The Ovilla Curtain is a historic fire curtain stored and maintained by McFarlin Auditorium. This gift to the University is lowered symbolically at the end Opening Convocation, a ceremony in which new students are welcomed to the SMU community. After entering first-year and first-year transfer students have completed the Rotunda Passage and at the conclusion of their Opening Convocation ceremony, the historic Ovilla Curtain is lowered to signify the completion of their initiation.
The History of the Ovilla Curtain
During the 1830's, the parents of Robert McFarlin, for whom the auditorium was named, lived in Ovilla, Texas. There was no Methodist church in the area; instead, the Methodists were served by a circuit rider. The McFarlins gave the circuit rider the land and money to build the Ovilla Methodist Church, pictured on the curtain, which Robert McFarlin attended.