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Founders' Day Weekend

Founders' Day Weekend

Community Day


Hosted by SMU Alumni Board

Saturday, April 16

8:30 a.m.
Registration and Continental Breakfast

Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall
Perkins School of Theology

9 a.m.
Welcome and Plenary Session

10 Stories You Should Know about SMU
Darwin Payne '68
SMU Centennial Historian and Professor Emeritus of Communications

9:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Session One

Big Prospects for Big D: What Is the Blueprint for Success? – Prothro Hall, Room 100
Klaus Desmet, Ruth and Kenneth Altshuler Centennial Interdisciplinary Professor in Cities, Regions and Globalization, and J.H. Cullum Clark, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Economics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

Our research on urban economics addresses the following questions: Are the world's biggest cities becoming too big? What are the characteristics of successful cities? How does Dallas compare and what are its prospects?


Going Viral: Tracking the Implications of Zika for Dallas and Beyond – Prothro Hall, Room 106
Robert W. Haley ’67, Professor of Internal Medicine and Director of the Division of Epidemiology, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Robert Haley is a nationally recognized specialist in the field of infectious diseases. Dr. Haley will talk about current state of the Zika virus, implications for those of us in Texas facing the spread of the virus and our preparedness for the challenge. He was involved with the response to Ebola in Dallas and shares how this threat is different. Brazil appears to be “ground zero” for Zika right now, which this has significant implications for the Olympics scheduled this summer. As more people travel around the world, the reality of these diseases spreading from place to place becomes very real.

10:10 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.
Session Two

Healthy Innovation: Employing STEM Playtime for Young Hospital Patients - Prothro Hall, Room 100
Parker Holloway ’17 and Edward Li ’17

The Immersive Design Challenge, led by Katie Krummeck, director of the Deason Innovation Gym. Students were challenged to find a way to engage hospital bound children in STEM activities. Interviewing patients, parents and hospital personnel, the students designed and created a mobile unit containing individual STEM projects allowing patients access to these projects while accounting for their health constraints. Two Dallas children’s hospitals are in implementation discussions based on the prototype.


Economic Forecast: Challenges to America’s Global Prominence - Prothro Hall, Room 106
Albert W. Niemi, Dean of the Cox School of Business, Tolleson Chair in Business Leadership and William J. O’Neil Chair in Global Markets and Freedom

Wars, recessions, industry migration, technological innovations and changing demographics have all played critical roles in the evolution of the U.S. economy. If we are to navigate today’s business landscape and see how it might shift in the future, we need to understand our past. "Challenges to America's Global Standing" will provide an overarching analysis of the evolution of American capitalism and the global challenges ahead with Albert W. Niemi, Dean of the SMU Cox School of Business.

10:50 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.
Session Three

Strings and Brush Strokes: The Cézanne Quartet - Prothro Great Hall
Inaugural Winner of the Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence, Meadows School of the Arts

Formed in 2014, the Cézanne Quartet is the Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence at SMU Meadows School of the Arts. In addition to their many other honors, they recently received Second Place Ensemble in the Senior Division of the Coltman Chamber Music Competition. The string quartet is named for French impressionist painter Paul Cézanne because of the first work the group studied together – String Quartet in G minor, by the French impressionist composer Claude Debussy.


Bolstering Antibiotics: How to Fight ‘Superbugs’ and Conquer Drug Resistance - Prothro Hall, Room 106
Peng Tao, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

The worldwide overuse of antibiotics is accelerating antibiotic drug resistance and the emergence of "superbugs." Our current, limited understanding of protein evolution greatly hinders the development of the next generation of antibiotics. By studying key proteins for antibiotic drug resistance using computer simulations we are extending the current protein evolution paradigm forming a theoretical foundation for the design of the next generation of effective antibiotics.

11:30 a.m. – Noon
Session Four

Achieving Solidarity: Religion and Society During Anxious Times - Prothro Hall, Room 100
Robert A. Hunt, Director of Global Theological Education, Professor of Christian Mission and Interreligious Relations and Director of the Center for Evangelism and Missional Church Studies, Perkins School of Theology

The effect of the Enlightenment on human self-understanding, along with globalization and the rise of the nation-state, has deeply challenged our sense of identity. The result is a society-wide sense of anxiety that is magnified and challenged by the existence of religious diversity. Social solidarity in our American future will be dependent on the recognition, being pioneered in business and social service organizations, that religious diversity can strengthen identity while enhancing the ability of our society to achieve its aspirations.


Heads Up: Diagnosing and Treating Concussion - Prothro Hall, Room 106
Sushmita Purkayastha, Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness, Simmons School of Education and Human Development

Approximately 1.6-3.8 million cases of concussion occur annually in the United States alone. The signs and symptoms largely reflect functional disturbances such as headache dizziness, balance disorder and cognitive impairment. Currently, the clinical evaluation tests available for concussion diagnoses are subjective and more objective clinical evaluation tools are needed to improve the diagnosis and decisions for return-to-play following a sports-related concussion. Disruptions in the regulation of brain blood flow may play an important role in the manifestations of the clinical signs and symptoms and could be a potential biomarker of concussion.


Parking available in Meadows Museum Parking Center.

SMU students
Saturday, April 16

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Meadows Museum Open House
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Museum exhibit hours

The Meadows Museum invites Founders' Day Weekend visitors to explore its Salvador Dalí exhibit and view the Museum’s latest acquisition, Dalí's L'homme poisson (1930), the first painting by Dalí to enter a public collection in Texas. The exhibition takes a renewed look at this early Dalí masterpiece. Guided tours of the Museum’s galleries are offered every hour. Younger art lovers can get a hands-on taste of Surrealism with a drop-in art activity in the Education Studio and pick up a fun scavenger hunt at the admission desk.

The Museum welcomes visitors of all abilities, and with advance notice, interpreters are available for those with hearing loss.

Admission and parking for this event are free and open to the public.

Hosted by SMU Athletics

Saturday, April 16
Gerald J. Ford Stadium

Activities Begin
1 p.m. SMU Football Spring Game

Meet your 2016 SMU Mustang Football team, Head Football Coach Chad Morris and his coaching staff at the SMU Spring Football Game. Gates open at noon, with inflatables, photos with Peruna, food trucks and much more. For information about 2016 season tickets, please call 214-SMU-Game.

Admission and parking for this event are free and open to the public.