of the 25 students was a huge deal. Michael Connolly, the head of acting there while I was there, was instrumental in my training. I was lucky to go there.”

Read more about Bartley here.

Categories
2013 Alumni News Spring 2013

Alumni Play Leading Role In Capturing A National Treasure

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What does it take to impress the president of the United States?

That question was foremost in the minds of SMU President R. Gerald Turner and the Board of Trustees for several years. They began to ponder it when they decided that SMU should compete to house the George W. Bush Presidential Center, including the library and museum run by the National Archives and Records Administration and the independent Bush Institute reporting to the Bush Foundation.

The quest began in December 2000, when the Board of Trustees appointed a steering committee including Turner, trustees Ray L. Hunt ’65 and Jeanne L. Phillips ’76, and the late Fred Meyer, former chair of the Texas Republican Party. Trustee and attorney Mike Boone ’63, ’67 later joined the steering committee to help guide legal negotiations once SMU was selected.

Among alumni guiding the bid for the Bush Presidential Center were (from left) Michael Boone '63, '67, chair-elect of the SMU Board of Trustees; Jeanne L. Phillips '76, trustee; and Ray L. Hunt '65, trustee.
Among alumni guiding the bid for the Bush Presidential Center were (from left) Michael Boone ’63, ’67, chair-elect of the SMU Board of Trustees; Jeanne L. Phillips ’76, trustee; and Ray L. Hunt ’65, trustee.

Hunt, Phillips and Boone represent numerous alumni who supported the process. Even though SMU leaders occupied the top of the planning pyramid, many others helped to build a foundation of support that transcended political leanings.

“It does not matter if you agree or disagree with President Bush on his programs and actions as head of state,” Hunt says. “His papers and artifacts will tell the story of a unique eight-year period in U.S. history. The Bush Presidential Center is bringing invaluable resources for research, dialogue and programming to SMU and Dallas, making us a global destination for scholars, dignitaries and visitors of all ages.”

To become that destination, SMU competed against six other institutions (see timeline), all of which received a request for proposal in July 2005 from the Bush Library Selection Committee.

As part of its proposal, SMU developed print and electronic materials to distinguish SMU from its competitors. Most had more land, but were not centrally located in a major metroplex, where the Bush Center would be an integral part of both campus and community. To show that advantage, SMU commissioned a detailed scale model of the entire campus. The 6-foot by 6-foot model was part of SMU’s proposal package traveling by truck to Washington, D.C., for presentation to the Library Selection Committee by Turner, Hunt and Phillips.

Jeanne Phillips remembers the meticulous work involved. To check on construction of the miniature campus, she visited the model makers in their Pennsylvania workshop.

Several SMY Board of Trustees chair provided leadership during the 12-year process of winning the Bush Center for SMU. They are (from Left) Carl Sewell, '66; Gerald J. Ford, '66, '69; and Caren Prothro; and Ruth Altshuler '48 (below). They worked with President R. Gerald Turner (far right) to capture the national treasure for the University.
SMU Board of Trustees chairs providing leadership during the 12-year process of winning the Bush Center for SMU are (from left) Carl Sewell, ’66; Gerald J. Ford, ’66, ’69; Caren Prothro; and Ruth Altshuler ’48 (below). They worked with President R. Gerald Turner (far right) to capture the national treasure for the University.

“There were six guys in a small warehouse gluing leaves on trees and enjoying every minute of their day. Their mastery of detail was amazing, and I enjoyed watching the campus come to life under their skilled hands. This trip fell into the category of ‘the Devil is in the details!’”

Phillips speaks from experience. In April she chaired dedication events of the Bush Center and serves with Hunt and Turner on the national finance executive committee for the Center. Previously she raised funds for the state and national campaigns of George W. Bush and oversaw three of his four inaugurations. From 2001-2003 she served as his appointee as U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris. She is now senior vice president at Hunt Consolidated, which Ray Hunt leads as CEO.

Ruth Altshuler '48
Ruth Altshuler ’48

Attention to detail of a different sort became SMU’s focus after December 21, 2006, when the Bush Library Selection Committee announced it was focusing solely on SMU as the possible site. That began negotiations involving, not surprisingly, more details.

Mike Boone, founding partner of Haynes and Boone, LLP, served on the Board of Trustees committee overseeing contract negotiations between SMU and the Bush Foundation. “Two law firms did the legal work while I was focused on the business terms from a trustee perspective,” he says. Working with Leon Bennett, then SMU vice president for legal affairs, Boone served over the entire 13 months that it took to negotiate the agreements, signed February 22, 2008. The result is a portfolio of contracts on issues ranging from terms of the ground lease to height limitations on surrounding campus structures, totaling 144 single-spaced pages.

The biggest challenge was developing contracts “cut out of whole cloth,” Boone says. “We had to be very thoughtful since there were no forms to be followed.”

Thoughtful and meticulous also describe Ray Hunt’s involvement with the Bush Center project. From the beginning, he and Turner immersed themselves in every detail to show that “SMU is the best place for the Bush Presidential Center to be successful,” Hunt says.

“We emphasized that our strong academic programs would contribute to the vitality of the Bush Center as a national historic treasure,” Turner says. “And we offered a resource that our competitors could not – a partnership with a dynamic city and location offering easy access to the public. We also pointed out that we have experience hosting high-profile events. We felt the entire package of SMU’s assets made us a strong competitor, but nothing could be taken for granted. We worked hard to prove our worthiness.”

As members of the Bush Foundation’s finance executive committee, Hunt and Turner had the dual challenge of helping to raise funds for the Bush Center and SMU’s Second Century Campaign, which Hunt co-chairs. He and Turner were convinced that both campaigns could succeed on parallel tracks, and they have. The Bush Foundation has surpassed its goal to raise $300 million to construct the center and over $200 million for operations, programs and endowment. “We have more than 310,000 donors to the Bush Center from all over the world,” Hunt says, “and most have had no SMU connection until now.” And as of May 2013, SMU had raised $732.5 million toward its $750 million campaign goal.

“This means that over $1.2 billion has been raised in the past four years for programs benefiting SMU,” a figure that will grow as SMU’s campaign concludes in 2015, Hunt adds.

Boone, chair-elect of the SMU Board of Trustees, looks forward to the Bush Center’s economic impact on Dallas. “The city and our region were key to SMU securing the Presidential Center. The SMU-Dallas partnership of 100 years has worked again to the benefit of each partner.”

Phillips also credits the SMU community, “which is made up of very generous individuals,” she says. “They captured the vision of what a great Presidential Center will mean to SMU and our nation.”

Pointing to “the incredible leadership of Dr. Turner,” the impact of trustees and alumni, the strengths of the Dallas and SMU communities, and the careful consideration of the Bush Library Selection Committee, Hunt concludes: “The stars were aligned in bringing all this together.”

– Patricia Ann LaSalle M.L.A. ’05

BushSelectionHed

2000

December: SMU forms trustee and staff committees to develop a proposal.

2001

Other competitors emerge: Texas A&M, University of Dallas, University of Texas at Austin (system), University of Texas at Arlington (with the City of Arlington), Baylor University, a West Texas coalition consisting of Texas Tech University in Lubbock and Midland College.

2005

November 15: SMU makes its presentation to the Selection Committee in Washington, D.C., along with other competitors.

2006

December 21: The Library Selection Committee announces it is focusing on SMU as the possible site; contract negotiations begin.

2008

February 22: The SMU Board of Trustees and George W. Bush Foundation Board approve agreement establishing SMU as the site of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Public announcement is made.

2010

November 16: Groundbreaking is held for the Bush Center.

2013

April 25: George W. Bush Presidential Center is dedicated.
May 1: George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum open to the public.

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