Condoleezza Rice gives commencement address
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice delivered the address at SMU’s 97th Commencement ceremony in May. Rice, who currently teaches at Stanford University, told the approximately 2,100 graduates that as educated persons they have a responsibility to commit themselves to reason and the pursuit of truth. Rice received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. SMU also conferred an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree upon Nancy Cartwright, one of the most influential contemporary philosophers of science.
Gift expands SMU-in-Taos campus
In January SMU received a gift of land and houses that will enhance programs at SMU-in-Taos and greatly increase the size of the campus. The donation includes 123 acres, three houses and furnishings from the late Texas Governor William P. Clements, Jr. ’39 and his wife, Rita. The land from the Clements’ estate, near the southern border of the original Taos campus, increases the size of SMU-in-Taos to 423 acres. The acreage will enhance studies in botany, archaeology and other disciplines.
Stewart Copeland conducts mini-residency
Drummer and composer Stewart Copeland visited SMU for a three-day residency in the Meadows School in April. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member and founder of the rock trio The Police was invited by percussion faculty members who have performed his music as members of the group D’Drum. Copeland taught classes, delivered a public talk and attended the Meadows Percussion Ensemble’s spring concert that included four Copeland compositions.
Athletes excel in the classroom
In addition to receiving recognition for their accomplishments in athletics, SMU athletes were honored for their academic achievements. Swimmer Denisa Smolenova ’12 and soccer captain Adam Still ’12 both received 2011-12 Conference USA Scholar Athlete of the Year Awards. Soccer player Diogo de Almeida ’12 was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Scholar-Athlete All-America first team. Tackle Kelvin Beachum ’12 was named to the 2011 Conference USA Football All-Academic Team. Thirty-one Mustang student-athletes received the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal, awarded to those who achieve at least a 3.75 cumulative grade point average during the academic year. Additionally, 310 student-athletes were named to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll for maintaining a 3.0 cumulative grade point average or higher.
U.S. Supreme Court justice speaks at Dedman Law School
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the speaker at the Louise Ballerstedt Raggio Endowed Lecture hosted by Dedman School of Law in August 2011. Addressing some 2,000 guests, Ginsburg discussed death penalty cases she considered as a member of the Supreme Court, cases she worked on as an attorney and balancing motherhood with attending law school, among other topics. Justice Ginsburg also visited Dedman Law classes to discuss legal theory and offer career advice.
DAA honors distinguished graduates
In November business leaders, a philanthropic community leader and an innovative entrepreneur received SMU’s 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor the University bestows upon its graduates. Recipients were (L-R):
- Ike Griffin ’57, president of Horizon Communities in Prison
- Annette Caldwell Simmons ’57, community leader and philanthropist
- David B. Miller ’72, ’73, co-founder and partner of EnCap Investments L.P.
In addition, TOMS Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie ’99 received the Emerging Leader Award recognizing an outstanding alumnus or alumna for achievements within 15 years of graduation.