SMU Magazine

SMU Magazine is updated monthly on this website and the print edition is published each spring and fall.

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Fall 2015 2020-05-12T14:40:57-05:00

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Fall 2015

New gifts champion SMU Human Rights

Gifts totaling $650,000 from two couples with profound personal connections to the SMU Human Rights Program provide crucial resources for the renowned initiative, one of only seven of its kind in the United States.

March 29, 2021|

Celebrating Black History Month

The Unity Circle (above) and other SMU Dream Week events provided a prelude to the celebration of Black History Month on the Hilltop. In a tribute tailored to this time, the Black Alumni of SMU will honor Black alumni working on the frontlines of the pandemic as 2021 History Maker Award recipients. At the Black Excellence Awards on February 27, the seven students receiving Black Alumni Scholarships this year will be recognized.

February 8, 2021|

Snow beautiful!

A picture-perfect dusting of snow was gone almost as quickly as it fell on campus on Sunday, January 10. Enjoy photos of the flurries captured by SMU photographers.

January 12, 2021|

Rising to the challenge

SMU has met the challenges introduced by COVID-19 with innovation, creativity and resilience. In the midst of the pandemic, here are some of the ways that SMU has continued to be Mustang Strong.

December 15, 2020|

Speaking up for change

In the wake of nationwide protests, Black SMU alumni share their stories and call for meaningful action to address issues of inequity and bias.

December 15, 2020|

A witness to history

Roving reporter Garrett Haake ’07 lives by the advice he learned from an SMU faculty mentor – stay packed, and don’t make any dinner plans that can’t be canceled.

December 3, 2020|

A full-court press against hunger

It’s been a perfect season so far for men’s basketball, with the Mustangs beating Dayton 66–64 December 5. The team is also doing its part to defeat hunger during the holidays by collecting food donations on campus for the North Texas Food Bank through December 18.

December 3, 2020|

A candid conversation with Spike Lee

Spike Lee’s movies have redefined how we look at Black culture in America. In an interview with Ace Anderson ’13, he shared his thoughts on a wide range of topics. Read some of our favorite moments.

October 29, 2020|

Learning to put politics aside

Since appearing in the acclaimed documentary Boys State, sophomore Ben Feinstein ’24 has backed away from the idea of a political career and now aspires to serve his country “in a neutral role.”

October 28, 2020|

Carolyn and David B. Miller ’72, ’73 make $50 million commitment to SMU and the Cox School of Business

When former Mustang basketball standout David B. Miller ’72, ’73 and his wife, Carolyn, made the largest single alumni gift in SMU history, the Hilltop milestone made headlines in Dallas. Longtime business columnist Cheryl Hall ’73, who earned her journalism degree from the University, wrote about the publicity-shy couple for The Dallas Morning News. In this excerpt of the newspaper profile, their generous spirit and their love for family, community and SMU shine through. BY CHERYL HALL ’73 How does a guy who went to Southern Methodist University on a basketball scholarship strike it so [...]

October 23, 2020|

Pastor Richie Butler ’93 creates opportunities for crucial conversations about race

Pastor Richie Butler ’93 remembers a particularly heated discussion during a town hall shortly after a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, on a street in Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 9, 2014. The conversation grew fiery among the many members of the community in attendance to speak with the leadership of the Dallas Police Department, the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office and the Dallas County Sheriff’'s Office. “I noticed every negative emotion and energy – division, anger, mistrust, frustration, hate,” and many in attendance felt that justice would not [...]

October 22, 2020|

Ashlee Hunt Kleinert ’88 shines a light on the tough topic of sex trafficking

A young woman carrying a backpack walked into the Fairmont Dallas bar, sat next to Ashlee Hunt Kleinert ’88 and her husband, Chris ’88, and ordered a glass of water. In her cutoff overalls and tank top, she stood out in the crowd of suits and cocktail attire. The Kleinerts, who were at the downtown hotel for a social event, thought she looked too young to sit at the bar. They guessed she was about 17 or 18. More conspicuous, though, was the young woman’s trembling discomfort. “She was constantly looking over her shoulder, scanning [...]

October 20, 2020|

Fueling the future of business

A $15 million gift from Gina L. and Tucker S. Bridwell ’73, ’74 to SMU’s Cox School of Business will generate transformational economic research and cutting-edge business education for generations to come.

October 11, 2020|

Happy 20th to Gerald J. Ford Stadium!

Perhaps now more than ever we appreciate Gerald J. Ford Stadium, the home of SMU football for two decades. The Hilltop landmark brings together the campus and Dallas communities in solidarity to cheer on the Mustangs.

September 29, 2020|

Hacking the health crisis

Hubert Zajicek, M.B.A. ’06, a physician and founder and CEO of the Health Wildcatters incubator in Dallas, helped create the Health Hacking Crisis Network to find quick solutions to problems like the face-mask shortage among healthcare workers.

May 29, 2020|

Cooking up something good

Each of SMU’s 11 Residential Commons has its own color, motto, cheers and traditions. But one simple and deliberate activity has proved most successful in building community – gathering together to prepare and enjoy food. Now our Faculty in Residence and students are keeping Sunday Night Snacks and other traditions going via Zoom and social channels.

May 12, 2020|

Changing course to fight COVID-19

In just 48 hours, Lucy and Andy Rieger ’09 pivoted J. Rieger & Co. – their family distillery in Kansas City, Missouri – from producing whiskey to making hand sanitizer for hospitals, nursing homes and the community.

May 12, 2020|

Necessity is the mother of reinvention

For the Odee Company, co-owned by Steve and Sarah Lodwick Holland ’80, the ability to adapt to shifting demands has kept the business going since 1923. Now the printer is churning out hospital gowns for frontline health workers.

May 12, 2020|

Engineering a drone zone

SMU engineering students and faculty have created an innovative drone research lab to work on communications issues that can open up the life-saving potential of drone swarms.

March 6, 2020|

Reaching for a stronger future

A rare, polio-like condition left Braden Scott paralyzed. Now a team led by Edmond Richer, professor of mechanical engineering in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering, has developed a robotic arm aiding his recovery.

February 6, 2020|

Occasional rivals, but Mustangs forever

When the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs met in Super Bowl LIV on February 2, SMU was represented by 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders ’09 and Clark Hunt ’87, part owner, chairman and CEO of the Chiefs.

February 2, 2020|

Leading the charge for positive change

Politics doesn’t have to be polarizing, says SMU Student Body President Darian Taylor. “The pendulum will move back toward a climate of cooperation, and my generation is the one that will swing it that way.”

February 2, 2020|

First in her family, finding her place

SMU senior Kaitlyn Contreras ’20 is a first-generation honor roll student attending the University on a full scholarship and majoring in health and society. She admits it hasn’t always been easy, but she has never shied away from hard work and big challenges. Now, with the support of her family, faculty mentors and a close-knit student community, she’s ready for her most ambitious project yet – applying to medical school.

January 27, 2020|

Plant-based drug could stem the spread of HTLV-1 virus

Thanks to SMU scientists, there’s hope on the horizon for the estimated 10–15 million people infected with the HTLV-1 virus, a “cousin” to HIV. While there is no cure or treatment, the new research suggests that the drug oleandrin could prevent the HTLV-1 virus from spreading.

January 4, 2020|

$100 million gift from the Moody Foundation launches SMU’s eighth degree-granting school

SMU will take a major step forward in serving the talent and research needs of a challenging world, thanks to a landmark $100 million commitment from the Moody Foundation that will fund the University’s eighth degree-granting school – the Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies. The Moody Foundation commitment is the largest gift in SMU history.

December 13, 2019|

Owen Arts Center: Transformation for innovation

The $34 million Owen Arts Center renovation, which kicked off on November 8, will improve academic spaces in the north wing for visual arts, art history and creative computation, while creating grand welcoming and accessible exterior entrances.

December 6, 2019|

Mickey’s wild ride

Between bobsledding and winning a seat in the Oklahoma Legislature, Mickey Dollens ’11 also experienced a boom (and bust) in the oil business and a teaching job that he loved (and lost). It has been a wild ride for someone only eight years out of SMU, but as you follow the twists and turns of his story, one thing is clear: Mickey never quits.

September 30, 2019|

Moody Magic starts Homecoming Week

The magic of Mustang basketball returns to Moody Coliseum on November 5 when the men’s team plays Jacksonville State and the women’s team takes on McNeese State. Check out the men’s schedule and buy tickets; see the women’s schedule and buy tickets. Read more at SMU Athletics.

September 30, 2019|

Banding together in ‘a community like no other’

For Ian Perkins-Smith ’20, music has always been a part of life. He joined the band in sixth grade and continued to play all high school, where he advanced to the role of drum major. Now an SMU senior, he’s repeating that success as drum major of the Mustang Band.

September 30, 2019|

A gift from the heart to law and the arts

A planned gift to SMU by Anne R. Bromberg of Dallas honors a life filled with intellectual adventure and global exploration that she shared with her beloved husband, the late Alan R. Bromberg. He served as University Distinguished Professor of Law at SMU’s Dedman School of Law until his death in 2014. The bequest includes a $2 million endowment to establish the Anne and Alan Bromberg Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts, as well as unrestricted funds to be divided among Dedman Law, the Meadows School and the Meadows Museum. “Dr. Bromberg’s farsighted [...]

September 30, 2019|

Amplifying law research and innovation

A recent $2 million gift expands the profile of SMU’s Tsai Center for Law, Science and Innovation as a leading academic platform for multidisciplinary research and scholarly debate surrounding new technologies

September 30, 2019|

Law alumna named to U.N. refugee protection post

Australian Gillian Triggs ’72 brings decades of experience as an academic, lawyer, advocate and public policy expert to her new role as assistant high commissioner for protection in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

September 2, 2019|

Welcoming a game changer to the Boulevard

SMU welcomes the community to celebrate the dedication of the Indoor Performance Center at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 6. An open house will follow, providing an opportunity for everyone who attends to tour the newest facility resource for the entire campus.

August 11, 2019|

Honoring alumni vision, passion and service to community

Jennifer Burr Altabef ’78, ’81, Martin L. Flanagan ’82 and Scott J. McLean ’78 will be honored with Distinguished Alumni Awards, and Whitney Wolfe Herd ’11 will receive the Emerging Leader Award at the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony and dinner on November 7.

August 11, 2019|

Football season is just around the corner

Mustang fans are invited to Football Fan Day on Saturday, August 17, at the Pettus Practice Field. Come out and watch the team practice, while enjoying food trucks and other family-friendly activities. The event begins at 7 p.m. and admission and parking are free.

August 11, 2019|

Finding the intersection of art, code and neuroscience

Stejara Dinulescu ’19 came to SMU as a pre-med student, but fell in love with her art classes. She found her passion for coding and neuroscience research when she added psychology and creative computation to her fine arts major. Her unique interdisciplinary interests led to her acceptance to three Ph.D. programs.

July 12, 2019|

Prestigious awards fuel students’ global study and research

Siddhakshi Solanki ’20 is studying languages in Senegal as a Boren Scholarship and Gilman Scholarship recipient, and Tyler Giallanza ’21 received a Goldwater Scholarship to study at the University of Oxford. They are among the SMU students who recently earned prestigious international awards.

July 4, 2019|

Following a missing link from Siberia to the Southwest

Ancient children’s teeth and adult remains found in Siberia yielded a huge archaeological discovery for a team of international researchers that includes SMU anthropologist David Meltzer. They uncovered a new Ice Age ethnic group whose DNA reveals a genetic link to Native Americans. 

July 4, 2019|

Ian Derrer: A singer’s journey to CEO

Ian Derrer ’96 remembers fetching coffee and chauffeuring visiting talent as a vocal performance student with an internship at The Dallas Opera. Now, as general director and chief executive officer, his responsibilities include overseeing the company’s fiscal health and steering its artistic direction.

July 4, 2019|

Bringing scholars, artists and communities together

Perkins’ Center for the Study of Latino/a Christianity and Religions, in collaboration with Meadows School of the Arts, will present “The Art of Resilience: Latinx Public Witness in Troubled Times,” an experiential event on September 21–22. The event is free and open to the public.

July 4, 2019|

Cox honors industry veterans and rising stars

Business leaders, SMU swimming supporters and longtime friends Steven J. Lindley ’74 and Bruce Robson ’74 received Cox Distinguished Alumni Awards, and Courtney Caldwell ’00 and Ryan Dalton ’01 were honored as Outstanding Young Alumni on May 10.

June 6, 2019|

Life’s hat trick is junior Thomas Hodge’s specialty

Thomas Hodges ’20 is a full-time student majoring in journalism with a sport management minor. He stays close to his family to help his mom, who is battling cancer. And he has a rigorous practice schedule as the emergency goalie for the Dallas Stars professional ice hockey team.

June 6, 2019|

Leveling up cancer research with a video game

Fans streaming a recent video game tournament that raised funds for kids with cancer had a chance to help SMU researchers by playing Omega Cluster, an interactive game designed to pinpoint promising compounds to add to the chemotherapy arsenal.

June 6, 2019|

Fusing art and engineering into a multidimensional education

Senior Meredith Burke ’19, ’20 is a third-generation Mustang who thrives on taking on challenges like juggling a hectic academic and extracurricular schedule. She is triple-majoring to earn bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering (ME), art and math and working toward her master’s degree in ME.

May 8, 2019|

One giant leap for the mobility impaired

Step into the shoes of Ophelie Herve ’19, a mechanical engineering graduate student who recently received a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to continue her work on prosthetic limbs that move more naturally.

April 27, 2019|

Creating new opportunities for Marine vets

Military veterans aspiring to SMU’s innovative graduate education in engineering and business have a new scholarship opportunity with The Milledge A. Hart, III Scholarship Fund for Veterans of the United States Marine Corps.

April 26, 2019|

A Texas-size impact on regional art

With a recent gift by the daughter of renowned Texas artist Jerry Bywaters, the Meadows Museum has become the largest repository of his artwork. Additional materials expand the Jerry Bywaters Collection on Art of the Southwest in Hamon Arts Library.

April 26, 2019|

Honoring excellence, achievement and Mustang tradition

The Lettermen’s Association will honor four new members of the SMU Athletics Hall of Fame at the inducation ceremony and dinner on Friday, May 3. The celebration of excellence and achivement also will honor photographer Brad Bradley, 2019 Legends Award recepient.

March 29, 2019|

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

Find out why there’s big excitement about the SMU Big Event on March 30, check out the fall football schedule and learn about other interesting events and people making news on the Hilltop.

March 2, 2019|

Latest Hart gift amplifies SMU’s impact on regional economic growth

The new Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship will build upon SMU’s existing expertise in business and engineering, create a new concept-to-prototype pipeline and provide the resources, inspiration and guidance students and faculty need to turn their business plans into viable enterprises.

February 3, 2019|

Programmed for the data-driven future

Vince Miller, a second-year graduate student, chose the Applied Statistics and Data Analytics (MASDA) program in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences because he was looking for “a top tier education.” After his first year at SMU, a data scientist internship at Capital One turned into a full-time career. He’ll be working for the bank after graduating in the fall.

February 1, 2019|

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

Listen to Facebook’s new podcast featuring alum Blake Mycoskie ’99, find information about Howard Schultz’s Tate Lecture on March 5 and enjoy more interesting stories in this roundup of the people and events making news on the Hilltop.

February 1, 2019|

Critics applaud year’s best performances

“Defiantly smart” acting, “stunning original music” and “profound choreography” were just a few of the accolades Meadows alumni, students and faculty recently received from multiple critics in their “Best of 2018” roundups highlighting outstanding work by Dallas-area performing artists.

February 1, 2019|

Laura Bush ’68 honored as 2018 Texan of the Year

Former First Lady Laura Bush ’68 was honored as the 2018 Texan of the Year for her education advocacy and “uncommon leadership” as the founder or co-founder of nonprofits and initiatives that improve the lives of women, children and families around the globe.

January 9, 2019|

Remembering President George H.W. Bush

The SMU community joined the nation in mourning the loss of the 41st president of the United States, a servant leader whose life was a steadfast example of patriotism and the strongest American ideals.

December 21, 2018|