Academic Ceremony History and Archives

Registrar

Commencement Speakers

Year Speaker Photo Speech Video

2014

Mike Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas, Texas (biography)
Mike Rawlings was elected mayor of Dallas in June 2011 and immediately undertook a broad agenda of citywide improvements. He created the Mayor's Business Arts Initiative for arts development and organized a campaign against domestic violence. He took a leading role with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which will meet in Dallas in June. Rawlings outlined a comprehensive strategy to boost the economic impact of southern Dallas through new economic investment, job creation and public-private partnerships. He has adopted four DISD schools in southern Dallas in areas primed for growth and is working closely with Commit!, an education collaborative for Dallas-area schools. SMU partners with Rawlings on the Mayor's Summer Reading Club, which provides summer reading incentives for children, and the Mayor's Intern Fellows Program for students from public and charter high schools. After graduating from Boston College, where he lettered in football, Rawlings came to Dallas in 1976 and worked his way from an entry-level position to CEO of TracyLocke, then the South's largest advertising agency. He later headed Pizza Hut, the world's largest pizza company. He currently serves as vice chair of CIC Partners, which provides business counsel and capital to small and mid-sized businesses. Before being elected mayor, Rawlings was the city's homeless czar for five years, raising more than $12 million for The Bridge, which serves the city's homeless. He received the Innovation Award from the United State's Interagency Council on Homelessness, the Dallas Historical Society's Award for Excellence in Humanities and the Anti-Defamation League's Humanitarian of the Year Award.

2013

Kay Bailey Hutchison, Doctor of Engineering (biography)
Kay Bailey Hutchison has had a long and distinguished career in public service. Throughout her career, she has been a strong supporter of higher education, especially in the areas of science and engineering. She earned bachelor's and law degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and served as a state legislator and state treasurer before being elected to the U.S Senate in a special election in 1993. The first woman to represent Texas in the Senate, she was re-elected three times by large margins, but chose not to run for re-election in 2012. As chair of the Republican Policy Committee, she was the fourth-highest ranking Republican senator. During her years in the Senate, she expanded higher education opportunities for thousands of Texans. She also championed advancements in science, technology, engineering, and math education. She was instrumental in establishing the Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas, which brings together National Academy members and Nobel laureates to foster academic research in Texas. Senator Hutchison's efforts help SMU obtain federal funds for research programs, including the Infinity Project, the nation's first math- and science-based high school engineering program. In Dedman School of Law, she established the Ray and Kay Bailey Hutchison Scholarship and the Hutchison Legal Resource Learning Center. For her distinguished career in public service and support of higher education, Southern Methodist University is honored to confer upon Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison the degree of Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa

2012

Condoleezza Rice, Former U.S. Secretary of State (biography)
Condoleezza Rice has led distinguished careers in both public service and higher education. She first entered public service on the National Security Council staff under President George H.W. Bush. She returned to public service in the administration of President George W. Bush, serving from 2001-05 as the president's national security adviser and from 2005-09 as the nation's 66th Secretary of State. She was the second woman and the first African American woman to hold the post. Dr. Rice earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of Denver, a Master's from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. After joining the Stanford University faculty in 1981, she rose through the ranks to serve as Stanford provost from 1993-99, the first woman and first African American to hold that position. Dr. Rice currently holds three positions at Stanford: professor of political economy in the Graduate School of Business, Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, and professor of political science. She also serves as chair of the Board of Advisers of the Bush Institute, part of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the SMU campus. She has authored and co-authored several books.

2011

John Cornyn, United States Senator (biography)
United States Sen. John Cornyn began his second six-year Congressional term in 2009, and currently sits on the Senate Armed Services, Finance, Budget and Judiciary committees, the latter of which he serves as the top Republican on the Immigration Refugees and Border Security Subcommittee. He is chair of the Senate India Caucus, chairman of the Senate Radio Frequency Identification Caucus and vice chair of the Senate Republican Conference Task Force on Hispanic Affairs, and serves on the Senate Republican High Tech Task Force, the Congressional Oversight Group on Trade and the President's Export Council. His colleagues named him chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the 2010 election cycle, and after the Republicans gained seven Senate seats, Cornyn was re-elected to chair that committee for the 2012 elections. Prior to his U.S. Senate service, Cornyn served Texas as a district judge, as a member of the Texas Supreme Court and as Texas Attorney General, arguing two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court during his tenure. Born in Houston and raised in San Antonio, Cornyn graduated from Trinity University and St. Mary's School of Law, both in San Antonio, and earned a Master of Law degree from the University of Virginia Law School. Married for 31 years to his wife, Sandy, they have two daughters.

2010

Ron Kirk, United States Trade Ambassador (biography)

Ron Kirk, former Dallas mayor, was appointed United States Trade Representative by President Barack Obama in 2009. He serves as the nation's chief advisor, negotiator and spokesperson for trade. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative develops and coordinates U.S. international trade, commodity and direct investment policy, and oversees negotiations with other countries. Kirk received his B.A. degree in political science and sociology from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, and his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. As Dallas' first African-American mayor from 1995-2001, he expanded the city's international reach through a range of trade programs and missions. Previously he served as Texas Secretary of State, as a legislative aide to U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and as chair of Texas' General Service Commission. He also served as a Dallas assistant city attorney. Before his appointment as U.S. Trade Representative, Kirk was a partner at Houston-based Vinson & Elkins LLP. He was named one of "The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America" by The National Law Journal in 2008, and one of the nation's top government relations lawyers by the Best Lawyers in America from 2007-2009. Kirk has been a member of the advisory board of SMU's Hart Global Leaders Forum since its inception in 1997 and has served as its chair. In 2001 he was named an honorary alumnus of SMU's Dedman School of Law.

2009

Laura Welch Bush, Former First Lady of the United States (biography)

Former First Lady Laura Welch Bush earned a B.A. in elementary education from SMU in 1968 and a Master's degree in library science from the University of Texas at Austin. She was an elementary school teacher and librarian before marrying George W. Bush in 1977. As First Lady of Texas from 1995-2001, she was a strong advocate for education and literacy and established the Texas Book Festival in 1995. While First Lady of the United States from 2001-09, Mrs. Bush became involved in global issues related to education, health care and human rights. In 2001 she convened a Summit on Early Childhood Cognitive Development and joined with the Library of Congress to launch the National Book Festival. Mrs. Bush also led President Bush's Helping America's Youth initiative. In the international arena, she called attention to the plight of women in Afghanistan and the broader Middle East, and she helped raise global awareness of breast cancer and heart disease in women. She hosted world leaders for the White House Conference on Advancing Global Literacy in 2006 and currently serves as Honorary Ambassador for the United Nations Literacy Decade. At SMU, the Laura Bush Promenade, a garden and sitting area outside Fondren Library Center, was provided in 1999 by then Governor Bush to honor his wife's contributions to libraries and literacy. Mrs. Bush received SMU's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1999 and was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2000.

2008

Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States (biography)

As Archivist of the United States since 2005, Dr. Allen Weinstein heads the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), an independent federal agency that preserves and makes available the permanent records of the federal government. NARA's 38 facilities include the National Archives headquarters in Washington, D.C., and 12 presidential libraries. The 13th such facility will be the George W. Bush Presidential Library to be located at SMU. A leader on global democracy issues, Dr. Weinstein founded in 1984 The Center for Democracy, a non-profit foundation based in Washington, D.C., and served as its president until 2002. His international awards include the United Nations Peace Medal, the Council of Europe's Silver Medal and awards from the presidents of Nicaragua and Romania for assistance in their countries' democratization processes. In 2003 Dr. Weinstein was named Senior Advisor on Democratic Institutions at the International Foundation for Election Systems. He has led election observation delegations in countries ranging from El Salvador to Russia. Within the higher education community, the noted historian has been a faculty member at Boston University and Georgetown University and held visiting professorships at several other universities. Among numerous professional and civic activities, he has served on the Advisory Council of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas-Austin and as chair of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Advisory Council. The author of several books, Dr. Weinstein has served as consultant for History Channel programs and has been a frequent commentator on CNN, C-SPAN and other networks.

2007

Bill Moyers, Journalist, Filmmaker, Author (biography)

Bill Moyers - journalist, filmmaker, author - has been a central figure in the nation's exploration of ideas. He earned a B.A. degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.D. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He began his career at small-town newspapers and pulpits before entering public service as Special Assistant and White House Press Secretary to President Lyndon B. Johnson. After resuming his journalism career as publisher of Newsday, he turned from print to television in 1971 as producer and host of Bill Moyers' Journal for PBS and later as commentator for CBS and founder of Public Affairs Television in 1986. He has produced some of television's most incisive investigative documentaries, exploring global issues and providing an informed perspective on American political, economic and social concerns. Several of his television programs became best-selling books. He has received virtually every major television journalism honor, including more than 30 Emmy Awards, a lifetime Peabody Award and election to the Television Hall of Fame and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. For his role as an explorer and interpreter of American ideas and ideals, Southern Methodist University is honored to confer upon Bill Moyers the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

2006

H. Ross Perot, Jr., Dallas Business Leader (biography)

Dallas business leader H. Ross Perot Jr. is chairman of Hillwood Development Corporation, which he founded in 1988. Hillwood is ranked among the top 10 developers in the United States. Two of Hillwood's largest projects have been AllianceTexas, a 15,000-acre development northwest of D/FW International Airport, and the Victory development, in¬cluding the American Airlines Center, in downtown Dallas. Perot also is chairman of the board of Perot Systems Corporation, a global information technology and business solutions company.

In addition to real estate and technology, Perot has a third major interest - aviation. After graduating from Vanderbilt University, he completed the first helicopter flight around the world in 1982. His helicopter is displayed at the Smithsonian Institution's Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., and he replaced Charles Lindbergh as the youngest man to be honored by the Smithsonian. He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1983, serving for eight and one-half years.

2005

Dr. Santiago Calatrava, Architect and Engineer (biography)

Santiago Calatrava, internationally renowned Spanish architect, engineer, and artist, seamlessly combines sculptural expression with dynamic structure in architectural creations that appear to grow from nature. Reflecting his passion for movement and form, Calatrava's designs range from the 2004 Athens Olympic Sports Complex to the proposed Trinity River bridges in Dallas. His bridges, transportation stations, and culturally center throughout the world are among the most acclaimed structures of the past two decades. His projects in the United States include the design for the transportation hub for the World Trade Center in New York City. His creativity is represented at SMU by his monumental fountain sculpture, "Wave," in front of the meadows Museum. In 2000 Clatrava received SMU's Algur H. Meadows Award for Excellence in the Arts, and a retrospective presentation of his work was the inaugural special exhibition of the new Meadows Museum in 2001. Time magazine included Calatrava in its 2005 list of the world's 100 most influential people, starting that he "accomplishes what only great architects can: he creates transcendent spaces that uplift the human spirit." For his visionary designs uniquely combing art and functionality, his enrichment of our civic environment, and the impact of his creativity on Dallas and at SMU, Southern Methodist University is honored to confer upon Santiago Calatrava the degree of Doctor of Arts, honoris causa.

2004

Antonio O. Garza, Ambassador to Mexico (biography)

The career of Tony Garza ('83) has been a series of firsts. In November 2002 he became the youngest ambassador to Mexico, the United States' second-largest trading partner after Canada. "As someone who grew up along the border, I came to understand long ago that the destinies of Mexico and the United States are forever linked," he said in an interview soon after becoming ambassador. "Our two nations have great challenges and opportunities ahead of us in numerous aspects of the relationship, such as trade, the environment, the fight against crime, security, and, of course, migration." In 1998 he became the first Hispanic Republican in Texas history elected to the Railroad Commission and soon became its chairman. Previously a partner in the law firm of Bracewell & Patterson, in 1994 Tony Garza was appointed Texas' Secretary of State and senior adviser by then Governor-elect George W. Bush. In addition, when Mr. Garza was elected county judge in Cameron County, the highest elective office in the county, he became the first Republican elected to countywide office in traditionally Democratic South Texas. Ambassador Garza, a Dedman School of Law graduate, received the School's 2001 Distinguished Alumnus Award and the Outstanding Young Texas Exes Award in 1989 from the University of Texas at Austin. Hispanic Business Magazine has twice named him one of its "Top 100 Most Influential Hispanics."

2003

Herb Kelleher, Southwest Airlines Founder (biography)

Herbert David Kelleher, entrepreneur, has opened the skies for his employees and customers. Dallas is home to his brainchild, Southwest Airlines, whose good-natured attitude infects both its customers and its workers just as it reflects the upbeat mood and faith in American patterns of success fostered by Mr. Kelleher. The nation's fourth-largest air carrier in terms of domestic passengers boarded, Southwest flies to 58 cities in 30 states. The company's focus on employee esprit de corps, with fast aircraft turnarounds and low fares, has been key to its success. A much-loved boss, Kelleher is known for pitching in wherever needed - behind the ticket counter, aboard planes, or on the baggage ramp. When it began in 1971, the small, no-frills airline was perceived as an underdog in the industry. In January 2003 Southwest announced its 30th consecutive year of profitability, with annual net income of $241 million. For his entrepreneurial élan, embodying the best traditions of Dallas and the American spirit, SMU is honored to award Herbert David Kelleher the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

2002

Kathy Bates, Actress (biography)

Kathy Bates, a 1969 SMU graduate, initially earned her reputation as an actress in the theater. She received New York Obie and L.A. Drama Critics awards for her performance in "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune" and a Tony nomination and Dramalogue Award for the Pulitzer Prize-winning play "night, Mother." She has breathed life into a diversity of characters for such plays as "Vanities," "Fifth of July," and "The Road to Mecca," demonstrating a range and talent descriptive of few. Punctuating her career in film and television are an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her performance in the film "Misery," as well as British Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for "Fried Green Tomatoes." Ms. Bates has expanded her interest to directing, receiving an Emmy Award nomination in 1999 for the television drama "Dash and Lilly." Kathy Bates represents the professional that Meadows School of the Arts aspires to educate and train and provides a consummate role model for artist across generations. For her exemplary contribution to the art and craft of acting, and for the pleasures she has given countless theater, television, and film audiences, Southern Methodist University is honored to confer upon Kathy Bates the degree of Doctor of Arts, honoris causa.

2001

Donald J. Carty, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Airlines Inc. (biography)

As leader in the worldwide airline industry, Donald J. Carty operates on a global scale daily. The chairman, president, and CEO of AMR Corporation, parent company of American Airlines, most recently led the corporation's acquisition of Trans World Airlines Inc., positioning American Airlines as the leading airline worldwide. Known as a financial innovator, Mr. Carty also has directed the airline and the industry in developing customer service initiatives, such as the expanded legroom and overhead bins in coach introduced last year. Before he was named chairman in 1998, Mr. Carty was responsible for all operational elements of the American and American Eagle domestic and international route systems during his three-year term as president of AMR Airline Group and American Airlines. Before joining American, he spent seven years in management with Celanese Canada, Ltd., Air Canada, and the Canadian Pacific Railway. Mr. Carty was American's senior vice president and controller before leaving the airline in 1985 to become president and CEO of CP Air in Canada. In 1987, he returned to American and was elected senior vice president-airline planning. From 1989 to 1995, he served as executive vice president-finance and planning for AMR and American Airlines. Mr. Carty is a graduate of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and of the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. He serves on the boards of Dell Computer Corporation, Brinker International, and Sears, Roebuck and Co. He is a member of SMU's Board of Trustees, the Harvard Business School Visiting Committee, the Advisory Board of the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and the SMU Cox School of Business Executive Board. He also is a member of the Dallas Citizens Council. Mr. Carty and his wife, Ana, live in Dallas.

2000

Kay Bailey Hutchinson, United States Senator (biography)

As a U. S. Senator from Texas, Kay Bailey Hutchison has taken the lead on important national and international issues, as well as those essential to the progress of her state. She has made history for Texas as the first woman to represent the state in the Senate. Senator Hutchison is a deputy majority whip, a key member of the Republican leadership in the Senate. She serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, chairing the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine. Senator Hutchinson spearheaded the effort to pass legalization ensuring the state funds from tobacco settlements are protected from seizure by the federal government, as well as a bill strengthening health care benefits for veterans and military retirees. She sponsored and passed the federal anti-stalking bill, which makes stalking across state lines a crime, and homemaker legislation that significantly expands retirement opportunities for stay at home spouses. She also devised the current federal welfare funding formulas that cleared the way for landmark welfare reform legislation in 1996. Senator Hutchinson grew up in La Marque, Texas, and graduated from the University of Texas at the UT School of Law. She previously worked as a reporter and served as a press secretary to fellow Texan Anne Armstrong, vice chair of the Republican National Committee. She was twice elected to the Texas House of Representatives, and in 1990 was elected Texas state treasurer. She was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1993, replacing Senator Lloyd Bentsen, who left his position to become Secretary of the Treasury. She was elected again in 1994. Senator Hutchinson lives in Dallas with her husband, Ray Hutchinson ('57, '59), a former colleague from the Texas House of Representatives and a partner in the law firm of Vinson and Elkins.

1999

George W. Bush, Former Govenor of the State of Texas (biography)

George W. Bush is serving his second term as the 46th governor of the State of Texas. He was born July 6, 1946, and grew up in Midland and Houston, Texas. He received a Bachelor's degree from Yale University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He served as an F-102 pilot for the Texas Air National Guard. Returning to Midland to establish an oil and gas exploration company, he worked in the energy business from 1975 until 1986, then moved to Washington to help his father's presidential campaign.

George W. Bush assembled the group of partner that purchased the Texas Rangers baseball franchise in 1989 and later built the Ranger's new home, the Ballpark at Arlington. He served as managing general partner of the Texas Rangers until he was elected governor.

On November 8, 1994, he won the gubernational race with 53.3 percent of vote. In a historic re-election victory on November 3, 1998, he became the first Texas governor to be elected to consecutive four-year terms, winning 68.6 percent of vote. Governor Bush won 49 percent of the Hispanic vote, 27 percent of the African-American vote, 27 percent of Democrats, and 65 percent of women who voted. He won more Texas counties, 240 of 254, than any modern Republican other than Richard Nixon in 1972. He is the first Republican gubernational candidate to win the heavily Hispanic and democratic border counties of El Paso, Cameron, and Hidalgo.

Governor Bush and his wife, Laura, a former teacher and librarian who grew up in Midland, reside in the Governor's Mansion in Austin with their 17-year-old twin daughters, Barbra and Jenna. Mrs. Bush received a Bachelor's degree in elementary education from SMU in 1968.

Governor Bush is a member of the United Methodist Church and has served on the boards of various charitable, business, and civic organizations.

1998

Robert S. Strauss, Former U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation (biography)

The Honorable Robert S. Strauss, public servant, statesman, and attorney, has played a central role in developments that have reshaped the political landscape of the United States and the world. He has served his nation in prominent positions under Republican and Democratic administrations. Under President George Bush, he was U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union as that nation began its historic transformation, and he continued his service as U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation. As U.S. special trade representative under President Jimmy Carter, he led multilateral negotiations that resulted in landmark legislation. His achievements as President Carter's representative to the Middle East Peace negotiations earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. As an attorney, visiting lecturer at universities, and prolific author, this native Texas has broken ground and opened doors to new perspectives in law, public policy, foreign relations, and global commerce. For his distinguished achievements transcending the boundaries of political parties and nations, and influencing human progress on a global scale, Southern Methodist University is honored to confer upon Robert S. Strauss the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

1997

Richard B. Cheney, Chair, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Dallas-based Halliburton Company (biography)

Richard B. Cheney is chair, president, and chief executive officer of Dallas-based Halliburton Company, on of the world's largest diversified energy services, engineering, maintenance, and construction companies. Mr. Cheney, former U.S. Secretary of Defense joined Halliburton Company in 1995, after a long and distinguished career in public service. In 1996 he was appointed to SMU's Board of Trustees. Mr. Cheney earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degree from the University of Wyoming. IN 1969 he joined the Nixon administration and served in a number of positions. He left government in 1973 to become vice president of Bradley, Woods and Company, an investment advisory firm. When Gerald Ford became president in 1974, Mr. Cheney was asked to service no the transition team and later as deputy assistant to the president. Mr. Cheney later was named assistant to the president and White House chief of staff, a position he held throughout the remainder of the Ford administration. Returning to his home state of Wyoming, Mr. Cheney was elected in 1978 to serve the state's sole member of the U.S. House of Representatives and was reelected five times. He later served as House minority whip, the second-ranking GOP leader. As secretary of defense from 19789 to 1993, he directed two of the largest military campaigns in recent history-Operation Just Cause in Panama and Operation Desert Storm in the Middle East. For his leadership in the Gulf War, Mr. Cheney was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George Bush.

1996

Ron J. Anderson, President and chief executive officer of Dallas County's Parkland Memorial Hospital (biography)

As president and chief executive officer of Dallas County's Parkland Memorial Hospital since 1982, Ron Anderson has provided superb leadership of one of society's most beleaguered and overloaded institutions- the public hospital. Dr. Anderson has guided Parkland through its greatest period of modernization. Under his leadership, Parkland has initiated significant improvements in the quality of patient care, both in that major hospital and in the community clinics that bring health care to patients in their own neighborhoods. A visionary leader at the state and national levels, Dr. Anderson advocated a state law prohibiting private hospitals in Texas from transferring patients to public hospitals solely because they cannot pay for their care. This law, the first of its kind in the United States, was the model for federal legislation extending this patient protection nationwide. Ron Anderson is a master teacher and scholar at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center as well as a practicing who embodies the higher standards of compassionate and innovative care. For his accomplishments as a hospital leader, public health reformer, and medical healer, SMU is proud to award Ron Anderson the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

1995

William H. Cosby, Jr. , Entertainer (biography)

As one of America's most successful and widely recognized entertainers, Bill Cosby is perhaps best known for his role as Dr. Huxtable, father and husband in one of America's most beloved television families. In this role and in many other ways, he has shown that humor can be an effective tool for bringing people together, and for communicating simple truths and strong values. He has written a number of books with humorous perspectives on family life and the issues of aging and is a successful businessman. Dr. Cosby earned a Master of Arts degree and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Massachusetts, and he never has forgotten the impact of education on his life. He has contributed generous amounts of time and money to help educate and motivate the nation's youth. His contributions range from appearances on "Sesame Street" to a $20 million gift to Spelman College. Forbes magazine has aptly described Dr. Cosby as a "humanely humorous genius." For his significant achievements and insights opening hearts and minds to the issues of humanity, and for his generosity on behalf of higher education, Southern Methodist University is honored to confer upon William H. Cosby, Jr. the degree of Doctor of Arts, honoris causa.

1994

Ray L. Hunt, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hunt Oil Company (biography)

Civic and international business leader Ray L. Hunt is chair, president, and chief executive officer of Hunt Consolidated Inc. and chair and chief executive officer of Hunt Oil Company. As chair of the SMU Board of Trustees from 1987-92, he provided leadership during a critical time in the University's history and chaired SMU's Presidential Search Committee. He continues to serve on the Board as chair of the Trusteeship Committee. For his leadership on behalf of SMU and the United Methodist Church, Mr. Hunt received the Stanley S. Kresge Award for Christian Higher Education. In 1988 the Dallas Chamber of Commerce named him the first recipient of the J. Erik Jonsson Award, which recognized his "outstanding leadership....as a catalyst for the renaissance at SMU."

Mr. Hunt who received his Bachelor's degree in economics from SMU, has bridged the campus and community through numerous leadership positions-with the Dallas Citizens Council, the Executive Committee of the Southwestern Medical Foundation, the North Texas Commission, the Central Dallas Association, the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Dallas Institute, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies of Georgetown University. In 1992, he was elected to the Texas Business Hall of Fame. Earlier in his career he was named by the Jaycees as Outstanding Young Man in Dallas and one of Five Outstanding Young Texans. The Press Club of Dallas named him Headliner of the Year in 1979. Both SMU and St. Mark's School have honored him with Distinguished Alumnus awards.

1993

Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President of Childrens Defense Fund (biography)

Tenacious champion of the rights of the young, Marian Wright Edelman saw that the nation's future was being determined each day in the bodies, minds, and spirits of every American child. Growing up in the segregated South, she managed to see beyond the limitations society had placed upon her own potential. To break down the barriers for others, she participated in civil rights protests and voter registration drives as a student at Spelman College and at Yale University's Law School. While working in Washington D.C., she saw that stronger advocacy was needed for the most innocent victims of social injustice: the nation's children. She founded the Children's Defense Fund believing that the needs of children, especially poor children, should be central to the public policy of a nation whose future would be at great risk if its children were at risk. Under her leadership, the Children's Defense Fund has become one of the most effective national organizations representing health and education issues affecting families and children. For her extraordinary accomplishments as and advocate, author, and attorney, and for her dedication to a cause that will determine the quality of our collective futures, Southern Methodist University is honored to confer upon Marian Wright Edelman the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

1992

George H.W. Bush, Sr., Former President of the United States (biography)

George Herbert Walker Bush has served his country both in war and peace, in the military and in civic affairs. His career is marked by a keen diplomatic sense, a strong work ethic, political tenaciousness, loyalty to his colleagues, unpretentious charm and love for his adopted state of Texas.

George Bush graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, where he served an earlier presidency, that of the senior class. In 1942 he joined the U.S. Navy, becoming the youngest bomber pilot in that branch of service, and later received the Distinguished Flying Cross. In 1948 he graduated from Yale University with a major in economics. Excelling in both academics and athletics, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was captain of the baseball team.

President Bush's long history in politics began with a campaign for the U.S. Senate in 1964. He won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1966 and was re-elected in 1968. President Nixon appointed him Ambassador to the United Nations in 1971 and Chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1973. President Gerald R. Ford appointed him chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in Peking, People's Republic of China, in 1974. Mr. Bush returned to Washington in 1975 to direct the CIA, where he won praise for restoring morale. He served for eight years as Vice President in the Reagan Administration, during which time he visited more than 70 countries on diplomatic missions. In 1988 he was elected to the nation's highest office.

For his role as concerned citizen and public servant and President of the United States, Southern Methodist University is pleased to confer upon President George Bush the degree Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

1991

Ross Perot, Chairman of Perot Systems Corporation (biography)

Distinguished businessman, legendary entrepreneur, civic-minded advocate, he has exhibited singular vision as a leader of the information-systems revolution and as a reformer of public education. Founder of Electronic Data Systems, he developed the company into an industry leader. In 1979 he directed a team of EDS employees in rescuing two colleagues held hostage in Iran. Working with the U.S. government, he helped to change treatment of U.S. prisoners of war in North Vietnam. At the request of Texas Governor William P. Clements, he chaired the Texas War on Drugs Committee, leading to enactment of stricter anti-drug laws. For Texas Governor Mark White he headed the Select Committee on Public Education, resulting in passage of comprehensive reforms. Now chairman of Perot Systems Corporation, he continues his advocacy and philanthropy on behalf of education, health care and the arts. For his outstanding achievements serving society and the public good, SMU is pleased to confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

1990

Roy M. Huffington, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Roy M. Huffington Inc. (biography)

Distinguished geologist, eminently successful explorer for and developer of the earth's energy resources and enlightened and responsible citizen of the world, Roy Michael Huffington has through his efforts in many fields in many areas made possible a significant improvement in the human condition. He has served his country in war with bravery, his university with thoughtfulness and generosity and humankind through tireless efforts in support of education, medicine, the arts and interaction between peoples across the face of the globe. In recognition of these accomplishments, Southern Methodist University is honored to confer upon its distinguished alumnus, Roy Michael Huffington, the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

1989

James C. Lehrer (biography)

Biography not currently available.

1988

James O. Freedman, President, Dartmouth College (biography)

Biography not currently available.

1987

Leonard Silk, Economics Columnist, The New York Times (biography)

Biography not currently available.

1986

L. Donald Shields, President of SMU (biography)

Biography not currently available.

1984- 1985

L. Donald Shields, President of SMU (biography)

Biography not currently available.

1983

Alexander Heard, Chancellor Emeritus and Professor of Political Science, Vanderbilt University (biography)

Biography not currently available.

1982

L. Donald Shields, President of SMU (biography)

Biography not currently available.

1980- 1981

L. Donald Shields, President of SMU (biography)

Biography not currently available.

1975- 1979

James H. Zumberge, President of SMU (biography)

Biography not currently available.

1974

Willis Tate, President and Chancellor of SMU (biography)

Biography not currently available.

1972- 1973

Paul Hardin, President of SMU (biography)

Dr. Paul Hardin III served as the sixth president of Southern Methodist University for two turbulent years, 1972-1974. He was a native of North Carolina, a lawyer and scholar, and an active Methodist. These papers (mostly collected by others in the SMU community) relate to the presidential search that resulted in the appointment of Paul Hardin as president of SMU, his inauguration, and his resignation. Types of material in the collection include search committee records, correspondence, programs, memoranda, newspaper and magazine articles, and university press releases.

1954- 1971

Willis Tate, President and Chancellor of SMU (biography)

Biography not currently available.

1939- 1953

Umphrey Lee, President of SMU (biography)

Umphrey Lee, a Methodist minister, was the fourth president of Southern Methodist University, serving from 1939 until his resignation in 1954. The collection includes correspondence, university reports and other SMU-related records, book drafts and galley proofs, copies of Speeches and articles written by President Lee, news articles detailing his selection and inauguration as SMU president, articles kept by Dr. Lee for his own reference, and clippings covering his resignation as president in 1954, his subsequent appointment as chancellor of SMU, and his death in 1958. Some records give biographical information on the life and career of Dr. Lee prior to coming to SMU as president in 1939. Of the material relating specifically to his years as SMU president, the majority covers the World War II years: his correspondence and the university's efforts to attract military training programs to campus, and his work during the immediate postwar years to accommodate the large infusion of veterans coming to SMU to attend college.

1923- 1938

Charles C. Selecman, President of SMU (biography)

This collection holds the papers of Charles C. Selecman, the third president of Southern Methodist University. Selecman, a Methodist minister, served as university president from 1923 to 1938, and the bulk of the material comes from that period. The papers include biographical material on Selecman, essays and Speeches, correspondence with SMU faculty members, administrative records, SMU publications, material on Methodist and African American colleges in Texas, and Methodist church-related pamphlets.

1920- 1922

Bishop Hiram Abiff Boaz, President of SMU (biography)

Hiram A. Boaz was the second president of Southern Methodist University and a Methodist bishop. Most of the papers in this collection are of a personal nature: two Bibles, a Methodist hymnal, awards, medals and certificates, biographical information, and letters to his wife and children. Career-related material includes sermon notes and records from his fundraising activities on behalf of SMU. Material related to his book Eighty-four Golden Years is also included.

1911- 1919

Robert S. Hyer, President of SMU (biography)

Robert Stewart Hyer served as Southern Methodist University's first president, from 1911 until 1920. This collection contains biographical information about Hyer, awards and honors, correspondence, writings and addresses by and about Hyer, and information on Hyer's vision and plan for the SMU campus.

Future Ceremony Dates

2014-2015 Events


Opening Convocation
Sunday, August 24, 2014
5:30 p.m.

December Commencement 
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Moody Coliseum
10:00 a.m.

Honors Convocation
Monday, April 13, 2015
McFarlin Auditorium
5:30 p.m.

Baccalaureate Service
Friday, May 15, 2015
McFarlin Auditorium
8:00 p.m.

May Commencement 
Saturday, May 16, 2015
Moody Coliseum