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Southern Methodist University

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Methodist_University

Southern Methodist University (SMU) is a private research university in University Park, a separate city inside the borders of Dallas, Texas. Founded in 1911 by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, SMU operates satellite campuses in Plano, Texas, and Taos, New Mexico. SMU is owned by the South Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church. 6,300 of the University's 10,800 students are undergraduates.

The university was chartered on April 17, 1911 by the five Annual Conferences in Texas of the United Methodist Church. Classes were originally planned to start in 1913 but were postponed until 1915.[citation needed]

SMU was established as the unsuccessful attempt to relocate Southwestern University from Georgetown, Texas, to either Fort Worth or Dallas. The first relocation effort by Polytechnic College president Hiram A. Boaz and spearheaded by Southwestern president Robert Stewart Hyer involved merging Southwestern with Polytechnic College (now Texas Wesleyan University). The post-merger university would retain the Southwestern name while occupying Polytechnic's campus in Fort Worth.[citation needed]

The merger never came to fruition, primarily because the Dallas Chamber of Commerce set up a committee to raise funds and entice Southwestern to relocate to Dallas. This proposal gained considerable traction since Southwestern was operating a medical school in Dallas. Plans were drawn for the campus's first building, Memorial Hall, which inspired SMU's first building, Dallas Hall. Southwestern's trustees rejected the relocation plan, prompting Hyer's resignation and move to Dallas to establish Southern Methodist University.

SMU retained close connections to Southwestern and Polytechnic. Southwestern president Hyer became SMU's first president and Hiram A. Boaz, a Southwestern graduate, resigned as president of Polytechnic to become SMU's second president. Polytechnic attempted to become a feeder school of SMU before becoming a women's college. SMU acquired Southwestern's medical school in Dallas and operated it until 1915. Southwestern and SMU were athletic rivals until Southwestern became a small liberal arts college.[citation needed]

The effort to establish a new university in Dallas drew the attention of the General Conference of the Methodist Church, which was seeking to create a new connectional institution in the wake of a 1914 Tennessee Supreme Court decision stripping the church of authority at Vanderbilt University.[citation needed] The church decided to support the establishment of SMU and dramatically increase the size of Emory University at a new location in DeKalb County, Georgia. At the 1914 meeting of the General Conference, SMU was designated the connectional institution for all Conferences west of the Mississippi River.

Classes were planned to officially begin in 1913, but construction delays on the university's first building prevented classes from starting until 1915. In the interim, the only functioning academic department at SMU was the medical college it had acquired from Southwestern University.

SMU named its first building Dallas Hall in gratitude for the support of Dallas leaders and local citizens, who had pledged $300,000 to secure the university's location. It remains the university's symbol and centerpiece. Designed by Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge after the Rotunda at the University of Virginia, Dallas Hall opened its doors in 1915 and housed the entire university as well as a bank and a barbershop. It is registered in the National Register of Historic Places. SMU's nickname "The Hilltop" was inspired by Dallas Hall, which was built on a hill.[citation needed]

The university's first president, Robert Stewart Hyer, selected Harvard crimson and Yale blue as the school colors in order to associate SMU with the high standards of ivy league universities. Several streets in University Park and adjacent Highland Park were named after prominent universities, including Harvard, Yale (later renamed SMU Blvd.), Stanford, Princeton, Dartmouth, Purdue, Tulane, Amherst, Bryn Mawr, Drexel, Hanover, Marquette, Southwestern, Vassar, and Villanova.

In 1927, Highland Park United Methodist Church, designed by architects Mark Lemmon (1889–1975) and Roscoe DeWitt (1894-1975), was erected on campus.

In 1939, SMU was placed under the South Central Jurisdiction of the Methodist Church.

During World War II, SMU was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.

The university drew considerable media attention in 1987 when the NCAA administered the death penalty against the SMU football program for repeated, flagrant recruiting violations. The punishment included cancellation of the 1987 and most of the 1988 football season and a two-year ban from Bowl Games and all televised sports coverage.

In 2008, SMU was selected as the site of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and the George W. Bush Policy Institute.

Notable alumni or attendees

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Southern_Methodist_University_people#Notable_alumni_or_attendees