The Academic Ceremony Team is
comprised of the Chief Marshal, appointed by the Office of the Provost, the
University Registrar, the Director of Academic Ceremonies and the Academic
Ceremonies Coordinator. With the support of the university community, the
ceremonies team produces five annual academic ceremonies – Opening Convocation,
December Graduation, Honors Day Convocation, Baccalaureate, Commencement
Convocation – each filled with pomp and circumstance. The team’s ultimate goal
is to create lasting memories for our students and their families.
Tom Fomby, Ph.D.
Dr. Tom Fomby has been a Professor of Economics at
SMU since 1975. After serving as Procession Marshal of Academic Ceremonies for
many years under the guidance of Chief Marshal Emeritus Brad Carter,
Fomby succeeded Professor Carter as Chief Marshal beginning in January of 2009.
He is co-author of the textbook Advanced
Econometric Methods and has authored numerous articles in professional
economics and statistics journals. Professor Fomby has been Senior Co-editor of
Advances in Econometrics (Emerald Publishing Ltd.) since 1986. Professor
Fomby currently holds Research Associate positions with the Federal Reserve Bank
of Dallas, the World Bank in Washington, DC, and the Clinical Sciences
Department at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He has
consulted with the U.S. Treasury Department, The Federal Reserve Bank of St.
Louis, and various corporations including SAS, Texas Instruments, KPMG, and
Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company to mention a few.
John A. Hall
John A. Hall came to SMU as a student 43 years ago
and never left. John received his Bachelor of Business Administration from the
university in 1971 and received his graduate degrees of Master of Liberal Arts
and Master of Business Administration from SMU in 1973 and 1979 respectively.
Outside his registrar duties, John has served in
numerous capacities at the university. He has chaired many committees and events
with the SMU Staff Association and served as the Staff Association President
from 2008 - 2009. He was also an active participant of the university’s
Judicial Council for nearly two decades, first as a board member and then as
Chairman of the Council, a position he held for nearly a decade.
John is also the recipient of the esteemed “M”
Award, the most highly prized recognition bestowed upon students, faculty, staff
and administrators on the SMU Campus.
Outside of SMU, John participates actively in
regional and national higher education organizations such as the Texas
Association of Registrars and Admissions Officers, Southern Association of
Registrars and Admissions Officers, and the American Association of Collegiate
Registrars and Admissions Officers. John served as president of TACRAO in 1986.
In 2007, John served as president of SACRAO.
Assistant Registrar and Director of Academic Ceremonies
Cate Hamilton has been a member of the SMU community since
her matriculation at SMU as an undergraduate student in Meadows School of the Arts. While in school,
Cate took on student worker positions in Dedman College and the University Registrar’s Office. She earned
her B.A. in Advertising in December of 2007 and began her career in the University Registrar’s Office as an
Academic Records Counselor, shortly thereafter.
Cate transitioned to the Academic Ceremonies Coordinator position
in April of 2009 and accepted the role of Assistant Registrar and Director of Academic Ceremonies
in June 2012. Her primary duties include planning and executing five academic ceremonies annually: Opening Convocation,
December Commencement Convocation, Honors Convocation, Baccalaureate Service and May Commencement Convocation
Ceremonies Announcer: “The Voice of Peruna”
John Wesley Gibson is a native of
Dallas, Texas and has been at SMU for over 20 years, first serving as Assistant
Dean of the Meadows School of the Arts, and now as Creative Director for
Development and External Affairs. John is a composer with a wide ranging
catalog of orchestral, band, chorus and theatrical music performed around the
world. He has taught in the public schools, at the University of North Texas,
the University of Arizona, McMurry University, and SMU. He is a graduate of
Texas Tech University and UNT. He is married to Dana, and has two sons and
Office of the University Registrar
Staff members from the Registrar’s Office play an integral role in all of SMU’s academic ceremonies. They prepare the faculty and students for the ceremony processions, serve as ushers, adorn the ceremony stage with our beautiful gonfalons and other ceremony symbols, ensure that ceremonies are conducted according to plan, and oversee the fine, behind-the-scene details of each event. Without the dedication of the Registrar’s Office Staff, SMU’s ceremonies would not be as elegant and grand as they are today.