2018 January 2018 May 2018 News

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos speaks at SMU during Bush Center Forum

Jeff Bezos, chairman and CEO of Amazon, was the featured speaker at the Closing Conversation of the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Forum on Leadership, in partnership with SMU.
Described as “one of this generation’s leading visionaries,” Bezos talked about the ways in which he thinks our world will change and some of his most ambitious upcoming projects. Bush Center CEO Kenneth Hersh moderated the discussion on April 20 in Moody Coliseum.
The three-day Forum, hosted by President George W. Bush and Laura Bush, is an annual gathering to develop, recognize and celebrate leadership. This year’s Forum coincided with Founders’ Day Weekend, during which the University celebrated the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the SMU campus.

Photos of Founders’ Day Weekend 2018

2018 Fall 2018 May 2018 News

Rising to the challenge and exceeding expectations

A $400,000 challenge from longtime SMU supporters Carl Sewell ’66 and Peggy Higgins Sewell ’72 has generated more than $834,000 in gifts and pledges for merit-based scholarships combined with unique programming for academically gifted students in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.
Dedman College Scholars are chosen to inspire their peers, challenge their professors and contribute to the university’s academic reputation. The new funding will allow SMU to offer 20 new four-year scholarships, effectively doubling the number available in past years.
“The Sewells’ call to action, and the response of 17 new donors and donor families who met their challenge, is giving us the opportunity to offer admission in fall 2018 to the largest group of Dedman Scholars in SMU history,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “These scholarships are a great opportunity for the recipients, but our Dedman Scholars also enrich the University as a whole.”
Carl Sewell, an SMU trustee, issued the challenge November 27, 2017, after the summer launch of the Pony Power initiative to raise more current-use funds for initiatives such as scholarships, faculty research and rewarding student experiences. The Sewells vowed to match every dollar in gifts and pledges up to $400,000 made by new donors to the Dedman College Scholars program by September 1; however new donors stepped up to meet the challenge and committed $434,614 before April 1.
Read more at SMU News.

2018 May 2018 News

Meadows Museum gala to support vital educational mission

The Meadows Museum will present its inaugural Masterpiece Gala, “The Color of Dreams,” on October 13 to establish an endowment for the museum’s director of education position. The event, presented by Sewell Automotive, will include cocktails, a seated dinner, world-class entertainment and dancing.
The endowment will ensure strong leadership of the museum’s education and outreach efforts in perpetuity, establishing a healthy financial base from which to recruit and retain the highest-quality staff and allowing the Museum to direct more resources toward its exceptional programming endeavors. The Meadows Museum annually hosts thousands of visitors, teachers and K-12 and SMU students through symposia, lectures, workshops, gallery talks, and guided tours.
Additionally, it has received recognition for its accessible programming and resources that welcome audiences of all abilities, with a particular focus on adults with early stage dementia and their care partners, and visitors who are blind or have low vision.
Underwriting opportunities are available. Please e-mail or call 214.768.4189 for information. Limited individual tickets will go on sale to the general public in September.
Read more at the Meadows Museum.

2018 Fall 2018 May 2018 News

A new campus drawing card begins to take shape

SMU celebrated the building of its new SMU Indoor Performance Center on April 14 during the annual Mustang spring football game. The 67,000-square-foot facility with its indoor practice field, training facilities and entertainment areas, slated to open in the spring of 2019, is a reflection of SMU’s commitment to a first-class and competitive athletic program.
“Opening onto Bishop Boulevard in the very heart of our campus, this facility will enhance the student-athlete experience, elevate our competitiveness and serve as an asset to the entire campus community,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.
Located at the corner of Bishop Boulevard and Binkley Avenue, the new center will be built on a site long dedicated to SMU Athletics. A basketball pavilion built in 1926 was replaced by the 1942 construction of the Perkins Gymnasium. The gymnasium was converted in 1957 to the Perkins Natatorium, home of SMU Swimming and Diving, which moved in 2017 to the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center on SMU’s East Campus. The new facility will continue the site’s historic legacy.
“The SMU Indoor Performance Center represents a tangible, visible investment in our ongoing vision to establish SMU Athletics as the best overall program in the American Athletic Conference,” said Director of Athletics Rick Hart.
Read more at SMU News.

2018 May 2018 News

Mustangs ready to kick off their NFL careers

Three teams tapped Mustang football standouts to join their rosters during the NFL Draft 2018 at AT&T Stadium, April 26–28. SMU wide receiver Courtland Sutton was selected by the Denver Broncos as the eighth pick in the second round of the draft.  In the seventh round, defensive end Justin Lawler was picked by the Los Angeles Rams, and wide receiver Trey Quinn was chosen by the Washington Redskins.
The last time the Mustangs had multiple players selected in the draft was 2014, when Kenneth Acker went to the San Francisco 49ers and Garrett Gilbert to the then-St. Louis Rams. The three selections are the most since 2012 when Josh LeRibeus ’12 (Washington Redskins), Taylor Thompson ’12 (Tennessee Titans), Richard Crawford ’12 (Washington Redskins) and Kelvin Beachum ’11, ’12 (Pittsburgh Steelers) were chosen.
Sutton will  join former Mustang Emmanuel Sanders ’10 in Denver. He is the first second-round pick since Margus Hunt ’13 was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2013. At No. 40 0verall, he is the highest-drafted Mustang since Rod Jones ’89 and Reggie Dupard ’99 were selected 25th and 26th, respectively, in 1986.
Sutton earned SB Nation All-America Honorable Mention accolades and was a first-team All-American Athletic Conference selection following his junior season. The Brenham, Texas, native ranked eighth nationally in receiving touchdowns with 12, while coming in at 21st in receiving yards (1,085) and 26th in receiving yards per game (83.5). He was second on the team with 68 receptions.
Read more about Sutton.
Lawler, the 244th overall pick, started all 13 games for the Mustangs at defensive end in 2017, helping SMU to seven wins and its first Bowl appearance since 2012. A first-team All-American Athletic Conference selection, Lawler was a member of the Ted Hendricks Award Final Watch List and earned a spot on Chuck Bednarik, Bronko Nagurski and Wuerffel Trophy preseason lists. Additionally, he was a nominee for the AFCA Good Works Team.
Quinn led the nation with 114 receptions and 8.8 per game en route to Pro Football Focus First-Team All-America honors. He was also a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff and Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Awards and earned first-team All-AAC accolades.
Read more at SMU Athletics.

2018 May 2018 News

Three cheers for our national champions!

SMU Cheer was awarded first place at the National Cheer Association’s national competition in Daytona, Florida, April 3–7. This is the squad’s third consecutive win.
The cheer squad competed in Division 1A against 16 college cheer teams from across the country. The first day of the event included the preliminary competition, where the six teams with the lowest scores were eliminated from the competition. On prelims day, SMU cheer performed a gameday routine, followed by a competitive routine filled with tumbling, stunts, and dancing.
Nate Williams, senior cheerleader, reminisced on his past performances on the bandshell at prelims and said that it is the most special stage he has ever performed on.
“There is something suspenseful about the elements that makes competing on the bandshell so unique,” Williams said. “In all of the major stages I have performed on throughout my cheer career, there’s nothing quite like the atmosphere of the bandshell. The ocean to your left, the hot sun beaming down on you and the sea breeze blowing. It’s an incredible experience.”
Read more at The Daily Campus.

2018 Fall 2018 May 2018 News

Faculty gift creates endowed chair in Cox

Andrew H. Chen and Elaine T. Chen have made a $2 million gift to the SMU Edwin L. Cox School of Business to establish The Andrew H. Chen Endowed Chair in Financial Investments Fund.
Andrew Chen, who retired as Professor Emeritus of Finance at SMU in 2012, said he and his wife wanted to ensure that the Cox School will continue to attract outstanding finance faculty.
The gift will include $1.5 million for the endowment of the faculty chair and $500,000 for operational support, which will enable immediate use of the position while the endowment vests.
“As a faculty member in the Finance Department, I focused much of my research and teaching in the areas of option pricing and options-related investment strategies, ” Andrew Chen said. “After retiring from my faculty position, I decided to put into practice what I had taught in the classroom and was fortunate enough to meet with some success. Elaine and I now find ourselves in the position of being able to make a useful contribution to the Cox School by setting up an endowed chair in financial investment. We hope that this new finance chair will further enhance the Cox Finance Department’s reputation and enable its holder to enjoy an excellent career at SMU, just as I did when I was a member of the Finance Department.”
Read more at SMU News.

2018 May 2018 News

New partnership amplifies economic research impact

The George W. Bush Institute and SMU are joining forces to launch the Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative on June 1. This effort will combine the existing Economic Growth Initiative of the Bush Institute with the public policy-relevant work of the SMU Department of Economics. The objective is to build the initiative into a globally respected policy voice on the most pressing economic issues of our time.
“We have developed a close and successful relationship with SMU since the establishment of the Bush Institute nine years ago, and we are thrilled to partner with SMU on this joint initiative,” said Kenneth Hersh, President and CEO of the Bush Center. “Since its inception, the Bush Institute’s Economic Growth Initiative has promoted pro-growth economic policies on issues like trade and immigration. The addition of SMU will add a nationally recognized research partner to our work. Importantly, we will also be able to add expertise to broaden our scope.”
The Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative will promote policies to support domestic economic growth and strengthen our competitiveness in the global economy. The initiative will also highlight the benefits of continuing American economic leadership, global trade, immigration, and the economic vitality of cities and regions in our country. The new combined initiative will be supported by the George W. Bush Presidential Center Endowment at SMU that was established to support joint programming as well as funding from the Bush Institute, thereby enabling its work to begin immediately.
Read more at SMU News.

2018 May 2018 News

Center launches milestone study of prosecutorial charging practices

The Deason Criminal Justice Reform Center at SMU Dedman School of Law is partnering with some of the nation’s leading criminal justice researchers to conduct the Prosecutorial Charging Practices Project, the center’s first data-driven criminal justice research project.
This project is an innovative, mixed-methods empirical study that is multi-jurisdictional. The Prosecutorial Charging Practices Project will provide a holistic account of prosecutors’ charging practices. Additionally, it will:

  • Produce descriptive and empirical information about the important factors that influence prosecutorial decision-making;
  • Evaluate how prosecutorial charging decisions affect cases as they progress through the criminal justice system; and
  • Provide a baseline against which to evaluate future prosecutorial practices.

“This research will represent the varied prosecutorial work of three district and/or county attorneys’ offices in discrete geographical locations, with different charging philosophies, said Pamela Metzger, director of the Deason Center and law professor at SMU . “We expect the results to be instructive in determining the relative effects of prosecutorial charging policies on case outcomes.”
Read more at Dedman School of Law.

2018 May 2018 News

NATO alliance survives through adaptability

“The main reason why NATO is the most successful alliance in history is that we have been able to change, to adapt, when the world is changing,” said Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, at a town hall on campus on April 5. The event was moderated by Provost Steven Currall and featured U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison.
During his address, Stoltenberg noted the University’s reputation as a center of academic excellence, stating “… the scientific work and the teaching which is taking place here is something really which is highly recognized and, therefore, is a special pleasure for me to visit SMU.”
In her remarks to SMU students, Hutcheson underscored NATO’s role as the cornerstone of U.S. and transatlantic security over the past 69 years. She recalled that NATO came to America’s defense following 9/11, invoking Article 5 – the collective defense clause of the Washington Treaty – for the first time in its history.
Stoltenberg and Hutcheson also met with former President George W. Bush.
During their two-day visit to Texas, they also visited the Lockheed F-35 Lightning II production plant in Fort Worth and Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, where many NATO allies participate in the Euro-NATO joint jet pilot training program.
See photos at SMU Facebook.

2018 Alumni May 2018 News

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

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