2015 Archives

SMU celebrates historic 100th May Commencement

President George W. Bush speaks at May 16 ceremony

The Class of 2015

Class of 2015


Principal Commencement Address

Readlisten or watch the address by President George W. Bush.


Little brother inspires SMU graduate

Yewande DadaWhen 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.


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.

May 16, 2015

SMU (Dallas) – SMU observed its historic 100th May Commencement on May 16 with George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, delivering the principal address.

George W Bush at SMU on 16 May 2015"You are graduating from a great university," Bush told the graduates, their families and friends gathered in Moody Coliseum and watching simulcasts and over the Internet.  "Your SMU degree will open the door to a wide variety of career options.  Millions will never have had this opportunity.  SMU has laid a foundation so you can reason, and continue to learn throughout your life.   It has given you the tools to be productive citizens."

This was the second time President Bush had spoken at SMU Commencement (the first was in 1999) but the first such address delivered since leaving the White House.

"To those of you who are graduating this afternoon with high honors, awards, and distinctions, I say, 'well done,' " Bush continued. "And as I like to tell the 'C' students:  You, too, can be President."

He told the graduates, "You will learn that who you are is more important than what you have," and reminded them that "to worship who and how we want, or not to worship, is one of our founding principles."

The graduates will be called upon at some point in their lives to serve something greater than themselves, and they should face the future by being optimistic and hopeful, he said. 

"I believe that the Almighty’s grace and unconditional love will sustain you. I believe it will bring you joy amidst the trials of life. It will enable you to better see the beauty around you. It will provide a solid foundation amidst a rapidly changing, somewhat impersonal, technologically-driven world. It will show you how to love your neighbor, forgive more easily, and approach success with humility — and failure without fear," he said.

SMU awarded more than 2,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.

SMU conferred honorary degrees upon anthropologist Meave Leakey, U.S.-Japan Council President Irene Hirano Inouye and donor-activist Helen LaKelly Hunt during the Commencement ceremony. It hosted academic symposia in their honor on Friday, May 15. 

Diploma presentation ceremonies were held by individual schools.

Watch President Bush's address

See television news coverage of President Bush's address

The Rev. Dr. Maria Dixon Hall's keynote address at Baccalaureate