SMU celebrates the 100th anniversary of its opening in 1915

SMU marks the 100th anniversary of its opening with fireworks, festivities and ceremonies.

Fireworks at Centennial Celebration

SMU Reaches $1 Billion Goal video

Big Tex wishes SMU "Happy Birthday" video

Combined Meadows Choir Sings Varsity video

HPUMC Gift Announcement video

Television Coverage of Centennial Festivities video

The Trail-Blazing Spirit of SMU video

Centennial Celebration in McFarlin Auditorium video

Centennial Worship Service in Perkins Chapel video

Campaign Volunteer Meeting Video video

Thank You, Campaign Volunteers! video

100 Years of SMU History in 10 Minutes video

DAA Recipient Bess Enloe video

DAA Recipient Don Jackson video

DAA Recipient Billie Ida Williamson video

Emerging Leader Award Recipient Michael W. Waters video

Announcements, sights and sounds from Homecoming Weekend 2015:

SMU Reaches $1 Billion Goal Ahead of Schedule

DALLAS (SMU) – SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign has reached its $1 billion goal ahead of schedule, raising unprecedented funding for scholarships, academic positions and programs, facilities and other enhancements to campus life.

The campaign’s official completion date is Dec. 31, 2015; campaign gifts will continue to be counted to that date.

The campaign announcement was made Thursday, Sept. 24, at a gathering of volunteers, donors, alumni, civic leaders and other members of the campus and Dallas communities. The event in McFarlin Auditorium was the official celebration of the 100th anniversary of SMU’s opening on Sept. 24, 1915 – and a rally for its future. The centennial is being celebrated during a weekend of Homecoming and other special events. 

“This is a doubly historic day for us,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of SMU’s opening, we are pleased to announce unprecedented new support for our future. Our founders were forward-looking leaders, and they’d be pleased to see that today’s supporters are generously investing in our next century of achievement. These donors are truly the founders of our second century.”

SMU joins 34 private universities nationwide to conduct a campaign to raise $1 billion or more through major gifts campaigns. The institutions range from Columbia University and the University of Notre Dame to Emory and Vanderbilt universities.

Read the full story.

Church's Gift Honors Former Pastor, SMU President and Alumnus Umphrey Lee

DALLAS (SMU) – Highland Park United Methodist Church (HPUMC) is providing a $1.5 million gift to SMU that will allow its longtime University neighbor to endow the Umphrey Lee Professorship in Methodist History, as well as support the HPUMC Future Church Leaders Program.

HPUMC is giving $1 million to establish the faculty position in the Perkins School of Theology, and $500,000 to support educational opportunities for individuals aspiring to serve in church leadership roles.  Recipients of “future leaders” funding may include students enrolled in graduate, undergraduate, certificate or continuing education programs or courses across the University, with students identified and recommended by HPUMC. 

The announcement of the gift falls on the date of SMU’s Centennial, allowing the University to celebrate its longstanding relationship with the church that held its first service on the SMU campus in 1916, as well as to underscore the legacy of a storied leader.

“When it comes to Umphrey Lee, it’s hard to know where SMU ends and Highland Park United Methodist Church begins, because Rev. Lee served us both for so many years,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.  “Our HPUMC neighbors are part of the SMU family and we feel a special sense of pride that this gift will support us in teaching the rich Methodist history that we share and help to prepare future church leaders.  It’s a wonderful way to celebrate our combined centennials.”

Read the full story.

SMU Announces Full Weekend of Centennial Commemoration Events

As the pinnacle of its Second Century Celebration, marking the centennials of its founding in 1911 and its opening in 1915, SMU is hosting a celebratory weekend of events Sept. 23-27, highlighting its relationship with the founding Methodist Church, its surrounding community and 100 years of accomplishments by students, faculty and alumni.  The University also is unveiling a new strategic vision and announcing interim results of The Second Century Campaign, the largest fund-raising campaign in North Texas.

“All the events of the weekend are designed to reflect the rich traditions and vibrant future of the University,” report celebration co-chairs Ruth Altshuler and Carl Sewell.  “We invite the entire community as well as alumni and friends throughout the world to be a part of and witness these exiting events.”

Events of the weekend are designed to showcase SMU’s rich resources and its notable impact on the community.  “Over the past five years of the Celebration we have highlighted various historic milestones in SMU history,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.  “We’ve celebrated SMU students, our beautiful campus, the accomplishments of our faculty and our economic and social impact on North Texas.  In addition we’ve held numerous announcements, dedications and celebratory events acknowledging the contributions of tens of thousands of alumni and friends to the Second Century Campaign. This weekend is a culmination of those efforts – and a charge to continue our momentum into our second century.”

Read the full story.

Centennial Homecoming Celebration Spotlights Distinguished Alumni and Emerging Leader

DALLAS (SMU) — Cultural, business, and education leaders received the highest honor the University bestows upon its graduates – the Distinguished Alumni Award – during a campus ceremony coinciding with SMU’s Homecoming and Centennial Celebration the weekend of Sept. 23-27, 2015.

The 2015 Distinguished Alumni were patron of the arts Bess Enloe ’60, finance educator Don Jackson ’63 and business leader Billie Ida Williamson ’74.  The Rev. Dr. Michael W. Waters ’02, ’06, ’12 received the University’s Emerging Leader Award, which recognizes the outstanding achievements of an alumnus or alumna who has graduated in the past 15 years.

Read the full story.

Civic and SMU Leaders Altshuler and Sewell Serve as SMU Homecoming Parade Grand Marshals

Two of Dallas’ most esteemed leaders – Ruth Altshuler and Carl Sewell – served as grand marshals for SMU’s Centennial Homecoming Parade on Sept. 26.

Mrs. Altshuler ‘48 and Mr. Sewell ‘66 are co-chairs of SMU’s Second Century Celebration Organizing Committee, as well as alumni and long-time leaders and supporters of the University and the city of Dallas.

“We are honored to have two of our most outstanding alums lead the Centennial Homecoming Parade,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Their tireless devotion to SMU and forward-looking vision are great examples for our students and fellow alumni.”

Read the full story.

From One Mustang to Another

DALLAS (SMU) —  For an SMU family in the auto business, providing a ruby red 2015 Mustang for a lucky fan at SMU’s Centennial Homecoming football game seemed like a perfect opportunity.

The two-year-lease for the Mustang, awarded at the end of SMU’s Sept. 26 game against James Madison University, was provided by Bob Tomes and Barbara Utter Tomes ’78 of Bob Tomes Ford in McKinney, and their son, Brandon Tomes ’07. Entry forms were available at the game.

The winner, Libby Wood, on campus for her class of 1975 reunion, brings a strong Mustang history. Her father, Sam E. Wood III '51, played center for the SMU football team during the legendary Doak Walker era, and her brother, Billy "Bull" Wood '75, played football for SMU in the 1970s. Her mother, Connie Cunningham Cureton '51, also attended SMU. Libby graduated in 1975 with a degree in graphic design.

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Texas Churches Mark SMU Centennial with Celebratory Pealing of Bells

DALLAS (SMU) – Church bells at United Methodist churches across Texas rang at noon, Thursday, Sept. 24, in honor of Southern Methodist University's Centennial Commemoration. The bells rang 10 times, once for each decade of SMU's existence, followed by celebratory peals.

SMU is marking the centennial of its founding in 1911 and its opening in 1915, with a celebratory weekend of events Sept. 23-27. The University is highlighting its relationship with the founding Methodist Church, its surrounding community and 100 years of accomplishments by students, faculty and alumni. 

Thursday's commemoration ceremony began at 10 a.m. with a change ringing ceremony, a celebratory bell tradition that dates to the Middle Ages. In “change ringing,” the bells produce a series of mathematical patterns called “changes” rather than a conventional melody. Members of SMU's Carillon Guild will perform 100 mathematical sequences from the SMU carillon in the cupola atop Fondren Science Building.

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SMU’s New ‘Hilltop Courses’ Cookbook

DALLAS (SMU) – Savor more than 400 of SMU’s smartest recipes from the University’s top foodies in the new cookbook Hilltop Courses: Then and Now, a delicious compendium of recipes collected by the SMU Woman’s Club to benefit the group’s scholarship fund – and just in time for SMU’s Centennial Celebration.

Hilltop Courses: Then and NowThe 260-page book (Morris Press, $20), is available online and at the SMU Bookstore, 3060 Mockingbird Lane. It also will be sold during Homecoming festivities on Saturday, Sept. 26, along the SMU’s Bishop Boulevard. (Look for the “walking cookbook” who’ll point prospective buyers to nearby sales tables.) Proceeds will benefit the SMU Woman’s Club Scholarship Fund, providing an annual stipend to help an SMU sophomore through her graduation year.

Nearly 100 contributors include current and retired SMU faculty and staff, as well as parents, friends and alumni. Worth noting: Readers will find the recipe for Cowboy Cookies from First Lady Laura Welch Bush ’68 on page 213.

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Quotes from President Bush, Area Mayors and Campaign Co-chairs

SMU received congratulations for it's 100th anniversary and for reaching its $1 billion campaign goal ahead of schedule from various officials and dignitaries, including President George W. Bush and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. See their comments.

Gigantic surprise at Hundredth on the Hilltop

Ten towering puppets representing giants in SMU history will make special appearances as SMU celebrates its centennial during Homecoming festivities, Sept. 23-27.

Created by Dallas Emmy Award-winning artist Gretchen Goetz, the larger-than-life SMU Giants will walk, wave, and in the case of one giant, perform a well-known cheerleader leap. See "How-To" guide further down the page.

"The giants are stylized, whimsical versions of the characters they represent, designed to make people smile and be happy," Goetz says.

Read the full story.

More Videos and Photos from Homecoming Weekend

SMU Centennial Fireworks Salute video
SMU Distinguished Alumni Awards and Lighting of Dallas Hall
The Lighting of Dallas Hall video

SMU in the State Fair of Texas Parade icon camera

SMU Homecoming Parade icon camera

Stampede of Service icon camera

Pigskin Review icon camera

Open Houses icon camera

Centennial Fireworks icon camera
Centennial Insert Cover
The Dallas Morning News insert celebrating SMU's Centennial
(Click image to read insert. (pdf))