2018 Fall 2018 June 2018 News

Preparing legal leaders for a changing world

Combined gifts of $4 million will create the new Robert B. Rowling Center for Business Law and Leadership in SMU’s Dedman School of Law to train the next generation of prominent legal and business leaders and influence national conversations surrounding business and corporate law.
At the request of an anonymous donor who made the lead gift, the center is being named in honor of Dallas businessman Robert B. Rowling, owner and Chairman of TRT Holdings, Inc., which is the holding company for the Omni Hotels and Resorts chain as well as Gold’s Gym International. He received an undergraduate degree in business before graduating from SMU’s Dedman School of Law in 1979.
The lead donor asked Mr. Rowling the favor of sharing his name with the new center to reflect that Mr. Rowling exemplifies the type of business achievement, community engagement and civic contribution that future participants in the center’s programs should strive to emulate.
“Bob Rowling is the perfect example of the combined skills that will be the focus of the new center,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Today’s law students will be navigating careers that we cannot even imagine at the moment. They need training in ethical leadership, business analytics and entrepreneurship to develop the skills they will need to be successful. The Rowling Center has a role to play in shaping the future of business and corporate law.”
The Rowling Center will enrich the School’s existing curriculum, and include new leadership training to highlight professionalism and “soft skills,” as well as empirical training to teach core business skills. The program will build on the legal and business acumen centered in Dallas, collaborating with SMU’s Cox School of Business to provide an interdisciplinary approach. The center also will enhance Dedman Law’s mentoring program and provide new opportunities for students to connect with SMU’s extensive network of highly successful alumni and supporters.
Read more at SMU News.

2018 June 2018 News

SMU continues its climb

Continuing The Ascent: Recommendations for Enhancing the Academic Quality and Stature of Southern Methodist University, a report by SMU President R. Gerald Turner and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven C. Currall, presents a set of 14 bold recommendations for further raising SMU’s standing relative to other universities.
“This is our time to rise even higher,” Turner said. “There’s more to do to strengthen our already fine academic quality, and to bolster our local, national and global impact.”
The recommendations, discussed and vetted for more than a year among the SMU community via task force work, forums and town halls, address four categories:

  • Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduates and Their Educational Experience
  • Strengthening Faculty, Research and Creative Impact at SMU
  • Enhancing the Quality of Graduate Students and Their Educational Experience
  • Deepening Innovative Community Partnerships and Engagement

Each recommendation briefly compares SMU with its peers and aspirants, and includes estimated costs.
“The SMU Community contributed extensively to, and informed the development of our recommendations,” Currall said. “This report represents our collective vision of SMU’s futureand how to further elevate SMU’s excellence in scholarship, creative activity, teaching, and societal impact.”
Read Continuing the Ascent.

2018 Fall 2018 June 2018 News

Powering achievement across the Hilltop

2018 Alumni Fall 2018 June 2018

Jasmine Liu ’18 discovers her future in the stars

Jasmine Liu ’18 came to the Hilltop from Fuzhou No. 5 High School in Fuzhou, China, to major in accounting and physics and intended to pursue a career in the corporate world. However, after joining physicist Robert Kehoe’s research team, she was star struck. Fueled by SMU’s high-performance computing power, her work helped reveal a variable star in the Pegasus constellation. Now she sees graduate school in either astrophysics or astronomy in her future.

Story by Kathleen Tibbetts
Invisible to the naked eye, the variable star ROTSE1 J000831.43+223154.8 flickers in the northern sky. It hides within an ancient star map formed, it was said, when the king of the gods transformed his most heroic steed into a constellation.
For Jasmine Liu ’18 – an SMU physics student and Hamilton Undergraduate Research Scholar – it represents a crowning achievement in her University career.
As a student living in Dallas, it was fitting that her work helped unveil a variable star in the Pegasus constellation. The city of Dallas long ago adopted the winged horse of Greek song and story as its own – not as a myth but as a symbol of striving, of inspiration, of looking ever upward.
It seems especially appropriate for Liu, who found her calling in the night sky after arriving in Dallas to study business.
Liu came to the Hilltop from Fuzhou No. 5 High School in Fuzhou, China to major in accounting and physics. With a degree from SMU’s Cox School of Business in hand, she planned to return home after graduation and pursue a career in the corporate world, as both her parents had.
But Liu, a math lover, soon discovered that she didn’t find the arithmetic of accounting quite challenging enough. And she was questioning the wisdom of trying to manage double majors in business and one of the natural sciences. “It just left me a little too busy,” she says.
By her second summer in Dallas, she’d made her next big discovery: the opportunity to work with SMU physicist Robert Kehoe in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences as a 2016 Hamilton Undergraduate Research Scholar. A long discussion with Dr. Kehoe about cosmology and astrophysics convinced her to take on work as his undergraduate research assistant.
“I really wanted to give it a shot,” she says. “I could have spent the summer doing nothing, but it seemed really meaningful to do this instead.”
Read more at SMU News.
2018 Fall 2018 June 2018 News

SMU names new Board officers and members

Three new officers and three new trustees were named to SMU’s Board of Trustees during the board’s spring meeting on May 4. The Board also passed a resolution to honor two former members as trustees emeriti.
Robert H. Dedman, Jr. ’80, ’84 has been elected as chair, David B. Miller ’72, ’73 was elected as vice-chair, and Kelly Hoglund Compton ’79 was elected as secretary. Officers are elected for one-year terms and are eligible for re-election up to four consecutive terms in any respective office.
The new officers will begin their one-year terms on June 1, and preside over the September 14 meeting of the Board of Trustees.
New trustee Bradley W. Brookshire ’76 will fill the vacancy left by the death of longtime SMU trustee Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler ’48. The Board’s new ex officio faculty representative is Faculty Senate President Dayna Oscherwitz, French area chair in the Department of World Languages and Literatures, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Ben Manthey ’09, ’19 will serve as ex officio student trustee.
Concluding their board service are Paul Krueger, past-president of the SMU Faculty Senate and professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering; and student trustee Andrew B. Udofa ’18.
The SMU Board of Trustees also passed a resolution naming Linda Pitts Custard ’60, ’99 and Alan D. Feld ’57, ’60 as trustees emeriti.
Read more at SMU News.

2018 Fall 2018 June 2018 News

Understanding modern research libraries from the ground up

University of Connecticut Associate Dean of Libraries Holly Jeffcoat, a leader in the use of technology in instruction and library services, has been selected as the next dean of SMU Libraries. She will assume her new duties August 1, 2018.
“Holly Jeffcoat has deep leadership skills, as well as broad administrative experience in the library system of a highly ranked research institution,” said SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven C. Currall. “She will lead SMU Libraries in forging a collective vision in line with SMU’s goals for even greater academic quality.”
SMU President R. Gerald Turner lauded Jeffcoat’s strategic vision.
“Holly is wonderfully forward thinking in her understanding of the role of technology in libraries now and in the future,” Turner said.
Read more at SMU News.

2018 Alumni June 2018

Honoring the achievements of business alumni

The SMU Cox School of Business honored four alumni at the school’s annual Distinguished Alumni and Outstanding Young Alumni Awards Luncheon hosted on May 11 at the Collins Executive Center on the SMU campus.
Pictured from left are Clark Hunt ’87, Kris Lowe ’04, ’14, James M. “Jim” Johnston ’70, ’71 and Jeff Owens ’01, ’02.
SMU Cox Distinguished Alumni 2018
Clark Hunt (BBA ’87) is the chairman and CEO of the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League and FC Dallas of Major League Soccer. He is a leading voice among NFL owners and a founding investor-operator in Major League Soccer. His love of soccer was evident in college, as he served as captain of what was then the Mustangs’ nationally-ranked soccer team. He was a four-year letterman, and graduated first in his class at SMU, graduating in 1987 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. Hunt has served as a member of the SMU Board of Trustees since 2004, and he’s a longtime member of the Cox Executive Board. In 2004, the Cox School honored Hunt as an Outstanding Young Alumnus. With the 2018 award as Distinguished Alumnus, Hunt becomes only the third alumnus in SMU Cox history to receive both accolades.
James M. “Jim” Johnston (BBA ’70, MBA ’71) became president of Methodist Health System Foundation in November 2016. Before joining the Methodist Foundation, Johnston was a 40-year mainstay in the Dallas banking industry. He began his career at Republic Bank of Texas, where he held various corporate executive positions. Later, he was named regional chair of Frost Bank, and subsequently, he served as board vice chair for Bank of Texas. He came to SMU on a football scholarship, and became not only a star player, but a dedicated student. Johnston completed his BBA in Marketing in 1970, and went on to earn an MBA in Finance the following year. He has served as chair of the SMU Mustang Club, the Lettermen’s Association, the Planned Giving Council and the Athletics Hall of Fame. He currently serves on the Cox Executive Board.
SMU Cox Outstanding Young Alumni 2018
Kris Lowe (BBA ’04, EMBA ’14) is a director in the Dallas office of HFF, a U.S. and European commercial real estate capital intermediary. In his four years at HFF, he’s participated in the execution of more than $5.5 billion in commercial real estate transactions. Before he went to work for HFF, Lowe served for seven years as the CFO of SMU Athletics. During that time, he got his Executive MBA degree, the second of two degrees he earned from SMU Cox. His first was his Bachelor of Business Administration in 2004. He was originally recruited to SMU to play basketball, and remained with the Mustangs through college. Today, Lowe is active with the Cox Folsom Institute for Real Estate, serving on its executive and associate boards.
Jeff Owens (BBA ’01, MSA ’02) is a partner at Armanino, the fastest growing public accounting firm and one of the top 25 largest accounting and business firms in the country. He leads the Dallas audit department and concentrates on serving the nonprofit and technology sectors. Owens started his career working with KPMG in Sydney, Australia. He earned his BBA in 2001 and the next year, graduated with his Master of Science in Accounting—both at the Cox School. He stays active with SMU and serves on the Cox School Accounting Department’s Alumni and Professional Advisory Board.

2018 June 2018 News

Mustangs come through with flying colors

More than 10,000 donors supported SMU in 2017–2018, creating extraordinary possibilities across the SMU community. Thank you for making the Horsepower Challenge such a success!

June 2018 News

The start of something big

2018 Alumni Fall 2018 June 2018

Art in high gear: Julia Jalowiec ‘18

Alumni June 2018 News

Enjoy this roundup of interesting videos and stories highlighting some of the people and events making news on the Hilltop.