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SMU History

Did you know...

Peruna III bucking, ca. 1940s
  • In 1915, SMU opened its doors with 456 students and 37 faculty members. All classes were held in Dallas Hall.
  • In 1918, SMU joins the Southwest Athletic Conference.
  • In 1923, Campus beautification committee adopts plans that lead to the placing of electric, telephone, water, gas.
  • In 1928, First Law School class graduates with 11 students.
  • In 1933, During the Depression, the University administration cuts faculty salaries 20 to 50 percent.
  • In 1938, The YMCA’s Dallas School of Law merges with the University’s law school. Daytime courses are taught at SMU; evening division classes are held in the downtown YMCA building.
  • In 1943, Navy College Training Program (V-12 Program) is established under the School of Engineering.
  • In 1948, SMU tied Penn State, 13-13, in first Cotton Bowl appearance.
  • In 1953, "Manada," a spring carnival, started (Manada is Spanish for a stampede of wild mustangs).
  • In 1958, Southwestern Graduate School of Banking is established.
  • In 1963, Curfews for men abolished; curfews for women liberalized.
  • In 1968, Bob Hope appears at the Pigskin Revue.
  • In 1973, Parents’ Weekend founded. Later this evolves into Family Weekend.
  • In 1978, Dallas Hall included in the National Register of Historic Places.
  • In 1983, The library’s two-millionth book—a 1469 edition of Aristotle’s Ethica, Politica, Oeconomica—is added.
  • In 1988, As a result of NCAA sanctions, second and final year of football prohibition (Death Penalty).
  • In 1993, McFarlin Auditorium included in the National Register of Historic Places.
  • In 1998, The Meadows Foundation provides $20 million, its largest gift at that time, for construction of a new, freestanding museum building.
  • In 2003, SMU has 100 buildings, a total enrollment averaging more than 10,000 in the past five years, a full-time faculty of 565 and an endowment of $807.6 million.
  • In 2008, After 2 years of negotiations, SMU is selected to host the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

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