Each year SMU invites 30-35 of the most gifted students in the first-year entering class to receive Presidentís Scholarships, the highest academic merit awards given by the University. The Presidentís Scholars program is so named because it represents the Universityís highest commitment to attract and serve high-achieving students. Presidentís Scholarships provide full-tuition and fees.
Scholars also receive travel expenses and tuition for study abroad, choosing from more than 100 programs throughout the world. Some Presidentís Scholars take advantage of SMU summer programs abroad, while others compete to be admitted as students for a year at prestigious universities abroad such as those in Great Britain.
Scholars also have opportunities to meet world leaders on campus for the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series, which sponsors several of the scholars. In its 28 years, the Series has brought to campus three former U.S. presidents, nine foreign heads of state, eight Nobel Laureates, and two Supreme Court Justices. For more information, the Tate web site can be visited at www.tateseries.com.
Presidentís Scholars join a tight-knit community of highly motivated students and dedicated faculty and staff mentors. Activities throughout the year include the annual retreat at the SMU-in-Taos campus, located on the site of a pre-civil war fort and a 13th century Anasazi pueblo nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Northern New Mexico. Dinner-discussions at faculty membersí homes bring scholars together with other professors for conversations on the hot topics of the day. Many scholars interact with corporate and community leaders who underwrite their scholarships and offer mentoring opportunities. SMU President R. Gerald Turner also welcomes scholars to his home for special events.
Presidentís Scholars are invited to join the University Honors Program, which fosters an intellectual community through challenging interdisciplinary courses, student-initiated research, internships, and classes taught by exceptional faculty (www.smu.edu/honors). It is not unusual for Presidentís Scholars to combine double or triple majors across disciplines, while also actively participating in campus life. After graduation, many continue their studies at distinguished medical, law, and other graduate schools throughout the nation.
Many Presidentís Scholars are leaders in student government and serve on committees of the SMU Board of Trustees, the governing body of the University. SMU is one of the few universities in the nation to have a voting student member on its Board of Trustees, along with student members serving on all Board committees.
In the 27 years since its founding, the Presidentís Scholars Program has provided a world of opportunity to some of the nationís brightest students, who in turn enrich the University environment with their intellectual vitality, diverse talents, and campus involvement.
Presidentís Scholars met for a discussion with the Dean of Dedman College,
Dr. William Tsutsui, in the aftermath of the earthquake in Japan.
Dean Tsutsui was in Japan at the time the devastating earthquake occurred.