VIDEO: SMU Celebrates 100 Years, Looks To Future

April 18, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Story By Anna Kiappes

Video and Editing by Bridget Bennett and Andy Garcia

SMU officials, alumni, students and staff attended the university’s Centennial Celebration in front of Dallas Hall Friday afternoon.  The celebration was the first event celebrating SMU’s 100th anniversary. Celebrations will continue until 2015, which is the 100th anniversary of when the university was first open to students.

“It is such an exciting way to start off the hundredth year anniversary of SMU,” sophomore Alex Munoz said.

The ceremony was to recognize special guests who have contributed to SMU’s first 100 years. The guest included such groups as the SMU Board of Trustees and the mayors of Highland Park and University Park.

“We thank Dallas, the United Methodist Church and all of you for helping us complete these past 100 years,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

Turner also described the original vision for a university can only be complete with professors, not just buildings.

“The vision only becomes a university when professors are brought in to teach the students,” Turner said.

Carl Sewell, co-chair of the Second Century Celebration Organizing Committee, encouraged the audience to look towards the future.

“This is a foundation,” Sewell said. “It honors the accomplishments of the past 100 years, but it also focuses on moving onward and upward in the next 100 years.”

Dean of Meadows School of the Arts, Josè Antonio Bowen, also sees SMU moving onward into its next 100 years.

“SMU has had a great trajectory and we can expect another great 100 years,” Bowen said.

For Susan Moore, senior project manger for SMU’s Office of Planning, Design and Construction, the most rewarding thing about being with SMU has been the landscape of the campus.

“Being involved with changing the way the campus looks and being a part of something that will be here for 100 years,” Moore said.

The ceremony ended with the raising of the Centennial flag that will be on display until 2015 and a fireworks display from the top of Dallas Hall.

“This is a once in a lifetime event to celebrate,” sophomore Adella Winder said.


Photos by Liz Collinsworth

VIDEO: Out of the Loop Fringe Festival

March 10, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Andy Garcia

VIDEO: Out Of the Loop from on Vimeo.

Live performances from across the nation are hitting the Out of the Loop Fringe Festival in Addison.

Hosted by the WaterTower Theatre, the festival is providing acts more contemporary what many metroplex audiences are used.

“This festival really attracts a lot of younger people, partly because of the diversity of the work we present here,” said Greg Patterson, the director of marketing for the theatre.

The three stages used in the festival are adjoining to the seating, providing the audiences for all 23 acts the chance to be pulled into the show.

“I love being able to actually literally connect with the audience,” said Faye Lane, an actress and play writer performing in the festival. “The show changes in response to the audience reaction.”

With so many options for performance art in the metroplex why would students from Southern Methodist University want to make the Trip to Addison?

Jonathan Taylor, a co-producer for the festival believes that the performances are different from what can be experienced within the Park Cities and Downtown.

For students interested in experiencing a little culture and wanting to get away from the bubble, the Out of the Loop Theatre Festival might be something worth taking a look at.

Festival Attendee Katherine Hargrove believes it was experience worth having and suggests those interested should consider it when making plans for the weekend.

The festival runs intill March 13 and ticket prices range between $10 and $20.



VIDEO: The Value of a Postcard

January 27, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Daniel Arreola, guest lecturer and Clements Center Fellow for the Study of Southwestern America, discusses the significance of photographic postcards in his lecture 'Visualizing Time in Place Using Photographic Postcards,' on Wednesday in SMU's DeGolyer Library. (PHOTO BY LIZ COLLINSWORTH/ SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

By Bridget Bennett

Daniel Arreola, professor of cultural geography at Arizona State University, spoke at SMU Wednesday. Arreola spoke about using postcards to research Mexican border towns near Southwest Texas.

“Postcards enable us to see change through time,” Arreola said.

Through the process of reimaging, the professor uses photographs in old postcards to map the change of a specific area. Arreola showed several examples of town squares from the prohibition era and reimaging photos of the same town square from the same aspect ration in the 21st century.

Of Arreola’s collection of 9,000 postcards, he has 6,000 postcards from Southwest Texas border towns. Arreola said while these postcards don’t necessarily answer all historical questions of the past, they do illustrate and map the change of an area through time.

SMU faculty and staff, as well as many people from the community attended the lecture. Lynne Becker, a collector of postcards, said her parents collected post cards to document their travels, as they did not have a camera. However, even today with instant digital photos, Becker says her daughter sends her a postcard from everywhere she travels.

“I keep all of them, I never let any of them go,” Becker said.
Becker uses postcards from the past and present to instill priceless family memories, just as Arreola uses postcards to recreate images of the past.

Geographic historian Daniel Arreola speaks to SMU students, faculty and staff on the importance of postcards in today’s technology driven world.

Video and Editing by Bridget Bennett

The Value Behind Postcards from on Vimeo.

VIDEO: What Are You Looking Forward To This Semester?

January 19, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Video by Sydney Giesey and Fernando Valdes,

Students at SMU share their plans for the spring semester.

Untitled from on Vimeo.

Video Editing by Andy Garcia

HP Vintage Carriage Rides Bring Holiday Spirit

December 6, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Molly McKone

The holiday season brings a sprit to the air that some call “the most wonderful time of the year,” because it gives people the opportunity to be with family and friends to share tradition.

One tradition in Highland Park can be found while nestling under a big blanket, sipping on hot cider, singing Christmas carols, relaxing in a beautiful horse drawn carriage that takes its passengers on a tour of the decorations Highland Park families put up every year.

Vintage Carriage Rides offers carriage rides to students, adults and children of all ages through Highland Park to see all the extravagant Christmas lights every year.

“We start Highland Park rides the day after Thanksgiving and go through the beginning of the year,” said George Slayton, president and general manager of Vintage Carriage Rides. “We love taking people through the Highland Park Christmas lights and build a tradition for families. We have numerous repeats every year now.”

The carriage company started business in December of 2003 and is now the carriage company for The Texas Rangers, the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, the Ranch Radio Network and the Dallas Police Department.

“We first started our carriage company to specialize in horse drawn funerals,” Mr. Slayton said. “Our family has many years of experience in the funeral industry and thought it would be a wonderful tradition to being back to the metroplex. Since then, our business has grown and includes weddings, hayrides, quinceneras, etc.”

Co-owner of Vintage Carriage Rides, Roberta Slayton, recalls when she first got into the family business.

“My son TJ came up with the idea and my ex-husband and I bought our first set of Percherons and a funeral hearse,” Ms. Slayton said. “Then it developed into having six Percherons and two funeral hearses. We then expanded to the wedding business and have a white wedding carriage. We also have two vintage hay wagons. So a small dream exploded into an enterprise.”

Some might think the rides are mainly for younger children and older adults but she insists they are not.

“Carriage rides are for all ages, young and old,” Ms. Slayton said. “We have done sororities, weddings, birthdays and all different kinds of events.”

Vintage Carriage Rides gives each of their customers a different experience, making the ride personal and hard to forget.

“We do get college students,” Mr. Slayton said. “We have sororities who book with us. The hayride is the best wagon for big groups. People can cuddle up, commiserate and have hot chocolate, or hot toddies, if you are over 21. Our hay wagons hold 20 people, so it can be a raucous time on those wagons.”

After people ride on the horse drawn carriages, many say that their fondest memory is enjoying the horses.

“We have phenomenal horses,” Mr. Slayton said. “Our horses are impeccably kept, well trained and stand out in a crowd. Even at the Stockyard Parade we get comments.”

Vintage Carriage Rides is most popular around Christmas times, but offers rides all year long.

According to Mr. Slayton, the company offers around 500 to 700 rides per year. Although he has never counted, business booms around Christmas time and one-third of the business is during the holiday season.

The Highland Park carriage rides begin at Highland Park Methodist Church, then to Abbott Avenue, St. Johns Drive, Beverly Drive, Princeton Avenue, Dartmouth Avenue, Sewanee Avenue and back to Abbott Avenue.

Julia Kitziger, a sophomore at University of Georgia and alumna of Highland Park High School, goes on the Christmas tour every year.

“My favorite thing about the carriage rides are spending time with my family, drinking hot chocolate and bundling up under the blankets while looking at the Christmas lights,” Kitziger said.

Kitziger moved to Highland Park from New Orleans in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. The Christmas carriage ride has been a tradition of her family’s ever since they moved to Dallas.

“Vintage Carriage Rides has always provided such a memorable time for my family,” Kitziger said. “The driver was super engaging with everyone and they even take your picture at the end.”

One-hour tours begin began in November and go on every evening except for Christmas Eve. You can reserve evening tours at 5:45 p.m., 7 p.m., 8:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m..

For more information on tours, visit their website.

High-end Stores Pop Up Amidst Recession

October 26, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Rachael Borne

On a recent sunny Friday afternoon, the Highland Park Village parking lot is filled with Mercedes, BMWs and even Bentleys. Groups of women and solo shoppers crowd the sidewalks with their shopping bags. To an outsider, it looks as if the recession didn’t hit here.

As the rest of America tries to recover from a hard-hit economy, Highland Park Village shows no need for recovery. Instead, the shopping center is expanding, adding two more high-end stores, Christian Louboutin, which is now open, and Diane von Furstenberg, opening in November. Both stores are located off of Douglas Avenue, amidst many other expensive stores.

Stephen Summers, a partner and the director of leasing at Highland Park Village, and his team took over ownership of the Village last May, in hopes of adding as many new venues as possible, even in a rough economy.

Due to the recession, he knew it would take a few years to bring in the right kind of tenants his team wanted. Summers overestimated the time frame he determined. With so many interested stores, they now have a “problem” deciding which deal to take.

“Obviously we have been able to attract a great amount [of attendants] in a much quicker time frame,” said Summers.

Highland Park Village is filled with high-end clothing, furniture and jewelry stores along with a grocery store and a variety of restaurants. The outdoor center, with over 200,000 square feet, contains over 100 store fronts, which are almost all rented. Located at Mockingbird Lane and Preston Road, the Village sits in the middle of the affluent town of highland Park and attracts many local residents, especially those who love high-end fashion.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the average income in Highland Park is over $150,000 and the average house value is over $800,000.

Many shoppers of Highland Park Village are well aware of the new stores arriving, including Tiffany Miller. Even through the recession, she shops at the Village the same amount, twice a month.

“I shop there usually for handbags,” said Miller.

With Christian Louboutin now open, she will have to branch out and try on a pair of shoes. Miller said she isn’t opposed to spending over $1,000 on a pair of shoes, if it is the right pair.

Shelby Flaten, a Dallas resident and mother of three, had no idea two new stores were coming to Highland Park Village. After shopping for her children’s school supplies at a south Garland Target, Flaten is pleased with the amount of money she just saved. She shops at the Village occasionally, but only at the grocery store.

“Spending over $1,000 on a pair of shoes is just overboard, completely overboard,” she said.

While some shoppers say they are excited for the stores arrivals, other residents focus more on necessary purchases.

Tara Mason, a Dallas resident and mother of two, enjoys window-shopping at the high-end stores in Highland Park Village. Mason is more a frequent shopper of Target and similar stores, where she can get almost everything on her list in one stop.

“I rarely purchase super high-end merchandise. If I spend $1,000 on a pair of shoes, they would have to be the shoes of a lifetime,” said Mason.

The stores neighboring Christian Louboutin and Diane von Furstenberg, mostly apparel and accessory stores, were not able to comment on the arrival of Christian Louboutin and Diane von Furstenberg. However, Summers said that these stores do not feel threatened by the new ones. Instead they are thrilled with the openings, he said.

“The new additions make other retailers want to be here because of it, because they know they are drawing in the right kind of traffic,” said Summers.

While some shoppers of the Village were seem indifferent of the recession, Mason has seen the effects of it through her work with Dallas elementary schools fundraisers. She has seen how people now have limited donation dollars, which challenges her work, she said. Even though the recession might not have hit Highland Park, other areas of Dallas were clearly affected.

Summers said that the center actually was affected by the recession, but not as severely as other areas of Dallas.

“We withstood the recession quite well, most retailers were down 25 to 35 percent and in our worst year we were down only 3 percent. We actually had several retailers that were up, which was shocking and impressive,” he said.

VIDEO: Bubba’s Serving Park Cities Prisoners For Over 20 Years

March 13, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Kwynn Kirkhuff

Read more

Campus News Blog: Highland Park Church Behind the Times

April 7, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Posted by Samantha Criswell

As North Texas moves towards relaxed rules regarding the ordaining of gay clergymen, a Highland Park Presbyterian Church pastor is one of 182 clergy and lay leaders still opposed to the change. Reverend Scates calls the move “one symptom of the greater demise of the American church.”

While employers, legislators, and society in general have moved towards a more accepting stance towards gays in the workplace, the Presbyterian Church in North Texas decided to move in the same direction. The general sentiment is that nationally, the change in language will not pass, but may be a closer vote than in previous years.

In a country where it is illegal to discriminate in the workplace against someone for their sexual orientation or a number of other characteristics, the church remains sluggish as best to keep up with changes in society.

Campus News Blog: Spring Has Sprung in Highland Park

March 25, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Samantha Criswell

With the economy in recession and summer approaching, we could all use some cheap thrills. On a nice spring day I recommend driving through Highland Park and checking out all the beautiful flowers that are in bloom.

Azaleas are commonly seen in front of Highland Park houses, even though they are not native to Texas’ clay soil. They have been cultivated in the Dallas area since the mid 1930’s. While it does take a mixture of peat moss and sandy dirt, according to a article, these flowers do not need much water to survive the Texas summer.

Better yet, you can create your own piece of paradise by growing your own Azaleas, which are sold at most garden centers.

Campus News Blog: Even Pastors are Learning Self-Defense

March 4, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Samantha Criswell

In a world where danger lurks around every corner, Highland Park United Methodist Church’s youth pastors have more than just Jesus on their sides. Now, they also have street fighting moves.

In HPUMC’s basement, a small group of youth pastors learned how to defend themselves and protect children. Following the Keysi Fighting Method, these youth pastors said they were learning this fighting technique as a defensive strategy, in case “the unthinkable happens.” They call it “a sign of the times.”

If these shining examples of virtue are taking measures to be able to defend themselves, college students, especially women, should take notice. The world is dangerous, and it is essential that we are able to defend ourselves.