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

Dec. 12, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- Southern Methodist University plans to award 704 degrees at its December graduation ceremony Saturday, Dec. 14, in McFarlin Auditorium. Of these, 358 are graduate and professional degrees and 346 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 in 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 students to graduate.

SMU President R. Gerald Turner will give the address at both ceremonies. Among the achievements on campus since his arrival as president in 1995 is the successful completion of the largest major gifts campaign in the history of SMU and any institution in North Texas. Ending in May 2002, The Campaign for SMU: A Time to Lead exceeded its $400 million goal, generating nearly $542 million in gifts and pledges, providing new facilities, endowments and scholarships.

SMU is a private, comprehensive university of 10,000 students enrolled in six degree-granting schools. SMU offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the arts and sciences, business, engineering, and the performing, visual, and communication arts, as well as professional degree programs in law and theology. Founded in 1911 by what is now the United Methodist Church, SMU is nonsectarian in its teaching and committed to the values of academic freedom and open inquiry.