Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Southern Methodist University
Southern Methodist University, often known by its acronym of SMU, is a private university in University Park, Texas, USA. University Park is one of two adjacent Dallas suburbs sometimes called The Bubble (the other being Highland Park) because they are surrounded by the city of Dallas and are two of the most wealthy regions of the city and the surrounding metropolitan area.
SMU was founded in 1911 by the United Methodist Church, and the first building (Dallas Hall) opened in 1915. The university currently operates campuses in Dallas and Taos, New Mexico, serving a total of almost 11,000 students.
University facts and figures
Of the university's roughly 11,000 students, around 6,000 are undergraduates. 20% classify themselves as "minorities", and half of the student body claims religious affiliation (despite the university's name, only 14% of its students claim affiliation with the Methodist church).
The school's sports teams, known as the Mustangs, participate in NCAA Division I (I-A for football) as a member of the Western Athletic Conference. The team was once a national powerhouse before its football program received the "death penalty" for NCAA violations and will soon leave the WAC to join Conference USA. The men's soccer program is currently competing in the Missouri Valley Conference, but that arrangement will likely end with the move to C-USA, as that conference (unlike the WAC) sponsors men's soccer.
In the television show Dallas the character of Lucy Ewing was a student at Southern Methodist University, and several scenes were shot on location in the main quad.
Dallas Hall is registered in the National Registry of Historic Places. A scene from "Born on the Fourth of July" was shot around the exterior of the west wing of Dallas Hall.
Also, the university is home to the Edwin L. Cox School of Business which houses a nationally ranked MBA graduate program.
SMU alumni have found success in all fields. Some famous SMU graduates are First Lady Laura Bush, actress Kathy Bates, actress Patricia Richardson, Nobel Prize-winning physicist James Cronin, senator John Tower, golfer Payne Stewart, Heisman Trophy winner Doak Walker, TV and film producer Aaron Spelling, journalist Craig Flournoy and playwright Beth Henley (both recipients of the Pulitzer Prize in their fields), TLC Network personality Paige Davis, White House Counsel Harriet Miers, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and Monday Night Football commentator Don Meredith and computing pioneer Robert Dennard.
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