Student Features

Dynamic Dozen: Dedman College Scholars

A dozen new Dedman College Scholars (DCS) arrived at SMU this fall, excited to begin their years on the Hilltop. The DCS program began in 2009 with only three students and quickly expanded. In the last six years it has doubled four times. There are now a total of 47 participating students.

Last spring, nine scholars graduated and moved on to prestigious graduate programs and employment opportunities, including: Cornell Law School, Deloitte & Touche, the Environmental Protection Agency, Harvard Divinity School, LSU, Northwestern University, and Optiver.

This fall the dynamic dozen scholars hail from Texas, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas, and California. They are interested in pursuing a wide range of majors including, biology, biochemistry, economics, english, geology, human rights, mathematics, philosophy, physics, political science, and psychology. Most are planning to double major.

The new Scholars are also quickly becoming immersed in all that SMU has to offer, and they are sure to make a mark on campus before their graduation. As has become tradition for the Scholars, they all met at the home of Jan and Fred Hegi to discuss the SMU common reading Station 11 with alumni and scholarship sponsors.

First year Dedman College Scholar Destiny Rose Murphy explained how the DCS program is opening up new connections on campus, “I am most looking forward to the DCS dinners that will occur throughout my academic career. I have already attended one and it was amazing to spend an entire dinner discussing books and studies with other like-minded people. I hope to use the DCS program to grow closer to others on the campus who have a passion for learning. It has also brought several opportunities for research to my attention, which I am ecstatic about pursuing."

Zachary Miller, a fellow Dedman College Scholar, agreed, “I'm excited about DCS because of the connections you make with people on campus and in the SMU community. The opportunity to work with a group of students with similar ambitions is rewarding and having great mentors such as Dr. Doyle, Ms. Spaniolo, and Dr. Harris, among others, makes me even more confident in my abilities and prospects for success in the future.”

The DCS program is designed to enrich the University's intellectual life by providing unique learning opportunities for selected academically strong students seeking a major in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. The program offers scholarship support, an actively engaged community of peers, and close faculty guidance and mentoring.

The interdisciplinary nature of the DCS program appeals to Miller, as he explained, “Working alongside the other DCS students is a great experience because we all bring something to the table and are highly knowledgeable. We all share an aptitude for learning and are able to collaborate to bring great new ideas to the forefront.”

Murphy also enjoyed working with her fellow Scholars, saying, “Studying with other DC scholars has been an amazing experience. Greg Guggenmos and I have probably spent a dozen hours sitting in my dorm discussing everything from Freudian theories to flashcard making strategies. It's wonderful to be able to have an open discussion with someone without fear of being thought of as odd for ‘nerding out’ about literature. “

Through this program, SMU attracts some of the country’s best students to Dedman College. These students, all with impressive academic records and strong extracurricular involvement, exhibit a passionate commitment to Dedman College’s unique learning environment. Being named a Dedman College Scholar is one of our highest distinctions for incoming students. Once they arrive, they participate in the Honors program and are required to maintain a GPA of 3.3 or above.

To learn more about how to become a sponsor of a Dedman College Scholar, please contact Jed Schwendiman, Interim Director of Development (, 214-768-2691).