SMU’s May 14 Commencement celebrates academic achievement

SMU celebrated students' academic accomplishments at its annual Commencement ceremony May 14.

Spring Commencement

DALLAS (SMU)SMU celebrated the academic accomplishments of more than 2,500 students at its 101st annual Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14, in Moody Coliseum.

The SMU Baccalaureate and Commencement services were broadcast live. Video of the keynote addresses are at below.

Technology and civic leaders Richard and Mary Templeton shared the delivery of the SMU Commencement address. Richard Templeton, a member of the SMU Board of Trustees, is president and CEO of Texas Instruments, and Mary Templeton is a philanthropist and community volunteer who had a 14-year career with General Electric before moving to Dallas. 

The Templetons talked about lessons learned from a swimming accident two and a half years ago that left Mrs. Templeton paralyzed.

"It is my enduring belief that you can let things either strengthen you or weaken you," Mr. Templeton told the graduates. "It is entirely your choice. I found out just how true that is. Needless to say, if you ask for the list of personal characteristics that I believe are critical must-haves, resiliency is now among the top few. I learned that from my wife."

In her closing remarks, Mrs. Templeton said, "I’ve heard that the ultimate challenge for each of us to leave everything we touch and every person we meet a little better than we found them. When I first graduated from college, I certainly didn’t have a profound or strategic understanding of this concept. I just saw opportunities to make a difference and jumped in. With people, I found it rewarding and satisfying to be positive and help them. As each of you heads off into the next phase of your life, I encourage you to think about that challenge, leaving everything you touch or every person you meet a little better than you found them."

Under Mr. Templeton’s leadership, TI and the TI Foundation have invested generously in programs designed to strengthen global education programs, including K-12 STEM teaching and student achievement. Click here to read more about Richard and Mary Templeton.

During the ceremony, an honorary degree was conferred upon medical researcher Groesbeck Parham, a leader in cancer prevention in Third World countries.

The Baccalaureate Service for undergraduate candidates and their guests was held Friday, and the featured speaker was the Rev. Paul Rasmussen, senior minister of Highland Park United Methodist Church.

"Did you know that your assignment here was not to complete the work?" Rasmussen said. "Your assignment was to grow from it so that ultimately you will know who you are and what you are all about. The British philosopher John Ruskin said this, 'The primary reward for human toil is not what you get for it but what you become by it.' "

# # #

See the Commencement Keynote Address

See the Baccalaureate Service Keynote Address


Learn more about Commencement weekend by clicking here                      


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