The 2020 Rotunda yearbook won the coveted Pacemaker Award for the very first time in SMU history. The awards are considered to be the highest national honors in their field and are unofficially known as the “Pulitzer Prizes” of student journalism.
The Rotunda was the only 2020 collegiate yearbook to win both the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) Gold Crown and the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) Pacemaker Award; therefore, unofficially holding the title of best college yearbook in the country.
Co-Editor-in-Chief, Simone Melvin said, “The 2020 Rotunda marked the beginning of the most rewarding experience of my college career. I am beyond proud of every late night and tears shed during the making of that beautiful book. It’s a privilege to help create something of the magnitude of a yearbook, and even more of an honor to have that privilege recognized.” Melvin is a Junior from the Colony, Texas, majoring in Philosophy and English with a Creative Writing Specialization.
A junior from Euless, Texas, majoring in Human Rights and Anthropolgy, Co-Editor-in-Chief Ash Thye said, “It is incredibly rewarding to be recognized for all of the time and energy we’ve put into making this book happen! We really do try to expand what’s possible for a college yearbook, and this recognition is inspiring me to do the same again this year.”
For over 100 years, the Rotunda has chronicled the history of Southern Methodist University and serves as the school’s primary source of recorded history. Named in December 1915 after the architecture of Dallas Hall, the Executive Council of the Student Association voted for the annual’s name after seven different students suggested it.
The Division of Student Affairs took over production of the Rotunda in June 2018, working alongside students and alumni to keep the Rotunda alive and ensure the quality of future publications. To learn more about the Rotunda, apply to be on staff, or to order a copy, please visit their website.