2015 Archives

SMU celebrates historic 100th May Commencement

Former President George W. Bush to speak at May 16 Moody Coliseum ceremony

The Class of 2015

Class of 2015


Campus Traffic Advisory

Construction on streets in and near the main campus are causing traffic delays. Please allow extra time and observe warning signs. Among the affected areas are Hillcrest Avenue on the west side of campus, the Mockingbird-Bush-Airline intersection, and Bush Avenue north of Mockingbird Lane, which is temporarily closed. Also, monitor weather reports for watches and warnings.


SMU Commencement speakers include church, government and business leaders

SMU SealSMU graduates will hear words of wisdom and advice from leaders in religion, government, business, humanities and the arts. See the schedule.


Little brother inspires SMU graduate

capWhen Yewande Dada crosses the stage to receive her SMU diploma, she'll be searching the audience for one person – her little brother, Femi. He is the inspiration for her student research, volunteer activities, and her plan to become a doctor. Read more.


Student trading beloved Trinity Forest for Superfund remediation

Jewel LippsFollowing graduation, Jewel Lipps will trade her passion for the environment and the Great Trinity Forest for a mining remediation/ecological revitalization project at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Superfund Remediation & Technology Innovation. Read more.


A heart-felt mission to help others

Ketetha OlengueFor SMU graduating senior Ketetha Olengue, wearing a pacemaker isn’t a hindrance. It’s what spurs her desire to help people battling both heart conditions and “the human condition,” she says. Read more.


SMU student conquers ovarian cancer

Katie BallardKatie Ballard is graduating Saturday from SMU, having conquered not only her course of studies but a rare ovarian cancer diagnosis that required removing a four-pound tumor. Read more.


Fancy footwork created paths

Dance StepsOn their way to promising careers, two graduating SMU seniors credit their “sure footing”to two factors: being fully engaged in campus activities that value creative expression, and gaining the confidence to succeed thanks to donors. Read more.


SMU students receive prestigious national fellowships and awards

WinnersSMU students have been awarded prestigious national fellowships and awards during the 2014-15 academic year, including Fulbright Grants and a fellowship to the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. Read more.


Twelve SMU professors receive emeritus status in 2014-15

Twelve distinguished faculty members with 440 years of combined service to SMU will retire with emeritus status as the 2014-15 academic year ends. Read more.

May 12, 2015

SMU (Dallas) – SMU will observe its historic 100th May Commencement weekend May 15-16, celebrating with a full slate of events that honor academic achievement at an important moment in the University’s history.

George W BushGeorge W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, will deliver the address at SMU Commencement, which begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 16, in Moody Coliseum.  This is the second time President Bush will have spoken at SMU Commencement (the first was in 1999) but the first such address delivered since leaving the White House.

Guests are urged to arrive early.  Security screening will be in place, and doors will open at 7 a.m.

The ceremony also will live-stream at smu.edu/live.

SMU expects to award more than 2,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees at the close of the May semester, and a record number of degree candidates have indicated that they will participate in the Commencement ceremony. Attendance in Moody Coliseum will be limited to ticketed guests of those students and there are no guaranteed seats. The University will accommodate all additional Commencement guests and will simulcast the ceremony at Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports (adjacent to Moody Coliseum), Crum Auditorium in nearby Cox Executive Education Center, and on Mustang Plaza. 

Follow SMU’s 100th May Commencement Weekend on Twitter at #SMU2015.

SMU will confer honorary degrees upon anthropologist Meave Leakey, U.S.-Japan Council President Irene Hirano Inouye and donor-activist Helen LaKelly Hunt during the Commencement ceremony, and will host academic symposia in their honor on Friday, May 15.  The Baccalaureate Service at 8 p.m. Friday will enable graduating seniors and their guests to worship together before the seniors then march through Dallas Hall for the farewell tradition known as Rotunda Recessional.


Friday, May 15

Honorary Degree Recipients’ Academic Symposia

    •  “A Revolutionary Approach to Conflict Resolution: A Symposium Honoring Helen LaKelly Hunt” Friday, May 15 Panel presentation 10:30 a.m.-noon, Smith Auditorium, Meadows Museum Lunch and remarks, noon-1:30 p.m., Jones Room, Meadows Museum 

Helen LaKelly Hunt Hunt is a donor-activist, author and SMU alumna who has been recognized for both her work for healthy marriages and family and her efforts in helping to build the global women’s funding movement. She is the founder of The Sister Fund, a private foundation that supports women’s social, political, economic and spiritual empowerment. Hunt has helped establish several other organizations, including Dallas Women’s Foundation, New York Women’s Foundation, Women’s Funding Network and Women Moving Millions. Her books include Faith and Feminism: A Holy Alliance, as well as seven books on intimate relationships and parenting co-authored with her husband, Harville Hendrix.

Hunt and Hendrix will discuss the new science of relationships with panelists David Chard, dean of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development; Rita Kirk, director of SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility; Lorelei Simpson Rowe, associate professor and graduate program co-director in SMU’s Department of Psychology and an expert in couples relationships; and Michelle Kinder, executive director of the Momentous Institute.

Please RSVP for the lunch to Family Wellness Dallas.

    • “Human Evolution in the East African Rift Valley: A Symposium Honoring Meave Leakey” Friday, May 15, 2-4 p.m. McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall

Meave LeakeyLeakey, one of the world’s most distinguished paleoanthropologists, is a research associate at the National Museums of Kenya, director of Plio-Pleistocene research at the Turkana Basin Institute, Nairobi, and research professor in anthropology at Stony Brook University, New York. In 2002 she was named a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. Leakey is a foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and an honorary fellow of the Geological Society of London.

David Pilbeam, curator of paleontology at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, will moderate the symposium.

Leakey will speak on “Human Evolution in the East African Rift Valley.” Also presenting will be Frank Brown, dean and distinguished professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah, who will speak on “Time and the Physical Framework in the Turkana Basin, Kenya;” and Kay Behrensmeyer, curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, who will speak on “Faunal Context of Human Evolution in the East African Rift Valley.” Thure Cerling, Distinguished Professor of Geology and Geophysics and Biology at the University of Utah, will speak on “Floral Context of Human Evolution – as Represented by Geochemical Signatures;” and Bonnie Jacobs, professor of earth sciences in SMU’s Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, will speak on “Floral Context of Human Evolution – as Represented by Plant Fossils.”

    • “Celebrating the American Experience and U.S.-Japan Relations: Irene Hirano Inouye, Her Life, Works and Achievements” Friday, May 15 Reception, 3-3:30 p.m. Panel Discussion and Remarks, 3:30-5 p.m. Hillcrest Classroom, Underwood Law Library 

Irene Hirano Inouye Inouye is a leader in international relations who, while still in her 20s, began tailoring her career toward service as director of a Los Angeles medical clinic providing affordable care for poor and uninsured women. She helped build the Japanese American National Museum, which opened in 1992, and became the founding president of the U.S.-Japan Council in 2008.

Panel participants are Admiral Patrick M. Walsh, U.S. Navy (ret.), Tower Center senior fellow and former commander of the Pacific Fleet; Anny Wong, research fellow in the Tower Center and a member of the board of the Japan-America Society of Dallas-Fort Worth; and moderator Hiroki Takeuchi, associate professor and director of the Tower Center’s Sun & Star Program on Japan and East Asia. Inouye will deliver closing remarks and will be available for questions.

The symposium is free, but registration is required; email the Tower Center to RSVP. More information is available at the Tower Center website.

Baccalaureate Service  (undergraduate candidates only)

    • Assembly of Candidates for Baccalaureate, Historic Main Quadrangle in front of Dallas Hall, 7:20 p.m.
    • Carillon Concert, Fondren Science Bell Tower, 7:30 p.m.
    • Baccalaureate Service,  McFarlin Auditorium, 8 p.m. Live simulcast held in Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater.
    • Rotunda Recessional, Historic Main Quadrangle and Dallas Hall Rotunda, approximately 9 p.m.

Saturday, May 16

All-University Commencement Convocation

    • Doors open at Moody Coliseum, simulcast locations, 7 a.m.
    • Assembly of Candidates by schools for Procession, Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports and Crum Basketball Center, 7:00 a.m.  SMU custom regalia required.
    • Commencement Convocation, Moody Coliseum, 9 a.m.

Commencement Luncheon

    • Buffet luncheon, Arnold Dining Commons (within walking distance of Moody Coliseum), 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

SMU graduates eat free with the purchase of a guest meal. Pre-paid reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling the SMU Dining Services Office at 214-768-1494. If you have any questions regarding the luncheon, please email dining@smu.edu.

Find the full schedule of diploma presentation ceremonies for individual schools, colleges and departments at http://www.smu.edu/EnrollmentServices/Registrar/AcademicCeremonies/MayCommencement/Events/Schedule.




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