Opening Convocation

Opening Convocation & Rotunda Passage

Sunday, August 20, 2023, 1:45 p.m. McFarlin Auditorium

Watch Live

All new first-year and transfer students are invited to participate in SMU's 109th Opening Convocation. At this event, students are formally welcomed to the SMU community in a ceremony dating back to 1915, in the very first days of the University. Highlights of this year's ceremony include a message from SMU's Provost, Elizabeth G. Loboa, a convocation address delivered by President R. Gerald Turner, and the presentation to Dr. Turner of the new class of students by Dean of Admission Elena Hicks. The ceremony is designed to set students on their new path of academic discovery.

An important part of Opening Convocation is the Rotunda Passage. On Sunday afternoon prior to the ceremony, students in their Residential Common groups will pass through the Rotunda of Dallas Hall, SMU's first building and a historic landmark. Transfer students who are not living on campus should report to their affiliated Residential Common, Ware. Recognizing that every undergraduate student at SMU has crossed through the Dallas Hall rotunda, students have an opportunity to reflect on their passage to college and their intellectual and personal growth for their time at SMU.

Graduating students confirm year after year that the full impact of Rotunda Passage is not felt until their graduation and the Rotunda Recessional, another SMU tradition when seniors walk through the rotunda of Dallas Hall in reverse and their thoughts turn back to the beginning of their SMU experiences.

It’s a special event you will not want to miss!

Alumni who are parents of incoming freshmen are welcome to participate as marshals for Opening Convocation. Please contact Amy Thompson at

Please direct all questions regarding Opening Convocation to or call the Division of Enrollment Services at 214-768-3417.