The Academic Ceremony Team is comprised of the Chief Marshal, appointed by the Office of the Provost, the University Registrar, the Director of Academic Ceremonies and the Academic Ceremonies Coordinator. With the support of the university community, the ceremonies team produces five annual academic ceremonies – Opening Convocation, December Graduation, Honors Day Convocation, Baccalaureate, Commencement Convocation – each filled with pomp and circumstance. The team’s ultimate goal is to create lasting memories for our students and their families.
Tom Fomby, Ph.D.
Dr. Tom Fomby has been a Professor of Economics at SMU since 1975. After serving as Procession Marshal of Academic Ceremonies for many years under the guidance of Chief Marshal Emeritus Brad Carter, Fomby succeeded Professor Carter as Chief Marshal beginning in January of 2009.
He is co-author of the textbook Advanced Econometric Methods and has authored numerous articles in professional economics and statistics journals. Professor Fomby has been Senior Co-editor of Advances in Econometrics (Emerald Publishing Ltd.) since 1986. Professor Fomby currently holds Research Associate positions with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the World Bank in Washington, DC, and the Clinical Sciences Department at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He has consulted with the U.S. Treasury Department, The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and various corporations including SAS, Texas Instruments, KPMG, and Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company to mention a few.
John A. Hall
John A. Hall came to SMU as a student 43 years ago and never left. John received his Bachelor of Business Administration from the university in 1971 and received his graduate degrees of Master of Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration from SMU in 1973 and 1979 respectively.
Outside his registrar duties, John has served in numerous capacities at the university. He has chaired many committees and events with the SMU Staff Association and served as the Staff Association President from 2008 - 2009. He was also an active participant of the university’s Judicial Council for nearly two decades, first as a board member and then as Chairman of the Council, a position he held for nearly a decade.
John is also the recipient of the esteemed “M” Award, the most highly prized recognition bestowed upon students, faculty, staff and administrators on the SMU Campus.
Outside of SMU, John participates actively in regional and national higher education organizations such as the Texas Association of Registrars and Admissions Officers, Southern Association of Registrars and Admissions Officers, and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. John served as president of TACRAO in 1986. In 2007, John served as president of SACRAO.
Interim Director of Academic Ceremonies
Ceremonies Announcer: “The Voice of Peruna”
John Wesley Gibson is a native of Dallas, Texas and has been at SMU for over 20 years, first serving as Assistant Dean of the Meadows School of the Arts, and now as Creative Director for Development and External Affairs. John is a composer with a wide ranging catalog of orchestral, band, chorus and theatrical music performed around the world. He has taught in the public schools, at the University of North Texas, the University of Arizona, McMurry University, and SMU. He is a graduate of Texas Tech University and UNT. He is married to Dana, and has two sons and three grandsons.
Office of the University Registrar Event Staff
Staff members from the Registrar’s Office play an integral role in all of SMU’s academic ceremonies. They prepare the faculty and students for the ceremony processions, serve as ushers, adorn the ceremony stage with our beautiful gonfalons and other ceremony symbols, ensure that ceremonies are conducted according to plan, and oversee the fine, behind-the-scene details of each event. Without the dedication of the Registrar’s Office Staff, SMU’s ceremonies would not be as elegant and grand as they are today.
Future Ceremony Dates
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Monday, April 13, 2015
Friday, May 15, 2015
Saturday, May 16, 2015