Southern Methodist University
Southern Methodist University (also known as SMU) is a private, coeducational Methodist-affiliated university in University Park, Texas, (an enclave of Dallas). Founded in 1911 by the United Methodist Church, SMU currently operates campuses in Dallas, Plano, and Taos, New Mexico.
Of the university's current enrollment 11,000, around 6,000 are undergraduates. 21.5% of entering undergraduates classify themselves as "minorities", and over half of the student body claims a religious affiliation (despite the university's name, only 25% of new undergraduates claim affiliation with the Methodist church). Demographic profile
The University’s first president, Robert S. Hyer, selected Harvard Red and Yale University Blue as the school colors to symbolize SMU’s high standards.
In the television show Dallas the character of Lucy Ewing was a student at Southern Methodist University, and several scenes were shot on location in the main quad.
Dallas Hall is registered in the National Registry of Historic Places. A scene from Born on the Fourth of July was shot around the exterior of the west wing of Dallas Hall. Designed after the Rotunda at the University of Virginia, Dallas Hall opened its doors in 1915 and housed the entire University as well as a bank and a barbershop. Because Dallas Hall was built on a hill, SMU was nicknamed “The Hilltop.” The University seal is on the floor under the Rotunda.
The university is home to the Edwin L. Cox School of Business which houses a nationally-ranked MBA graduate program as well as a BBA honors program and extensive Executive Education offerings. SMU Cox rose to #16 in the world (#13 in the United States), up from #18 in BusinessWeek's last EMBA ranking in 2003. This puts SMU Cox ahead of quality programs such as NYU Stern, Cornell, and Purdue.
SMU also houses the Research Center for Advanced Manufacturing in the Mechanical Engineering Department which is extensively funded by government agencies and industry. This center is headed by Dr. Radovan Kovacevic.
- Perkins School of Theology
- Dedman School of Law
- Edwin L Cox School of Business
- School of Engineering
- Dedman College
- Meadows School of Arts
- School of Education
SMU's athletics teams are known as the Mustangs and participate in the NCAA's Division I (I-A for football) as a member of Conference USA, having left the Western Athletic Conference in favor of C-USA in 2005. SMU's closest rival in academics and athletics is Texas Christian University (TCU).
SMU’s official mascot was named after an early 20th-century patent medicine, Peruna Tonic, which was popular for its “kick.” Peruna is a black stallion Shetland pony that attends all home football games. Mustang fans show school pride with Pony Ears during school songs, chants, and cheers.
The SMU football program was a national powerhouse, with 5 alumni being elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Raymond Berry, Eric Dickerson, Forrest Gregg, Lamar Hunt, and Doak Walker, before it received the "death penalty" - consisting of disbandment of the team for one year and a limited schedule the following year - for repeated violations of NCAA rules and regulations in its days as a member of the Southwest Conference. Since the "death penalty," SMU's football team has not placed a top 3 place in its division and to this day dispute is raised reguarding the past and public affairs with their "death penalty."
- David Bates - artist
- Kathy Bates - Oscar-winning actress
- Raymond Berry - Former Pro Football Hall of Fame Wide Receiver
- Laura Bush - First Lady of the United States
- James Cronin - Nobel Prize-winning physicist
- Paige Davis - TLC Network personality
- Robert Dennard - computing pioneer
- Eric Dickerson - former Pro Football Hall of Fame running back
- Bill Fagerbakke - American actor who played an assistant coach on the hit television series Coach. Currently, Fagerbakke is probably best known as the voice of Patrick Star on the SpongeBob SquarePants Animated series.
- Craig Flournoy - Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
- Forrest Gregg - Former NFL coach and Pro Football Hall of Fame guard
- Lauren Graham - lead actress on the Gilmore Girls
- Beth Henley - Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright
- Karen Hughes - Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy
- Lamar Hunt - Founder of the American Football League and owner of the Kansas City Chiefs
- Andrea Immer-Robinson - wine expert, author, and television personality
- Don Meredith - former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and Monday Night Football commentator
- Harriet Miers - George W. Bush administration nominee for Associate Justice to the United States Supreme Court (withdrew)
- Patricia Richardson - actress, Home Improvement, Strong Medicine
- Aaron Spelling - TV and film producer
- Payne Stewart - professional golfer
- Stephen Tobolowsky - The nerdy guy from 'Groundhog Day'
- John Tower - U.S. Senator
- Doak Walker - Heisman Trophy winner