Dream Week, Celebrating MLK

January 17, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Daily Mustang Staff

SMU’s office of Student Activities and Multicultural Student Affairs is celebrating their annual Dream Week January 17-21 in honor of Martin Luther King Day.

Students, faculty, staff and alumni are encouraged to take part in the week’s events in appreciation of the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The events include a day of service, an annual unity walk and a unity mixer.

For more information about Dream Week 2011, please visit the website.

List of Events:

Tuesday, January 18
Dream Week Kick-Off
What: Come and hear the words of Dr. King and learn about his special connection to SMU.
When: 12:00 p.m.
Where: HTSC Commons

Wednesday, January 19
Unity Walk
What: Gather with President Turner and student leaders to participate in the annual walk throughout campus.
When: 12:00 p.m.
Where: Meet at Flagpole

Movie Night
What: Join us in a screening of the movie “Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin”
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: HTSC Theater

Friday, January 21
Unity Mixer
What: Come celebrate the birthday of Dr. King and share joy in his legacy.
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: HTSC Varsity

Student Foundation Brings in the Holiday Season

December 2, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Anna Kiappes

The day starts bright and early and so does the crew. Men are lifted across Dallas Hall like passing clouds across the sky. Strings of lights fall down the building’s columns like a shower of stars. It is not long before the columns shimmer in the sunlight as if they had been dusted with glitter. The trees nearby have snakes of lights wound tight around their branches and trunks.

Students begin to wander to classes after weekend activities, but the crew from Facilities Management and Sustainability brings SMU’s annual Celebration of Lights to the forefront of students’ minds.

Holiday lights line the trees on the main lawn days before the Celebration of Lights. (PHOTO BY ANNA KIAPPES / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

Celebration of Lights is held annually the Sunday before finals week. The celebration is meant to welcome the holiday season with the lighting of the Christmas lights on campus. Mark Miller, the founding president of Student Foundation, came up with the idea of the event in 1977.

Miller established an endowment for Celebration of Lights in 1999 before his death in 2007. The account collects the interest off his original donation. Though it does pay for some, the endowment does not support all of the celebration. Right now the celebration is supported by Student Foundation, Student Senate and the President’s office, but Student Foundation plans for the day when it will be self-sufficient.

“Our goal is that one day [the endowment] will fully fund the program,” Dawn Norris, director of Student Activities and Multicultural Student Affairs said.

Miller also started the tradition of the celebration being planned and run by the students.

“From our general members, to the Campus Events committee, the Student Foundation Board and Exec, we strive to make Celebration of Lights a success,” Campus Events Chair Staci Talamonti said. “Celebration of Lights could not happen without every single member’s voice and hard work. The event is a true reflection of the spirited work of the entire 100 member organization and it could not happen without any one person.”

The plans for Celebration of Lights begin in August and take most of the fall semester to put everything together, from the entertainment to the food served. The Student Foundation plans for upwards of about 3,000 students, faculty and residents around SMU to come.

“The campus events committee meets once a week in a separate committee meeting after the general member meeting to plan the event and countless hours are dedicated to planning during any given week in the fall semester,” Talamonti said.

Miller’s original ideas of coming together and celebrating the holiday season have played major parts in the celebration for the past 33 years.

“I would say that Celebration of Lights is a pretty consistent event and no major changes have taken place over the years,” Vice President of Programming Cathleen Good said. “The event is centered around President Turner reading The Christmas Story, carols being sung and Dallas Hall being lit up with lights.”

Source: Student Foundation

Students also take this time to reach out to the community to bring joy to local children. The Student Foundation created a partnership program with children attending Cesar Chavez Elementary School.

“Every year, we bus in kids from Cesar Chavez. This year there are 50 and all are sponsored by SMU students: they meet each other, see the Celebration of Lights together and give the kids a present,” Norris said. “It’s a great opportunity for those kids to get to see SMU and a great example of how generous SMU students can be.”

Celebration of Lights is an event that also leads students to get involved and join Student Foundation.

“I have always wanted to be involved with Celebration of Lights since first learning about it as a high school senior applying to SMU,” Talamonti said. “I love all things related to the holiday season and being chosen as the campus events chair was and is a huge honor and joy. We work diligently with all of the Student Foundation members to make Celebration of Lights not only a successful event, but a reflection of the holiday spirit that every member has.”

Many of the Student Foundation members and staff have special memories of the event, whether it is attending the celebration with family or just the joy of being there.

“That day is my favorite day on campus all year,” Norris said. “I have been here for 10 years and my favorite moment is flipping the lights. I love the lights flipping during everyone singing “Silent Night” and everyone going “Ohhhh and Ahhh” at the lights.”

As the days begin to get shorter and colder, the Facilities Management and Sustainability crew continue to string and test lights on and surrounding Dallas Hall. The feel of the holidays weaves its way through the lights and decorations and into the hearts and minds of SMU students, faculty and staff.

SMU Welcomes New Dedman College Dean

August 31, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Andy Garcia

Dr. William Tsutsui, the new dean of Dedman College, greets guests at the reception in his honor. (PHOTO BY AIDA AHMED / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

The new dean of Dedman College, Dr. William Tsutsui, was officially welcomed to SMU at a reception in the Hughes-Trigg Ballroom Monday evening.

Tsutsui was chosen out of over 40 candidates for the dean position. His credentials include his role as Associate Dean for International Studies at the University of Kansas and two publications on the cultural influence of Godzilla.

At the reception, Tsutsui spoke on his belief that Dedman College is now positioned to make major advances in the field of liberal arts education.

“This is a defining moment for Dedman College,” Tsutsui said. “Expectations are understandably high both on and off campus, so it’s imperative now as never before for Dedman College to sharpen its focus.“

Tsutsui also touched on the benefits that the new GEC curriculum, Bush Presidential Library and the Second Century Campaign will offer both Dedman College and SMU as a whole.

Dr. Tsutsui took the stage to thank the SMU faculty and staff and express his love for his new home. (PHOTO BY AIDA AHMED / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

The new dean also spoke about “Texas hospitality” and the number of faculty, students and members of the Dallas community who he has met, and how they always mention his connection to Godzilla.

SMU Provost Paul Ludden introduced Tsutsui and his wife to an audience of SMU’s faculty, board of trustee members, alumni and major donors. Ludden also thanked former Interim Dedman Dean, Peter Moore, for his service to SMU.

Godzilla cookies were served at the reception for Dr. Tsutsui, who has published two books on the subject. (PHOTO BY AIDA AHMED / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

New Student Senate Representatives Inaugurated

April 28, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Thomas “T.J” Faust

Student senate representatives for the 2010-2011 school year were inaugurated in the Hughes-Trigg Commons for their up coming terms Tuesday April 27.

President Gerald R. Turner praised the outgoing senators for their commitment and work to the university, and spread words of encouragement for the incoming senate representatives.

President Turner recalls the year

President Turner conveyed the new plans for the university with the new committee members including the opening of a new education building and the expansion of parking for SMU students.

“It has been a good year despite the economy,” President Turner said. “There has been a lot of growth on campus. To the new student representatives, it is a quick year. Approach your jobs with a sense of urgency.”

SMU junior, Spencer Gordon, thought President Turner’s speech hit on all of the right notes.

“I think it’s awesome we have a president who cares so much about the development of our school. It seems like he puts a lot of faith into the student leaders and actively works with them to see that development through.”

Jennifer Jones, the current faculty advisor to the Student Senate, stressed the importance of each individual and encouraged every representative to work together.

Student Body President Patrick Kobler fires up the newly elected

Current student body president Patrick Kobler also gave a speech talking about the previous year and the accomplishments made. Kobler then announced the new president, Jake Torres.

“I cannot tell you how pleased I am to turn the presidency over to someone as hard working and dedicated as Jake Torres,” Kobler said.

Kobler then welcomed the newest leaders and encouraged them to make the school theirs by listening to the other students and administration. He then went on to thank the SMU administration for their support and for working with him over the past four years.

Kobler leaves with a charge to the new representatives.

“You have been given the gift to make this university better and a gift to listen to the students who voted for you,” Kobler said. “This is your true opportunity to leave your mark on SMU.”

President-elect Jake Torres then took the podium after taking his oath of office and swore in the new senators. After thanking all of his supporters during the campaign he went on to outline some changes for the upcoming year and congratulated the outgoing administration on a great term.

Students react to the inauguration

Students and administrators filled the event as they watched event take place.

“It was very cool to see such an event happen on SMU,” junior Dylan Mesh said.

“It is important for these senators to realize how important they are to the development of the university, and I think they see that through this inauguration.”

Candidate for Dean of Dedman College Visits Campus

February 26, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Andy Garcia

The search for a new Dean of Dedman College is coming to a close as Dr. Jensen of Notre Dame finishes his official visit to SMU.

Following the end of Jensen’s visit, the Dedman Dean Search Committee will submit a list of recommendations to President Turner and Provost Ludden, according to the Committee Chair, Dean Lawrence of the Perkins Schools.

The five remaining candidates are:

1) Dr. William Tsutsui of the University of Kansas

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  • Current Professor of History
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