SMU’s ‘Stampede of Service’ brings students,
alumni, faculty and staff together on national service day

Members of the SMU community volunteered their time in a national day of service.

SMU Stampede of Service

By Alyssa Eubank
SMU News

DALLAS (SMU) ­– Nearly 200 members of the SMU community – students, faculty, staff and alumni – recently volunteered their time in a national day of service in Dallas and around the country.

SMU Stampede of Service
SMU students, faculty, and alumni replanted flower beds for the residents of the CC Young Retirement Community in Dallas. (Photo by: Barrett Cole)

In Dallas, SMU volunteers worked at eight different service sites: American Red Cross, Autism Treatment Center, C.C. Young Retirement Community, Crossroads Community Services, Dallas Zoological Society, Genesis Women’s Shelter, Goodwill Industries of Dallas, Inc., and Promising Youth Alliance.

Across the United States on Oct. 19, SMU alumni worked in locations such as food banks, children’s shelters, and planting gardens in cities that included Atlanta, Chicago, Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, St. Louis, Austin, Boston, Little Rock, Louisville, Salt Lake City, and San Antonio. The largest alumni group, in Washington D.C., had participants help Casey Trees plant more than 38 trees in two metro locations.

“Volunteering allows SMU students to encounter people with different experiences and stories that are just as interesting as our own,” said Janice Kim, a junior majoring in Biological Sciences, who was the volunteer site leader at a Goodwill store.

Previously known as Community Service Day, which began in the 1960s, this year’s new Stampede of Service teamed up with alumni groups across the country as an example of SMU’s community involvement and world changing attitude.

“SMU is really focused on the community, our slogan ‘World Changers, Shaped Here’ reflects that,” says Stephanie Howeth, director at Community Engagement and Leadership Center “Stampede of Service is a way to introduce them to some of the opportunities here in DFW. And students value having staff and faculty serve alongside them in experiences like this.”

Howeth says, “Our students want to connect with alumni and learn from their experience. This is a great way to connect all of these different people who make up this great SMU community.”

CEL staff hope that the Stampede of Service will grow to include international projects to coincide with SMU’s mission of worldwide service. 

“I absolutely plan on participating next year,” said Kim.

To learn how to volunteer through SMU throughout the year, visit


The Community Engagement & Leadership Center (CEL) provides programs and opportunities for students to explore their leadership and the community through developmental and experiential activities. They aim to support students in becoming leaders and agents of positive change who are actively engaged at SMU and in the community around them. 

SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls nearly 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.