Tribute to a Great Leader
James E. Caswell spent nearly five decades at SMU as an administrator, teacher and student. He inspired generations of students and colleagues with his charisma and mentoring leadership. Serving as both an educator and an ordained Methodist minister, Caswell demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the Methodist educational ideals of "preparing men and women to be humane persons, good citizens and productive members of their professions and of society." Caswell believed in developing leaders who were reflective, authentic and dedicated to improving their local communities. Above all else, he believed in the principle "leadership in service to others."
Supporting Future Leaders
In 2007, SMU established an endowment for student leadership development in special recognition of Dr. James E. Caswell, a beloved SMU administrator and educator. This endowment will support the James E. Caswell Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program, fostering the passion for learning, leadership skills and high ethical standards that Dr. Caswell instilled in all his students.
The program will provide support for the leadership development of a select group of undergraduate students chosen annually through a competitive grant process. Recipients will receive up to $2,500 each to develop an impactful leadership project or become engaged in focused study in one of the following five areas:
Educational Leadership Designing leadership initiatives which promote the application of learning outside a structured classroom environment
Non-Profit Leadership Exploring the application of leadership within a social, cultural or community-based organization
Faith-Based Leadership Applying theologically influenced leadership principles in a real-world professional setting
Sustainability Leadership Applying leadership principles to a project which promotes specific tenets of environmental responsibility
International and Cross-Cultural Leadership Developing diplomacy skills and promoting democratic governance and equal opportunity principles at home and abroad in a leadership capacity
As part of the application process each student will identify a mentor, qualified in the area of exploration, who will provide guidance throughout the Fellowship year. Fellows will meet as a group during the year to share their experiences with one another and network with leadership experts.
Update: The Caswell Leadership Program is currently under construction! With a revamped application process, we are looking forward to being able to support even more leadership projects for individuals and groups. More information about applications will be available in early January 2016.