Dallas & SMU: The Power of Partnership (2012)

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SMU Today: Cultural Enrichment

Vibrant cultural and intellectual resources are crucial to a great city. In recent years DFW has seen extraordinary growth as a center for the arts, with new facilities throughout the region and in the expanding Dallas Arts District.

Supporting this emphasis on the arts, SMU provides programs, performances and exhibitions that contribute to DFW's cultural vitality. SMU also provides expertise on arts development. Meadows School of the Arts engaged consultants to study the cultural landscape of Dallas and recommend steps for future progress. The University also provides facilities for community events and activities.

Cultural Enrichment for the Community

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Museums and Galleries

SMU facilities for art exhibitions enable Dallasites and other visitors to enjoy both permanent collections and traveling exhibitions from throughout the world:

  • The Meadows Museum houses one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain. Meadows is the only museum in the world to enjoy a partnership with the Prado Museum in Madrid, which
    includes the loan of major paintings and an internship exchange program. Each year the Meadows Museum attracts approximately 60,000 visitors, including about 7,000 under age 18.
  • The Pollock Gallery provides a wide range of exhibitions representing diverse artists, time periods and cultures.
  • The Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries display special collections of rare books and manuscripts related to Church history.
  • DeGolyer Library mounts exhibitions of books and artifacts drawing from its extensive collections, including historical maps, regional business archives and literary resources such as its Horton Foote collection.

Performances and Exhibitions

Annually, SMU's Meadows School of the Arts presents more than 400 student and professional arts performances at the Greer Garson Theatre, Bob Hope Theatre and Margo Jones Theatre, and other campus venues. These also involve internationally known artists-in-residence who receive the Meadows Prize. They perform and interact with students and arts organizations to leave an impact on the arts in Dallas. Performances include theatre productions, dance concerts and music concerts, with performances by the Meadows Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Opera Theatre, Jazz Orchestra and Concert Choir and Chorale. Visual arts exhibitions also are presented in campus museums and galleries.

Intellectual Enrichment for the Community

SMU Research Libraries

The University's nine libraries house the largest private collection of research materials in the Southwest, with more than three million volumes. DFW community members are able to consult the resources at any of SMU's libraries.

  • General Research

    SMU's largest library, Fondren Library, has a general collection of nearly two million volumes covering the humanities, social sciences, business, education, science and engineering.
  • Religious Research

    One of the nation's finest research collections in theology and religious studies is housed in the Bridwell Library of Perkins School of Theology.
  • Legal Research

    Underwood Law Library is the largest private law library in the Southwest.
  • Western Americana and Dallas History Research

    One of the nation's top collections in Western Americana is housed in DeGolyer Library. Special collections include the Stanley Marcus Collection, JCPenney Archives, Texas Instruments Historical Archives, Belo Corporate Archives and Archives of Women of the Southwest.
  • Fine Arts Research

    Visual, performing and communication arts materials are housed in Hamon Arts Library of the Meadows School.
  • Business Research

    Resources and information technology solutions, as well as the Kitt Investing and Trading Center, are included in the Cox School's Business Information Center.

Lectures and Symposia

George and Laura Bush


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The University brings renowned regional, national and global speakers to Dallas for lectures and seminars also open to area high school students. Moreover, virtually every academic department and center at SMU sponsors programs open to the public.

SMU's major lecture series include:

  • The Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series is one of the nation's premier collegiate lecture programs, enabling Dallas audiences to hear leaders and experts in diverse fields. Preceding the lectures, speakers participate in informal Q&A sessions for SMU students and more than 250 students from area high schools.
  • TEDxSMU, an annual conference bringing together local and international experts in technology, science and culture, draws more than 600 members of the DFW community.
  • The Hart Global Leaders Forum brings to Dallas individuals who have influenced the world for sessions with high school and SMU students and the community.
  • The John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies sponsors visits by leading figures on national security and international affairs. The Tower Center collaborates with other organizations such as the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth.
  • The Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility sponsors conferences on topics ranging from the ethics of health care to issues of trust in government.
  • Law seminars hosted by Dedman School of Law include the Tax Policy Colloquium Series, the Corporate Counsel Symposium, Intellectual Property Symposium, Air Law Symposium and the Callejo Roundtable.
  • The William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies in Dedman College sponsors research, publications and symposia on the people and issues that have shaped the Southwest.
  • The Cox School of Business offers dozens of forums open to the public. Among these are the annual Economic Forecast to the Community, the Southwest Venture Forum, the Collins Economic Forum and programs of the O'Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom and Maguire Energy Institute.
  • Women's Issues Symposium
    Established in 1966, the Symposium for the Education of Women for Social and Political Leadership is the longest continuously running program of its kind in the nation. It is advancing the women's movement in Dallas.
  • Lecture Series in the Humanities
    These Dedman College programs include the Levine Lectures in Jewish Studies and the Stanton Sharp Series in History.
  • The Forum for Art and Urban Engagement of the Meadows School brings artists and scholars in residence to Dallas to hold seminars with arts and community leaders.

SMU Venues Accessible for Community Programs

The Hart Global Leaders Program brings distinguished speakers to campus for seminars with area high school students and teachers and a public lecture.

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As a service to the region, SMU facilities are available to DFW constituents for programs and events. SMU facilities are often counted on by the city when it bids on major events. For instance, SMU's football facilities were secured by the 2011 DFW Super Bowl Host Committee for the Green Bay Packers' practices. The most-used facilities for non-SMU-sponsored events include:

  • Moody Coliseum, a basketball facility used by the community for athletic events, high school commencements and professional concerts.
  • Ford Stadium, a football facility available for outdoor competitions.
  • McFarlin Auditorium, a facility used for nationally televised productions, touring shows and community events.
  • Collins Executive Education Center, a structure designed to serve the DFW business community with graduate and continuing education courses and events. It often hosts corporate board meetings and training programs. The George W. Bush Institute has used the center to host events while its own facilities are under construction.
  • Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports, an SMU community recreational center that offers memberships to Dallas residents.
  • Perkins Chapel, the setting for campus worship services and a popular venue for more than 100 community weddings a year.

Division I Athletics

SMU's athletics programs complement the variety of professional sports teams in the Dallas area with affordable, collegiate competitions that contribute to a shared sense of community between SMU and the region. SMU's intercollegiate athletics program enables the University to provide a well-rounded campus experience that can unite students around a common goal, no matter what their fields of study. SMU hosts the only Division I athletics program in Dallas, which consists of 17 sports programs.

The football team's impressive victory over the University of Pittsburgh in the 2012 BBVA Compass Bowl – the Mustangs' third bowl appearance in as many years – symbolizes the progress made by SMU athletics in recent years. Ten Mustang teams advanced to the postseason in 2010-11. The women's volleyball team ended the year with a program-best 25-6 record, finishing in second place in Conference USA. Affirming the importance of academic achievement among SMU student-athletes, 31 were named C-USA Academic medal winners, and 210 student-athletes were named to the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll.

Impact of BIG EAST

George and Laura Bush

The BIG EAST welcomed SMU to the athletic conference with a special display in New York's Times Square.

SMU joins the BIG EAST Conference in 2013, aided by SMU's resurgence in football. New audiences will be drawn to the Metroplex, and the national visibility of SMU and the region will increase.

The estimated commercial value of the anticipated television exposure in the conference during football season alone is more than $8 million and nearly 9 million impressions.

With the addition of new schools, the BIG EAST will have the largest footprint of any college football conference in the nation, with a coast-to-coast presence spanning five regions of the country.

BIG EAST institutions reside in nine of the nation's top 35 media markets, including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Tampa, Pittsburgh and Hartford. BIG EAST markets contain almost one-fourth of all television households in the United States.