Once upon a time, in the not-too-distant past
There lived a young woman at the top of her class
She had the good grades, activities, and drive
And all that she needed was a rich place to thrive.
Strapped for cash, not knowing where to apply,
She took her chances on her counselor’s reply.
Her counselor advised [that] she apply to SMU:
“It’s perched on a Hilltop with some pretty nice views.
My ex-husband teaches there and Dallas is cool.
Just take my word for it – it’s a really great school.”
So the young woman applied for a scholarship there
She hoped for the best, but for the worst, prepared
The day the letter came she cried tears of joy
She got all farklempt and kept saying, “Oy!”
So she hopped on a plane and walked through the grounds
A prettier place she couldn’t have found
The people were nice – not stuffy or rude
They treated her well and gave her good food.
Normally a scary, uncomfortable ordeal,
The Interview was fun, the people were real.
She impressed the committee and took the top offer
A President’s Scholarship was what SMU proffered.
I am originally from Las Vegas, NV, but I graduated in 2004 from the American Hebrew Academy, a Jewish boarding high school in Greensboro, NC. I had no idea where I wanted to go to college, and needed a lot of financial help, so I looked at SMU at the urging of my high school college counselor. Knowing nothing about the school or Dallas, I applied, got in, and was treated like the guest of honor. Although my visit to campus lasted less than 24 hours and I missed all the tours, I felt more at home here than at any of the previous college campuses I had visited.
So here I stand today, a junior President’s Scholar double-majoring in Religious Studies and Philosophy, although I was originally a pre-med Biology major – go figure. We’ve already said your major So here I stand today, a junior President’s Scholar, always ready to experience new things and to get involved, I stay active with the impressive array of PS program offerings. The Tate Lecture Series, including these receptions and dinners, is just one manifestation of SMU’s emphasis on a global, well-rounded education. These lectures bring what we read about in class to life, and then we experience it first-hand through SMU’s Study Abroad programs. Lynn Wyman is currently in Dublin after a semester at Oxford. Alan Lin is currently in London. I hope to study abroad in Weimar, Germany this summer and Copenhagen next spring. Just as important as our on-campus education, these semesters help us succeed in the “global village” our world has become. I always learn about my country when I go to Taos each year – why should Germany or Denmark be any different?
All this globe-trotting helps keep home in perspective, too. I feel very lucky to have had many wonderful mentors among the PS program administrators, and I’d like to take a moment to thank them properly for all they have done for us PSes, and for me specifically. I would not be here were it not for the care and support of Omni Hotels, especially Mr. Robert Rowling. I owe you my education and my future, something which I can only hope to repay in part by making full use of everything I have experienced here. You have made it possible for me to enjoy a first-rate university education and make the friends and contacts that will help me on my path to graduate school and beyond. You have opened your home to us – to me, Lynn Wyman, Rachel Driver, and Alan Lin – and opened your hearts to us as well. Thank you.
Thank you very much, Dr. Tunks, for all your hard work and everything you do for us. A big thank you to Dr. James Hopkins, who makes sure we learn something everywhere we go. To Ms. Patricia LaSalle, thank you for working so hard to help SMU shine to the rest of the world. I also want to thank both of you for your unceasing generosity. Who else would open their home to twenty-something students for catered dinners and stimulating discussions at least twice a year? I always look forward to these “LaHopkins” dinners – in fact, we have one coming up this weekend! And of course, I never could have made it this far with my sanity intact without the friendship, support, and organizational abilities of Martha Starke and Jo Geisler in the Associate Provost’s office. Although they are not present tonight, I want to thank them so much for always being there for us, no matter how much they’ve got on their plates.
I guess that’s what I love most about SMU and the President’s Scholars program – they never disappoint, and they’re always there for us. This “PS Love” enables us to go off into the professional world with confidence and pay forward the opportunities we were so graciously given. Thank you.