Contact: Meredith Dickenson or Ellen Sterner
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7654

December 12, 2001


DALLAS (SMU) -- Southern Methodist University plans to award 548 degrees at its December graduation ceremony Saturday, Dec. 15 in McFarlin Auditorium. Of those 298 are graduate and professional degrees and 250 are undergraduate degrees.

Graduate and professional degrees will be conferred at 5 p.m. The undergraduate ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. Afterwards faculty marshals and alumni will lead the new graduates on the Rotunda Recessional. This SMU tradition begins with the audience singing the school song, Varsity, while the new graduates march from McFarlin Auditorium across the main part of campus to the Rotunda of Dallas Hall, the university’s oldest building. The Rotunda Recessional marks the passage of student to graduate.

SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ross C Murfin will give the address at both ceremonies. Murfin is responsible for the administration of the university’s academic programs, from its six degree-granting schools to its several libraries and support offices. More than 500 full-time faculty report to Murfin, who also is a professor of English in Dedman College.

Murfin is an internationally recognized scholar in the field of English literature and the author of four books: Swinburne, Hardy, Lawrence, and the Burden of Belief (University of Chicago Press, 1978), The Poetry of D.H. Lawrence (University of Nebraska Press, 1983), Sons and Lovers: A Novel of Division and Desire (G.K. Hall, 1987), and Lord Jim: After the Truth (G.K. Hall, 1992). He has taught at Yale University and the University of Miami. During his teaching career, he has won the honor of “Professor of the Year” five times. Murfin graduated with honors from Princeton University in 1971. He received his master’s degree in English in 1972 and his Ph.D. in 1974 from the University of Virginia.