Stories

Read about the inspiring journeys of our students, the incredible accomplishments of our alumni, and the many ways our faculty are making a difference in their areas of research. Whether they are overcoming obstacles, achieving their goals, or making an impact on the world, we celebrate their stories.

Recent stories

January 19, 2024

Achieving their goals

SMU alumns and twin brothers Esteban and Manuel Mariel have introduced Dallas to a new sport.

“I transferred to SMU because I wanted to join a campus that felt like home and a community. I wanted to be a part of a university that had plenty of opportunities for all majors.”

January 12, 2024

Honoring a legacy

Each year, SMU celebrates the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on campus and in the wider community.

December 21, 2023

Celebrate the season

The beginning of a new season is a great time to take care of yourself. At SMU, we care about your mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Take advantage of these resources to find what works best for you.

December 21, 2023

For the win

It was a year of athletic achievement for Mustangs of many sports – all in all, we brought eight American Athletic Conference championships back home to the Hilltop.

The beginning of a new season is a great time to take care of yourself. At SMU, we care about your mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Take advantage of these resources to find what works best for you.

October 20, 2023

Spirit and tradition

The lyrics from our fight song still ring true – learn the spirit and traditions that make SMU feel like home for so many students, alumni and community members.

October 18, 2023

A career for change

Noted human rights lawyer Amal Clooney spoke to Mustangs about the power of law to change the world.

October 18, 2023

Lessons for living

The sciences have long been a passion for both Rich and Mary – they met at Union College, a private liberal arts school in New York that they recalled felt a lot like SMU.

Certainly, Francois Reihani, the 27-year-old entrepreneurial visionary behind the café chain – with 11 stores spanning Texas and California – wants customers to enjoy their sip of choice. However, it’s kindness over coffee that he and his dedicated team aim to brew from the heart.

October 18, 2023

A new era

SMU prepares for the next chapter of athletic achievement by joining the Atlantic Coast Conference

October 18, 2023

Hungry for change

One grad student’s invention has the power to revolutionize food waste – all from a sensor smaller than a Band-Aid

September 14, 2023

Feeding change

During Hunger Action Month, see how the SMU community takes on food insecurity and sustainability through research – at the graduate, undergraduate and alumni levels.

August 09, 2023

Stampede to success

Start the school year strong! We have resources, events and tips from students just like you.

July 27, 2023

Digging deep

Kelvin Beachum ’11, ’12 is on a mission to provide clean water

SMU engages your interests in limitless ways. While getting an excellent education, you’ll shape your future in a welcoming community that values who you are and what you bring.

Mustangs from across campus are wrapping up their time on the Hilltop – and preparing to go change the world.

April 17, 2023

Ending injustice

How the Deason Center is helping reform a constitutional crisis across the nation

April 12, 2023

Scores of potential

Collaboration struck a chord between music students in Meadows School of the Arts and game development students at SMU Guildhall.

March 06, 2023

Women of SMU

In celebration of Women’s History Month, learn about the women who make our campus an enterprising, vibrant and welcoming community.

February 27, 2023

Harness the power

When we come together on SMU Giving Day, we show the world what Mustangs can do.

March 01, 2023

Recipe for success

SMU alumni across the country are cooking up sweet treats and savory snacks — and using the skills they learned on campus to do it.

NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD will fuel a transformational high-performance computing ecosystem for SMU and beyond.

February 16, 2023

Marked by history

A historical marker honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1966 visit to campus. Learn how students — both then and now — made it happen.

February 08, 2023

Mustangs in love

For some, it happened on campus during their first year. For others, it happened decades later over a shared connection. Regardless of when or how, many Mustangs have found love through their alma mater. We’ve collected a few Mustang love stories that are sure to warm your heart this Valentine’s Day.

Stuyvie Coleman ’21 seeks to bring hope and healing to students struggling with addiction and mental health. His personal quest is changing hearts and opening wallets – while saving lives.

More great stories

Welcome Back Mustangs 2022 First year students participate in StampedeÕs Candlelight ceremony, Saturday, August 21, 2021 in the McFarlin Memorial Auditorium on the SMU Campus.

Welcome Back Mustangs 2022

SMU has a diverse set of people, opportunities and experiences to help you through the school year. Explore what the Hilltop has to offer.

Ana Rodriguez ’03 Ana Rodriguez

Ana Rodriguez ’03

Ana Rodriguez and the SMU Cox Latino Leadership Initiative are breaking down barriers and reversing the trend for Latino leaders – one promotion at a time
Building Community

Building Community

Sharing ups and downs, finding hidden strengths, even baking together – your campus family makes you feel at home.
Busy that day People on a carnival ride in front of Dallas Hall

Busy that day

Send the text to your crew and have them join you for all the events happening at the Hilltop. It will be a busy fall, and we don’t want you to miss out on the fun.
Here we go, Mustangs! 2022

Here we go, Mustangs! 2022

A 19-year-old law grad with a penchant for policy and an 85-year-old film major launching a new career. These are just two of the Mustangs breaking the mold and charting their personal paths to life’s next chapter.
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Ballet Folkloric dancers on the Boulevard

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

Hispanic Heritage Month, occurring annually from September 15 through October 15, celebrates the contributions and achievements of Hispanic Americans in the U.S. Students and organizations across campus are celebrating the importance of this holiday.
Tapping into SMU’s innovation ecosystem

Tapping into SMU’s innovation ecosystem

Tapping business plan tips, a network of mentors and serious seed funding, startup-minded students aiming to transform their bold ideas into businesses get the edge they need to succeed.

Joy of Cooking Photo of Christina Jensen holding a cookbook.

Joy of Cooking

A new cookbook exhibit at SMU’s DeGolyer Library takes a look at history through a culinary lens. From a 276-page handwritten volume of recipes dating to 1816, to the first cookbook published in Texas, to a selection of cultural cookbooks, there is a recipe for every taste.
Luck of the draw luck-of-draw-thumbnail

Luck of the draw

When they first met as SMU roommates, Jaime Noble Gassmann ’02 (on the left in the photo above) and Beth McKeon ’02 (on the right) weren’t sure they would be close friends. Flash forward to 2020, and they’re revolutionizing the startup ecosystem together.
Military alumni scholarships

Military alumni scholarships

Celebrating brave and bold Mustangs who have served our country.
Nia Kamau ’22

Nia Kamau ’22

Tower Scholar Nia Kamau ’22 spent the summer in Washington, D.C., where she interned with a nonprofit, studied economics and public policy and learned from innovative leaders helping trafficked and exploited people and communities recover and flourish.
Own your success People on laptops working around a large table.

Own your success

Balancing rigorous academics, a rich social life and opportunities to make the world a little better can be tough. That's why SMU and our alumni take action to help students get what they want out of their college experience.
SMU alumni holiday gift list

SMU alumni holiday gift list

From products with purpose to fun-loving gift ideas and new book releases, the SMU alumni holiday gift list features some of the latest Mustang-grown items to hit the market as well as a few all-time favorites.
SMU guide to Dallas Dallas skyline at sunset

SMU guide to Dallas

If you haven’t been out and about in Dallas for a while, some things have changed. This quick guide provides tips on where to go and what to do, including classic Mustang favorites that are ready for your return.
Hit the clubs SMU students and guests attend the SMU Indian Student Association, Diwali Festival Of Lights, Friday, November 5, 2021 on the Main Quadrangle on the SMU Campus.

Hit the clubs

Building community and making friends. Exploring interests and finding passions. Developing professional skills and talents. Preparing for a career and life after graduation.
Book It

Book It

From everything in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center to all the SMU Libraries, check out the resources SMU provides and find where to explore.
Thinking inside the box A photo of Conner Ozenne next to the "baby super-computer"

Thinking inside the box

Find out how students tackled the ultimate DIY challenge by building a “baby supercomputer” with big potential for their artificial intelligence research.

What a match!

What a match!

Let’s be honest. Sharing a dorm room with anyone is awkward at first. So how do roommates get past that and begin to bond? It usually boils down to respect.
Big idea. Big rewards. Big future.

Big idea. Big rewards. Big future.

Startup co-founder Seun Suberu ’23 arrived on campus with big ambitions for the future of his CollegePlus app. Fast forward three years, and Suberu has honed new business skills while earning more than $85,000 in funding through multiple SMU competitions designed to jump-start student-led innovation.

Narrative as Reality

Narrative as Reality

Acclaimed education advocate and NFL athlete Kelvin Beachum ’10, ’12 utilizes art as another way to bring people together to explore and understand our complex world.

Finding Her Yes Hannah Clark

Finding Her Yes

Hannah Clark ’23 never dreamed NASA would be in her future. Now she’s completing her second stint with the space agency where she’s working on an engineering challenge for other students.

Detecting the Unseen

Detecting the Unseen

A team of SMU researchers use satellite radar imagery to reveal hundreds of unseen landslides occurring in Western U.S. states.

Neighborhoods in Focus

Neighborhoods in Focus

Researchers combined street-level investigations with SMU’s supercomputer power to reveal infrastructure deserts. Their study lays the groundwork for improving neighborhoods.

Excelling in Business David Huntley

Excelling in Business

Be self-aware. Embrace unexpected opportunities. Lead with empathy. That’s just some of the great advice shared by alumni who took their SMU degrees and forged unexpected paths after leaving the Hilltop. One thing they all have in common is that they didn’t let fear get in their way. When they have a vision, Mustangs are unstoppable.

Finding Math Everywhere

Finding Math Everywhere

SMU’s Candace Walkington helps math come alive by connecting it to everyday experiences.

3 Mustangs, 2 Years, 1 Global Pandemic 3 Mustangs 2 Years 1 Global Pandemic

3 Mustangs, 2 Years, 1 Global Pandemic

SMU undergraduate students Kelsey Hodge ’20, Nushah Rahman ’23 and Alexandra Savu ’23 walk us through their first four months of the COVID-19 pandemic in a short film by Alexa May ’23. They navigate a campus-wide shutdown, dramatic shifts in religious and social life, cries for racial justice and an uncertain future. Despite the challenges, their stories offer a collective voice of hope as we look forward to a new year on campus.

Entrepreneurial brothers go “all in” Stuart and Curtis

Entrepreneurial brothers go “all in”

Brothers and SMU alumni Stuart Edenfield ’07 and Curtis Edenfield ’09 envisioned a life of entrepreneurship after the Hilltop. After a decade of working for others in the world of aviation, they founded private jet charter company Thrive Aviation in 2018.
Continuing the legacy of empowerment

Continuing the legacy of empowerment

Hispanic Alumni of SMU Board has raised more than $250,000 in scholarship funds that do more than help cover the cost of tuition.
Lab on a chip Lab on a chip

Lab on a chip

SMU researchers put the COVID-19 pandemic to work as a proving ground for a fast, accurate and affordable immune response test. Lead researchers Ali Beskok and J.-C. Chiao, professors in the Lyle School of Engineering, are seeking funding to fully develop the potential of their breakthrough test.
Welcome back Mustangs

Welcome back Mustangs

Mustangs make the Hilltop special. Fall 2021 promises to deliver on that truth as students, faculty and staff return to a more traditional campus experience.
Stoking the fires of change Photo of wildfire

Stoking the fires of change

Photojournalist Stuart Palley ’11 experiences wildfires in the moment. SMU researcher Chris Roos looks at them through the long lens of archaeology. Ultimately, their perspectives are the same: Wildfires are getting worse, and there’s an urgent need to adopt coexistence strategies.
Here We Go, Mustangs! 2021

Here We Go, Mustangs! 2021

Our students perfected the pivot while earning degrees. Now they're ready to use their know-how to do a world of good. Click on their photos below to learn about some of our stellar grads.
Art as Activism SMU alumna Regina Taylor ’81, in collaboration with Meadows School of the Arts, delivered a master class in socially-relevant artistic expression.

Art as Activism

SMU theatre students share their reflections on the lingering impact of their performances on their art and in their lives.
Common Connections building-community-thumbnail

Common Connections

 

 

A Witness to History

A Witness to History

Prepared to Lead Prepared to Lead

Prepared to Lead

Ana Rodriguez and the SMU Cox Latino Leadership Initiative are breaking down barriers and reversing the trend for Latino leaders – one promotion at a time.

Welcome Mustangs

Welcome Mustangs

There’s no doubt that the pandemic has changed how we live, learn, work and teach. We’ve been working hard across campus to welcome our new and continuing Mustangs this fall!

Finding Your Place

Finding Your Place

Kaitlyn Contreras, '20 was the first in her family to go to college. Find out how she found her place at SMU.

Tom & Chance Buning ‘20 Buning 20

Tom & Chance Buning ‘20

Father-and-son graduates Tom Buning ’20 and Chance Buning ’20 have great memories from their shared time as students at SMU.

Here We Go, Mustangs! Here we go Mustangs!

Here We Go, Mustangs!

They’ve put in the hard work, and now the Class of 2019 is ready for life’s next big adventure.

Mickey's Wild Ride Mickey's Wild Ride

Mickey's Wild Ride

From bobsledding to the Oklahoma State Legislature, Mickey Dollens ’11 never quits.

Teaching Innovation Teaching Innovation

Teaching Innovation

SMU professors bring innovative tools and techniques to wherever the students are. And it only starts in the classroom.

Conquering the Divide Conquering the Divide

Conquering the Divide

SMU researchers hope their work will help cities make more equitable choices for residents of neighborhoods like Dallas' Vickery Meadow.

Cooking Up Something Good Cooking Up Something Good

Cooking Up Something Good

SMU first-year student Sarah Tersigni spoons a tiny piece of eggshell from the four eggs she's cracked into a glass bowl. She's making the filling for the lemon squares that she will serve later to fellow students in her residence hall.

Here We Go Mustangs '20 Here We Go Mustangs 2020

Here We Go Mustangs '20

The COVID-19 pandemic changed everything this semester, but couldn’t stop our 2020 grads. They pivoted to remote classes and continued to learn, create and achieve.

Seamonsters Unearthed Seamonsters Unearthed

Seamonsters Unearthed

What happens on earth when you put an ocean where there wasn’t one before?

Shear Genius Shear Share

Shear Genius

SMU alum Courtney Caldwell ’00 and her husband, Tye, are shaking up the salon industry with ShearShare, a mobile B2B platform shaped for the gig economy.

Speaking Up Speaking Up!

Speaking Up

Hallie Hovey-Murray ’16 brings a fresh voice to autism advocacy.

Wired For Good Wired for Good

Wired For Good

See three SMU teams tapping technology to change lives.
On the Fly Photo of drone with hands

On the Fly

SMU engineers set up an innovative lab for drone study.