Campus Experience

Campus Experience

The campus experience is a major strength of an SMU education, supporting academic endeavors and fostering a sense of community and pride. Campus activities provide opportunities for students to develop leadership skills, serve the community, encounter a diversity of perspectives and develop as responsible citizens. In 2011-12 SMU offered a broad range of extracurricular programs and added new facilities to enhance the unique campus that is a special part of the SMU experience.

Legendary coach takes men’s basketball reins


Coach Larry Brown was named in April as the new SMU head men’s basketball coach. Brown is the only coach to have won both an NCAA national championship and an NBA title.


Big East

Aided by the University’s resurgence in football, SMU accepted an invitation to join the BIG EAST athletic conference in December. Joining the conference will vastly increase SMU’s national visibility. With the addition of new schools, the BIG EAST will have the largest footprint of any conference, with a coast-to-coast presence. BIG EAST institutions reside in nine of the nation’s top 35 media markets, and the conference’s markets contain almost one-fourth of all television households in the United States. SMU will join the BIG EAST beginning in 2013-14. (Right) The BIG EAST welcomed SMU to the conference in December with a special display in New York City’s Times Square.

Meadows Museum receives Bywaters art

Bywaters painting

The Meadows Museum received a generous gift of 65 works of art in December from the collection of Texas artist and longtime SMU faculty member Jerry Bywaters ’27, including 49 by the artist himself. The artwork, given by Jerry Bywaters Cochran, the artist’s daughter, features a variety of subjects created over the length of Bywaters’ career and includes oils, watercolors, pastels, graphite drawings and prints. Bywaters taught fine arts and art history at SMU from 1936 to 1976. He served for two decades as director of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, now the Dallas Museum of Art. (Below) Bywaters’ San Millán Iglesia, Segovia, Spain.

Meadows Prize brings innovative artists to Hilltop

Meadows Prize

In December the Meadows School selected two Irish artists – choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan and playwright and screenwriter Enda Walsh – as the recipients of the third annual Meadows Prize arts residency. The recipients will be in residency at SMU at the same time in fall 2012 for four weeks. They will collaborate with theatre and dance students to create a new dance/theatre piece tentatively slated for a major European festival in 2013. The piece also will be performed at public workshops in Dallas during the residency. (Above) Walsh and Keegan-Dolan, during a preliminary visit to SMU in April.

Residential Commons Complex to launch new model in student living

Residential Commons

In April SMU broke ground on a new Residential Commons Complex, designed to provide housing for an additional 1,250 students, enabling all first- and second-year students to live on campus. The Complex, which will include five residence halls and a dining hall in the southeast section of campus near Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports, represents a new model for student living at SMU. The facility will provide an integrated academic and residential experience that incorporates live-in faculty members who also have offices and teach classes within the Commons. Other SMU residence halls will be renovated to reflect the new model. During the groundbreaking ceremony, the University announced that SMU Trustee Paul B. Loyd, Jr. ’68 and Penny Requa Loyd had provided a lead gift of $5 million toward construction of a Residential Commons. Liz Martin Armstrong ’82 and Bill Armstrong ’82 provided an earlier $5 million gift toward construction of a Residential Commons.

Construction transforming hilltop

In April SMU launched a new phase of construction that will transform the campus and all aspects of University life. The addition or enhancement of facilities will meet the needs and expectations of new generations of students pursuing academic achievement and personal growth. In
addition to the new Residential Commons Complex (see story above), projects include:

  • Moody Coliseum – Expansion and extensive renovation of the iconic facility will provide many new and improved features, including: a renovated main lobby; expanded concourses with raised ceilings; a major expansion of the north side of the coliseum featuring club seats, loge boxes and suites; and technology enhancements. The project
    took a major step forward with lead gifts from the Moody Foundation and David B. Miller ’72, ’73 and Carolyn L. Miller.
  • Mustang Band Hall – Construction of a new practice facility and home for the Mustang Band in Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports will include features such as: nearly five times current band hall space; expanded rehearsal hall to accommodate a 150-member band; and enhanced practice rooms for ensemble and individual use. The project has received commitments from band alumni and other donors.
  • SMU Tennis Complex – Construction of the new facility, to be located prominently on the south side of Mockingbird Lane at the corner of North Central Expressway, will include indoor and outdoor courts, a training center and enhanced patron accommodations.
  • SMU’s health center – In April SMU announced a gift from the Dr. Bob and Jean Smith Foundation to renovate and name the health center. The gift honors Dr. Bob Smith ’44.
  • Fondren Library Center – (See previous section for details on this academic project.)
  • Crain Family Centennial Promenade – (See previous section for details.)