The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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President Turner speaks on SMU achievement, growth at celebration

President R. Gerald Turner spoke on Friday about the achievements SMU has made in recent years and plans for growth and continued success in the future.

The president’s briefing, held as part of Founder’s Day Weekend and SMU’s Centennial Celebration, was designed as a way for President Turner to address the alumni, donors, students and community members about SMU’s productive past and plans for SMU’s bright future.

The briefing spanned a variety of topics, including application and admission statistics, donor giving statistics, student and faculty accomplishments and plans for campus expansion.

Turner began the briefing by introducing SMU as “an institution that reaches far and wide” for quality students and superior professors.

He also gave recognition to the donors in the audience, a list that included figures such as Caren Prothro, who is also the current chair of the SMU Board of Trustees, and Bobby Lyle, who is also a Trustee.

Turner also placed great pride and emphasis on SMU’s rise in ranking: SMU reached an all-time high rank of 56 among 260 national universities, according to U.S. News & World Report, which is up 12 spots from last year’s rank. In the next 100 years, he hopes SMU will break into the top 50 schools.

He then turned his attention to the fact that all three of SMU’s MBA graduate programs are ranked in the top 15, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

In the last year, SMU had over 12,500 students apply for a first-year class of 1,400 students, a record high for the university. If these numbers continue to rise, as the president hopes they will, SMU’s rank could potentially increase as a result.

While explaining the Carnegie Classification System for Undergraduate Research Activity as it applies to universities across the United States, Turner referred to a chart that showed SMU in the middle tier and TCU in the bottom tier. He jokingly drew attention to this “happy coincidence” and continued with his explanation of how these types of classifications help boost SMU’s overall rating.

Some key factors that influence school rankings include the number of applicants to the university, the number of students accepted, the size of a university’s financial endowment, alumni affiliation rates and the accomplishments being made by professors and researchers.

Turner’s friendly demeanor remained evident as he spoke of the university’s plans to build sophomore housing units, known as the “Residential Commons,” as well as a new indoor and outdoor tennis facility across the street from the SMU bookstore.

He closed his speech with a witty remark regarding the road construction around the Bush Presidential Library.

“We want to finish that as soon as possible. With football season around the corner, we’ve got to keep our priorities straight,” he said.

Turner encouraged audience members to further their support for the university as it moves forward into its second century.

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