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The Housing Process

The Dr. James E. Caswell Award

Dr. James Caswell

The Dr. James E. Caswell Award is presented annually to a student who has served Residence Life & Student Housing and the resident students of SMU with distinction. The following criteria are used to select the recipient.

  • Current SMU undergraduate student with Junior or Senior standing (could have been a December graduate that will walk in May) who has worked for RLSH and/or held a student leadership position for RLSH for at least two academic years.
  • Lives up to the principles of the RLSH cornerstones
    – Community
    – Citizenship
    – Leadership
    – Learning
  • Exemplifies the legacy of Dr. Jim Caswell
  • Has provided significant service to the RLSH and SMU Resident students

Dr. James E. Caswell spent over 40 years at SMU. Jim started his undergraduate career as a freshman living in Boaz Hall. He earned his Bachelor of Arts, a Masters of Sacred Theology and a Bachelor of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology here at SMU. SMU President Kenneth Pye appointed Dr. James E. Caswell as Vice President for Student Affairs in January of 1988. As Vice President for Student Affairs, Jim was responsible for most of the out of classroom programs and services at the University.

Dr. Caswell earned his undergraduate Bachelor of Arts, a Masters of Sacred Theology and a Bachelor of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology at SMU. He earned his Doctorate and Masters degrees at Columbia University. In addition, he did his post-doctoral studies at Harvard’s Institute of Educational Management in 1984. And finally, in 1999, Dr. Caswell was presented the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Oklahoma City University.

Residence Life was where Jim began his work within student affairs. After getting his start in Boaz Hall, he then moved on as a graduate student to serve 6 years as a Hall Director in Morrison-McGinnis and Cockrell-McIntosh residence halls. His oldest son’s first home was in the residence halls and there was a high chair in the dining hall for him.

Jim embodied this award’s principles of outstanding service, advocacy, ethical leadership and student focus throughout the years. Jim's passion for the residential experience through his own positions, leadership and support have demonstrated the commitment SMU has for our students residential experience.

It is for these reasons that this award was named for him.

This award is given to an exceptional junior or senior SMU student who has made significant and lasting contributions to the Department of Residence Life and Student Housing and the resident students of SMU. In addition, this award is given to a student who represents the leadership and commitment to service and contributions to SMU, demonstrated by our former Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. James E. Caswell .

List of Winners
James E. Caswell List
2003 Chris Siaw-lattery
2004 Thomas Daniel Irving
2005 Alan M. Skaggs
2006 David Goodman
2007 David Bass
2008 Elaine Erdely
2009 Nicola Muchinikoff
2010 Sylvia Bearden
2011 Alyssa Veteto
2012 Kevin Eaton
2013 Ramon Trespalacios
2014 Amanda Thornton
2015 Heather Solov
2016 Meghan Shaw