A $15 million gift from the Nancy Ann Hunt Foundation (a supporting organization of the Communities Foundation of Texas) will ensure the long-term support of the Hunt Leadership Scholars Program, which is one of SMU’s signature scholarship programs attracting academically talented student leaders from throughout the United States to SMU.In 1993, Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt and SMU announced a vision to create an annually funded leadership program to preserve the well-rounded and entrepreneurial nature of SMU’s student body while the University grew its academic standing. They believed that an SMU education fosters, and benefits from, students who exhibit demonstrated leadership skills, intellectual ability, a spirit of entrepreneurism and a strong work ethic, combined with a desire to grow these skills and apply them in service of the community.
“SMU has benefited enormously from Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt’s historic generosity,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Today SMU receives three times the number of applicants than it did in 1993 with many now having proven leadership, entrepreneurial and academic strengths. Therefore, although the Hunts feel that the original program’s objectives have been accomplished, we were delighted when they agreed to make this significant gift that will enable the University to create an endowment to insure the long-term continuation of the Leadership Scholars program and the legacy that the Hunts have created.”
With this gift, the Hunts will have contributed $65 million to the Hunt Leadership Scholars Program, a nationally recognized scholarship program for SMU, attracting the interest of academically gifted and exceptional service-driven student leaders from across the country.
Hunt Scholars span majors across all disciplines at SMU and are leaders in virtually all spheres of campus life. They have served as president, vice-president, and secretary of the Student Body, Program Council, and Student Foundation. They have been leaders across the spectrum of SMU’s hundreds of student organizations and editors for campus newspapers and publications. To date, the program has provided scholarships to 372 students who following their graduation from SMU have had a significant impact in many diverse fields ranging from medicine and law to theology, teaching and politics.
Read more at SMU News.
SMU is eager to serve and partner with Dallas, just as Northwestern University serves Chicago and Columbia University serves New York. We are ready to leverage SMU’s academic vitality and strong relationships with the Dallas region for expanded community service and impact.
Dallas is a city in a hurry, taking its place as a global business and knowledge center. Major corporations like Toyota and (perhaps) Amazon recognize that Dallas has a stake in the tech-driven future. What you need to know is that SMU has skin in that game.
We are a 21st century university, data empowered and actively seeking solutions to societal problems through interdisciplinary collaborations between the humanities, the sciences, the arts and the world of bytes and bits.
The red brick campus with a tradition of liberal arts and professional education now offers 13 graduate programs in data science, including an online master’s degree, and is powered by ManeFrame II – in the top 20 among the most powerful supercomputers in North American higher education. SMU’s high-speed supercomputer is completely accessible with no waiting to our students, faculty and our research partners outside SMU, providing us with more per capita shared computing resources (both in terms of faculty and students) than any university in Texas.
Simply put, a University that offers the ability to complete research in any discipline faster, without long wait times for processing data, has a distinct advantage. It’s like the difference between sitting in a traffic jam and whipping over into the HOV lane.
Read more at SMU: Data Empowered.
This has been a year of creative triumphs, game-changing collaborations and unforgettable campus experiences, all made possible by your generosity. There’s still time to make an instant impact this year.
Find out how current-use gifts strengthen every part of the University and join the Pony Power stampede today!
Kenneth A. Hersh, president and chief executive officer of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which oversees the George W. Bush Institute and houses the George W. Bush Library and Museum, will be the featured speaker during SMU’s December Commencement at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 16, in Moody Coliseum.
The entire event will be livestreamed via Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/smudallas/.
In addition to his work at the Bush Center, Hersh is the co-founder and advisory partner of NGP Energy Capital Management, a deputy chief investment officer for The Carlyle Group’s natural resources division, and sits on the board of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club.
Read more at SMU News.
Kumar Venkataraman, James M. Collins Chair in Finance at the Cox School, has been appointed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to serve on its newly formed Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee. The committee, with an initial focus on the corporate bond and municipal securities markets, will provide advice to the Commission on the efficiency and resiliency of these markets and identify opportunities for regulatory improvements.
“Fixed income markets are larger in size and scope than stock markets,” said Venkataraman. “Yet, for a variety of reasons, trading in bonds continues to be dominated by old methods that do not exploit technology. I am honored to be part of a working group that plans to review bond market structure, and suggest ways to improve the market for bond investors.”
The SEC’s Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee consists of a diverse group of 23 outside experts, including individuals representing the views of retail and institutional investors, small and large issuers, trading venues, dealers, self-regulatory organizations and more. Venkataraman is one of only two academics named to the committee.
Read more at SMU News.
Fossil leaves from Africa have resolved a prehistoric climate puzzle — and also confirm the link between carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and global warming.
Research until now has produced a variety of results and conflicting data that have cast doubt on the link between high carbon dioxide levels and climate change for a time interval about 22 million years ago.
But a new study has found the link does indeed exist for that prehistoric time period, say SMU researchers. The finding will help scientists understand how recent and future increases in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide may impact the future of our planets.
The new analyses confirm research about modern climate — that global temperatures rise and fall with increases and decreases in carbon dioxide in our atmosphere — but in this case even in prehistoric times, according to the SMU-led international research team.
Read more at SMU Research.
On November 21, local Dallas urban farm organizations and residents of South Dallas gathered for the grand opening of the new Seedling Farm at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center’s Freedom Garden. The Seedling Farm, one of several urban farm initiatives that have sprouted in Dallas over the past five years, is the latest addition to ongoing efforts to transform South Dallas from a “food desert” to a vibrant source of fresh vegetables and fruits.
According to SMU Meadows Associate Professor Owen Lynch, one of the principal event organizers, a food desert is a community without close access to fresh, healthy foods at grocery stores or other retail outlets. In South Dallas, many residents live at least a mile away from a grocery store.
“South Dallas is one of the largest food deserts in the country,” says Lynch, president and founding board member of the nonprofit, urban farm consulting agency Get Healthy Dallas.
Read more at SMU Meadows.
That’s SMU alumna Whitney Wolfe Herd ’11 on the cover of the Forbes 30 Under 30 issue. Herd founded Bumble, “America’s fastest-growing dating-app company,” just three years after receiving a bachelor’s degree in international studies from SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. This is her second consecutive appearance on the business magazine’s list of top “youthful visionaries” in 20 industries. In the profile that accompanies her December 12, 2017, cover, the 28-year-old entrepreneur talks about her mission to empower women via social networks devoted to dating, friendship, and business and networking. “We let our users guide our innovation. We let our users guide our brand.”
By Clare O’Connor
When Whitney Wolfe Herd started planning an October launch party for a new product at Bumble, America’s fastest-growing dating-app company, she was deliberate in her choice of venue: the Manhattan space that for 57 years hosted the Four Seasons restaurant, where regulars like Henry Kissinger, Vernon Jordan, Edgar Bronfman and Stephen Schwarzman created the ultimate power lunch.
The space now has a new name, new management and a new menu. And, as Herd insists, a new perspective on business. “The power lunch is no longer just for men,” Herd announces to the mostly young, mostly female crowd, before ceding the stage to the pop star Fergie. “We all deserve a seat at the table.”
That table surely now includes the 28-year-old Herd, who has changed the tenor of dating dynamics. By letting women make the first move, Bumble has amassed over 22 million registered users, to closest competitor Tinder’s 46 million, and at more than 70% year-over-year growth, to Tinder’s roughly 10%, it’s closing the gap quickly.
As a young researcher, Paul E. Hardin ’82 clocked innumerable hours in a pitch-dark lab to shed light on one of the keys to good health. Hardin was the first author on one of the fundamental papers from a body of circadian rhythm research to win the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
The Nobel Prize went to Hardin’s former colleagues Michael Rosbash and Jeffrey Hall of Brandeis as well as Michael Young of Rockefeller University “for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm.”
“It’s a really beautiful example of basic research that has led to incredible discoveries,” Hardin commented in Quanta Magazine. “Almost every aspect of physiology and metabolism will be controlled by the circadian clock.”
Hardin earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from SMU in 1982 and a doctorate in genetics from Indiana University in 1987.
As a postdoctoral researcher in Rosbash’s lab from 1987 to 1991, Hardin demonstrated that the protein encoded by the gene that controls circadian rhythm in the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) fluctuates over a 24-hour period, rising at night and falling during the day. His research over the past two decades has helped establish the fruit fly as a model organism for studying the circadian clock in humans and allowed scientists to unravel myriad ways in which that natural timekeeper affects our health. These discoveries may lead to new treatments for a wide range of afflictions – from jet lag and sleep disorders to obesity and heart disease.
Hardin, Distinguished Professor and John W. Lyons Jr. ’59 Endowed Chair in Biology at Texas A&M University, told Texas A&M Today: “A Nobel prize for ciradian clocks is great for the field. It is, indeed, exciting to have worked with two of the three winners and to see them and my field honored with such a momentous award. It is a proud moment for circadian clocks.”
His research has earned international recognition, including the 2003 Aschoff-Honma Prize from the Honma Life Science Foundation in Japan. He has served as president of the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms and is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Genetics Society of America and the Society of Neuroscience. He is the author of more than 100 publications.
A previous version of this story erroneously stated that Dr. Hardin was the son of SMU President Paul Hardin III, and we apologize for the error.
In case you missed it this month, please enjoy these interesting stories and cool videos!
- Celebration of Lights welcomes ‘the most wonderful time of the year’
- Go behind the scenes with the 100-year-old Mustang Band
- ‘Homecoming of Heroes’: Star-spangled floats, big-band sounds and pony ears aplenty
- Men’s soccer finishes the season with most wins since 2006
- NBA’s Semi Ojeleye visits the Hilltop: ‘It still feels like home.’
- Distinguished Alumni and Emerging Leader nominations due December 31
- SMU Debate Team ranked among Top 10 U.S. teams
- Dedman Law launches Emerging Leader Board
- Cox honors 100 fastest-growing entrepreneurial businesses
- Walk this way: New pedestrian bridge links to recreation hub
- In spite of struggles, author Anne Lamott says ‘Hallelujah Anyway’
- Engineering koala bridges and an Australian adventure