A Mustang welcome to the Class of 2021

SMU welcomes new students to campus Wednesday, August 16 at Mustang Corral 2017, a five-day University orientation for first-year and transfer students.

By Nancy George
SMU News


Camp Corral candlelight ceremony, SMU 2016SMU welcomes new students to campus Wednesday, Aug. 16 at Mustang Corral 2017, a five-day University orientation for first-year and transfer students. It begins on move-in day, Wednesday, Aug. 16, and ends with the close of Opening Convocation on Sunday, Aug. 20. See slide shows from Discover Dallas 2016 and the Discover Dallas interactive map.

Wednesday, Aug. 16
Move-in Day for First Year Students, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In order to manage traffic, elevator loads and parking, each student will have a window of time to check in. Schedule your move-in time and expect to be greeted by friendly volunteers with giant rolling bins ready to be filled with living essentials. Volunteers will help unload cars and roll students' belongings to their rooms.

Orientation leader Jac Mann-McCullick shares her top five misconceptions of move-in day. Remember to pack: Rain boots and umbrella, shower shoes, desk lamp, step stool, extra long phone charger, laundry detergent pods and – excitement!

After move-in, families are invited to enjoy barbecues at Arnold Dining Commons, Umphrey Lee Dining Commons and the Mack Ballroom in Umphrey Lee from 5 to 7:30 p.m,

Corral kick-off officially begins at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Moody Coliseum. Time for families to say good bye and for students to meet their Corral Round Up group – 12 to 15 fellow students from their residential commons and an upper class student leader. Later students will gather at their residential commons to kick off each commons' unique traditions, gatherings and activities.

Thursday, Aug. 17, 18

SMU students at Dallas' Old Red Courthouse with Reunion Tower in the background, Discover Dallas 2016Discover Dallas and Camp Corral

First thing Thursday morning students will board buses for “Discover Dallas,” a morning field trip where students choose one of 22 different tours to learn about their new hometown. Destinations range from the Dallas Zoo to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Kayaking on White Rock Lake and touring the AT&T Stadium are among the most popular. Students also can select community service sites, including the North Texas Food Bank, SPARK and Dan D. Rogers Elementary School. Other sites include the following:

  • Reunion Tower
  • Dallas World Aquarium
  • Dallas Federal Reserve and meeting Dallas Fed official
  • Sixth Floor Museum
  • Racing go-karts at K1 Speed as a lesson in physics
  • Dallas Arts District
  • Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Thursday afternoon students head to Camp Corral for a two-day, one-night retreat just outside of Dallas. Incoming and upper class students will have the opportunity to interact while learning about the SMU community. Highlights include the Club Corral dance and closing candlelight ceremony. Students return to campus Friday evening, Aug. 19.

Saturday, Aug. 19,
Class photo, Night at the Club

The Class of 2021 will gather on the main quad Saturday morning for a class photo in the shape of a giant 2021. The day wraps up with Night at the Club at the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports, an introduction to the hundreds of clubs, community service groups and campus activities for students. Still wondering about Corral? Orientation leader Taylor Vinson explains at "It All Starts at Corral."

Opening Convocation choir, SMU 2016Sunday, Aug. 20,
University Worship, SMU Reads, Rotunda Passage and Convocation

Sunday is the grand finale of Mustang Corral, beginning with University worship in the morning, and the SMU Reads discussions of Evicted, by Matthew Desmond, in the afternoon.

SMU Reads is a back-to-school tradition at SMU, which includes small group discussions about a different book selected each year by SMU faculty and staff.

Corral leader Ethan Pakzad shares his experience reading Evicted and the importance of being prepared for discussion as the first academic assignment of a student's career: the Common Reading. Author Matthew Desmond will present a free lecture on campus at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, at McFarlin Auditorium.

Mustang Corral ends and the official academic year begins Sunday evening at 5:30 p.m. with Rotunda Passage, a processional march through Dallas Hall's Rotunda to Opening Convocation, the ceremonial gathering in McFarlin Auditorium where new first-year and transfer students are formally welcomed to SMU by faculty and administrators. SMU President R. Gerald Turner will present remarks.

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