SMU’s Brad Cheves is University Park Citizen of the Year

DALLAS (SMU) – Brad Cheves, SMU’s vice president for development and external affairs since 2004, has been selected University Park’s 2023 Citizen of the Year. He accepted the honor from University Park Mayor Thomas H. Stewart on Tuesday, July 4, at the conclusion of the city’s annual Independence Day parade.

The Citizen of the Year award was created by the City Council in 2005 to boost public awareness and appreciation for residents who work to improve the city’s quality of life. Cheves has been a University Park resident with his family for the almost two decades that he has served as an SMU vice president, and was a member of University Park’s Centennial Master Plan Steering Committee from its creation in 2019 until the master plan was adopted last year.

He continues as a member of the Centennial Celebration Committee’s Legacy Advisory Group, working to prepare for the celebration of University Park’s centennial in April 2024.

“It’s been a privilege to see the myriad of ways that SMU and the City of University Park work together to the benefit of both on a daily basis,” Cheves said, adding that he was both surprised and honored to be recognized. “The city traces its very beginnings to the establishment of the University and the ties between them have never been stronger.”

University Park began as a cluster of homes built around SMU after its opening in then-rural Dallas County in 1915. The town was incorporated in 1924, and has maintained a population of between 23,000 to 25,000 residents since the 1940s.

The city and the neighboring University have a long history of collaboration and mutual support. Many University Park residents are within walking distance of SMU sporting events, theatrical performances and academic lectures, while SMU students, faculty and staff take advantage of University Park restaurants, retail outlets and parks.