SMU News Contact: Ann Abbas or Patti LaSalle
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April 5, 2005


Santiago Calatrava
Artist and architect Santiago Calatrava will give SMU's 90th Commencement address (click for high-resolution image).

DALLAS (SMU) -- Internationally renowned Spanish architect, engineer and sculptor Santiago Calatrava, whose designs range from the 2004 Olympic Stadium to Dallas’ Trinity River bridges, will give the address at SMU’s 90th annual commencement Saturday, May 14. He also will receive an honorary degree. SMU expects to award approximately 2,000 degrees at the universitywide ceremony at 9:30 a.m. in Moody Coliseum.

Calatrava has strong ties to SMU and Dallas. He has a permanent presence at the Meadows Museum through his monumental fountain-sculpture titled “Wave,” displayed in front of the museum, and smaller works that are part of the museum’s collection. Calatrava is working with the city of Dallas in designing three signature bridges proposed for the Trinity River Corridor Project. Designs for two of the bridges have been unveiled. A retrospective presentation of Calatrava’s work was the inaugural special exhibition of the new Meadows Museum at its grand opening in 200l. The preceding year he received the university’s prestigious Algur H. Meadows Award for Excellence in the Arts.

“We are delighted to have a leading international figure with special ties to the university and Dallas as our commencement speaker,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Calatrava’s architectural designs combine beauty and functionality to enhance the environment in which people carry out their daily lives. He is a fine model for our graduates as they seek to define their own roles in an increasingly global society.”

During its 2005 commencement ceremony, SMU will confer three honorary degrees recognizing people who have excelled in the arts, law and education and who have made important contributions to SMU, Dallas and the world. Calatrava will receive an honorary Doctor of Arts degree; Charles O. Galvin, law educator and former dean, will receive the Doctor of Laws degree; and Elizabeth M. (Liza) Lee, leader in education, will receive the Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

SMU’s three honorary degree recipients will participate in seminars and discussions featuring their work on Friday, May 13, the day before commencement.

Calatrava’s architectural projects include some of the most acclaimed structures of the past two decades. The spectacular Olympic Stadium he designed for the 2004 Summer Games in Athens drew praise from critics and television viewers around the world. His other large-scale public projects include the airport in Bilbao, Spain; railway stations in Zurich and Lisbon; an opera house in the Canary Islands; the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia; and bridges in Seville, Orléans and Dublin. Bridges in Tel Aviv and Venice are nearing completion.

Projects designed by Calatrava in the United States include the expansion of the Milwaukee Art Museum; a bridge in Redding, California; and Atlanta’s Symphony Center. He recently was chosen to design a transportation hub for the redeveloped World Trade Center site in New York City.

Calatrava earned a degree in architecture in Valencia and a Ph.D. in engineering from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. The latest of his many awards is the 2005 Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects, which noted that he “has captured the hearts and imagination of the public and his clients ... around the globe.”

Charles O. Galvin is a distinguished legal scholar and educator. As the longest-serving dean of the SMU School of Law, now Dedman School of Law, from 1963 to 1978, he played a major role in the school’s rise in international prominence. He significantly strengthened the school’s international dimensions through faculty appointments and expansion of the international graduate program. A leading tax and tax policy scholar, Galvin joined the law faculty in 1952. He is the author or co-author of five books and more than 60 articles. He was a pioneer in building bridges between tax scholars and practicing attorneys to promote the implementation of tax reforms through legislation. After leaving SMU, he completed his academic career as Centennial Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University. Since 1994 Galvin has served of counsel with Haynes & Boone in Dallas. He earned his B.S. degree from SMU in 1940, M.B.A. and J.D. degrees from Northwestern University and the S.J.D. from Harvard University. He has received Distinguished Alumni Awards from both SMU and Northwestern.

Elizabeth M. (Liza) Lee is a national leader in the education of girls and young women. From 1989 to 2004 she served as headmistress of The Hockaday School in Dallas, one of the nation’s largest and oldest independent girls schools. Under her leadership, the school’s endowment grew from $40 million to $90 million, a capital campaign raised more than $53 million, several new facilities were built, the math and science curriculum was revolutionized and minority students increased to 24.5 percent. Her national leadership includes presidency of the National Association of Principals of Schools for Girls and the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest. After retiring from Hockaday last year, Lee assisted the Dallas Independent School District in creating the Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School for inner-city girls, the first girls-only public school in Texas. In June 2005, she will become interim head of Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, S.C. Lee earned her B.A. degree from Mt. Holyoke College and an M.A. in English from Columbia University.

After SMU’s universitywide commencement ceremony on May 14, individual schools and departments will present diplomas in separate ceremonies during the afternoon and evening.

Southern Methodist University is a private university in Dallas with more than 10,000 students and offers degree programs through seven schools. More information about SMU is available at