Hunt Institute to build Third World village on SMU campus

Stephanie Hunt is building a village at SMU's Engineering School to inspire a generation.

By Cheryl Hall
The Dallas Morning News

Stephanie Hunt is building a village to inspire a generation.

She wants people to see, touch, feel and then dream up solutions for some of the grittiest problems facing the impoverished world: durable housing, clean water and sanitation, roads and transportation systems and reliable green energy.

That’s the mission of the Hunt Institute for Engineering & Humanity, which she and her husband, Hunter Hunt, established as part of Southern Methodist University’s Lyle School of Engineering at the end of 2009.

What better way to draw attention and awareness, she figures, than to pitch a United Nations refugee tent on the SMU campus along with a dozen other disaster relief structures turned into housing, a commissary and shops.

The Living Village will be the centerpiece of the Hunt Institute’s Engineering & Humanity Week 2011 from April 11-15.

Teams of students and volunteers will build the shelters and live in them for four nights. They’ll attempt meals on a solar cooker and filter drinking water through solar systems.

They will, however, have access to modern conveniences in neighboring buildings.

They’ll post video blogs about their experiences on the Hunt Institute website while undoubtedly praying for sunshine. Hunt hopes to bring solar-powered Wi-Fi to the village so that students can blog without leaving it.

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