The Explorer – SMU

Disclaimer: A perk of SCOUT-ing for you is the opportunity to visit college campuses. With each tour, I go armed with the basic information you can find online or in any number of college-related guides. As such, there is no reason for me recite average test scores, admission rates, student-to-faculty ratios, or lists of majors / minors. You can find all that through your own research. My goal is to give you a little nugget (or two) that you might find interesting … interesting enough to give the college a more in-depth look.   

SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY – DALLAS, TEXAS

Many Oklahoma families are accustomed to quick weekend trips to Dallas. That’s why it makes perfect sense to consider Southern Methodist University when building your college list.

First and foremost, Southern Methodist University (SMU) is a gorgeous, intimate campus located in the middle of an urban setting. It consistently appears on lists of ‘the most beautiful college campuses in America’ – including those issued by Condé Nast Traveler and The Princeton Review.

And as far as other aspects of campus life, here are a few things you might not know:

Boulevarding – The official name for tailgating at SMU. The Boulevard forms the main oval of campus and is lined with trees – mostly Southern Live Oaks. Spring, summer, fall, and winter, the Boulevard is a spectacular site. However, it takes on a its ‘boulevarding’ persona during football season, with outdoor living rooms, chandeliers, and catered BBQ spreads.

Methodist – You do not have to be Methodist to attend SMU. And there are no religious requirements while attending SMU. However, Highland Park United Methodist Church in all its splendor sits just outside the campus entrance. And Perkins Chapel on campus serves as the primary worship setting for Perkins School of Theology, where it plays a vital role in the spiritual formation and education of those preparing for leadership in the Christian church.   

Spanish Art – SMU is home to the Meadows Museum which showcases one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain, with works dating from the 10th to the 21st centuries. And admission is free to SMU students!

Presidential Library – SMU is the only private college in the country to host a presidential library on its main campus. Thanks to Laura Lane Welch Bush, Class of 1968, the campus features the library of her husband, otherwise known as the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The center provides the university with a wide array of programming, much of it international and human rights in nature.

Hunt Leadership Scholars – The Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt Leadership Scholars Program attracts students who wish to combine academics with leadership. This highly selective program is offered to approximately twenty incoming students each year. It’s a four-year program – with an amazing scholarship – that gives students unique opportunities to learn from leaders and attend forums and discussions with a variety of global changemakers.

Tate Lecture Series – This program is regarded as one of the country’s finest platforms for distinguished and engaging discussions. Students have the opportunity to hear renown guest speakers on a variety of topics. There are also various ways to engage with these guests before and after the formal lecture. Recent guests have included Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo), Howard Schultz (Starbucks), General David Petraeus, and political strategists David Axelrod and Karl Rove.  

Reading Groups – The O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom offers reading groups each semester. The content is always thought-provoking. And the bonus is a participation stipend!  Recent themes have included: The Economics of Knowledge, The Role of Government in a Free Society, and Freedom and Human Flourishing: Poverty, Prosperity & Quality of Life Around the World. The weekly groups read and discuss a variety of books and papers. There is even a weekend summit to engage with students from other schools, including Baylor, Texas Tech, and University of Arkansas.

All in all, SMU maintains a sense of southern charm while opening up a world of opportunities. If you would like to discuss how you might best take advantage of the campus offerings at SMU, please let me know. I can be reached at 405-906-7044 or shannon@scoutcollegeconsulting.com. I’m always available to help you find and fund your ideal college experience!


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