2015 Archives

SMU Announces Full Weekend of Centennial Commemoration Events

Follow the Celebration

September 11, 2015

As the pinnacle of its Second Century Celebration, marking the centennials of its founding in 1911 and its opening in 1915, SMU is hosting a celebratory weekend of events Sept. 23-27, highlighting its relationship with the founding Methodist Church, its surrounding community and 100 years of accomplishments by students, faculty and alumni.  The University also is unveiling a new strategic vision and announcing interim results of The Second Century Campaign, the largest fund-raising campaign in North Texas.

“All the events of the weekend are designed to reflect the rich traditions and vibrant future of the University,” report celebration co-chairs Ruth Altshuler and Carl Sewell.  “We invite the entire community as well as alumni and friends throughout the world to be a part of and witness these exiting events.”

Events of the weekend are designed to showcase SMU’s rich resources and its notable impact on the community.  “Over the past five years of the Celebration we have highlighted various historic milestones in SMU history,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.  “We’ve celebrated SMU students, our beautiful campus, the accomplishments of our faculty and our economic and social impact on North Texas.  In addition we’ve held numerous announcements, dedications and celebratory events acknowledging the contributions of tens of thousands of alumni and friends to the Second Century Campaign. This weekend is a culmination of those efforts – and a charge to continue our momentum into our second century.”

SMU Vice President for Development and External Affairs Brad Cheves said the Celebration has been beneficial to the overall success of the Second Century Campaign.

“It has provided additional visibility regionally and nationally and has allowed SMU to illuminate its highest priorities and its vision for its second century,” he said. “We are grateful to the leadership of the celebration and the impact that their leadership has had not only on the celebration but also on many of SMU’s accomplishments during this period.”

The Centennial celebration festivities include events for SMU alumni, students, parents, faculty and staff, as well as for the larger community. The weekend activities celebrate and honor SMU’s Methodist history, its civic engagement and community support, alumni achievement, volunteer participation, academic achievement and the University’s rich spirit and traditions. A full list of events is available here.

A committee of SMU alumni, friends and civic leaders has led the five-year celebration.  SMU students, faculty and staff also have been represented on the committee.

The Second Century Celebration Organizing Committee

Honorary Chairs

  • The late William P. Clements, Jr. ’39
  • Edwin L. Cox ’42
  • Nancy McMillan Dedman ’50
  • William L. Hutchison ’54
  • Bobby B. Lyle ’67
  • Cary M. Maguire
  • Robert A. Meadows ’57
  • Annette Caldwell Simmons ’57
  • Kay Prothro Yeager ’61


  • Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler ’48
  • Carl Sewell ’66

Vice Chairs

  • Kelly Hoglund Compton ’79, Vice Chair, Academic Celebration
  • Rev. Mark Craig, Vice Chair, Church Relations
  • Linda Pitts Custard ’60, ’99, Vice Chair, Special Events
  • Antonio O. Garza, Jr. ’83, Vice Chair, International Celebration
  • Bishop Scott J. Jones ’81, ’92, Vice Chair, Church Relations
  • Jeanne L. Phillips ’76, Vice Chair, Centennial Host Committees
  • Caren H. Prothro, Vice Chair, Community Celebration
  • Richard Ware ’68, Vice Chair, Alumni Celebration

Ex Officio

  • Michael M. Boone ’63, ’67, Chair, SMU Board of Trustees 
  • R. Gerald Turner, President, SMU 
  • Brad E. Cheves, Vice President, Development and External Affairs, SMU

Dallas Hall at Southern Methodist UniversityThe Celebration has been funded by a number of sponsors as well as a 100-plus person Centennial Host Committee, chaired by the Hon. Jeanne Phillips, member of the SMU Board of Trustees.