Academic Ceremony History and Archives


Commencement Performances

SMU Song - by Jimmy Dunne

The story of the song…

On a stunning spring day at sunset, I was standing across from Meadows under the shaded trees on the Boulevard. Through the trees, at the other end of the Boulevard, I saw my freshman daughter, Kaitlyn, just standing by herself near the fountain – with Dallas Hall in the background.

As she stood there, I was struck with the beauty of this extraordinary campus, and I imagined how fast time would all fly by -- and how my daughter would be graduating in the blink of an eye. I imagined how she would look back at the memories of her days at her college home.

As she began walking towards me under the tree-lined Boulevard, a melody and lyric sang to me… By the time she walked up to me at the other end of the Boulevard, I wrote the verse and chorus to "SMU."

It's been such an honor that the university has been playing the song at so many events – and it was such a thrill to perform it at my daughter's graduation.

About Jimmy Dunne

Jimmy Dunne's songs have been recorded on 27,000,000 records worldwide; along with scores, songs, and themes in over 1,400 television episodes and dozens of feature films. Honors include CMA Awards, Grammy nominations, Emmy nominations, Billboard, Cashbox, ACM, Juno, Big Country, and BMI and ASCAP Songwriter and Publisher Awards – along with dozens of gold, platinum, and multi-platinum records from countries spanning the globe.

Credits include songs/scores for Whitney Houston, Kenny Rogers, "Pretty Woman," Take 6 (Grammy-winning record), Janet Jackson, "Saturday Night Live," Loverboy, "Princess Diaries II," "Nothing In Common," Jermaine Jackson, Anne Murray, "Fame," Dave Loggins, "Dear God," "Heart Like a Wheel," ABC Wide World of ABC Sports, NBC Sports, and Official Songs of the Olympic Games.

Dunne is also the President of Inspire (, one of the most celebrated music and branding firms.

SMU Song Lyrics

You will always be
In my heart forever
Who's to say where my life may go
But deep inside I know

I will feel the trees
Blanket over me
Strolling back in time
Down the boulevard

I will taste the spring
When the azaleas sing
How these memories bring
Joy inside my heart

You will always be
In my heart forever

I will taste the spring
When the azaleas sing
In my heart forever

Music and Lyrics by Jimmy Dunne

Download the music sheet

Future Ceremony Dates

Opening Convocation
Sunday, August 25, 2019
McFarlin Auditorium
5:30 p.m.

December Rotunda Recessional
Friday, December 20, 2019
5:00 p.m.

December Commencement Convocation
Saturday, December 21, 2019
Moody Coliseum