SMU Alternative Breaks was founded in 1987 on the SMU campus. It was started in the Chaplain's Office by then Chaplain Bob Cooper. The original three trips were called "work projects" and were offered in 1987-1988 in Brownsville, Texas, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Dallas, Texas. The sending of service trips on spring break was even going on earlier in the 1980's, but not within a formal program. The program began having student leaders in 1989, and had a few ups and downs throughout the 1990's. It was very strong in the mid to late 1990's and dipped somewhat around the early 2000's. The program grew again in strength in 2010, skyrocketing from three trips in 2009 to nine trips in 2010.
Currently, we offer trip opportunities during Fall, Winter, and Spring Break in addition to long weekend trips over MLK and Easter weekend. Our organization is now proud to assist student organizations and groups from all over campus in their own trip creation! Contact AB Exec today if your group is interested in building an Alternative Break.