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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

SMU Juniors Jaisan Avery and Kayla Spears paint together during Curlchella hosted by SMU Fro, Dallas Texas, Wednesday April 17, 2024 (©2024/Mikaila Neverson/SMU).
SMU Fro's Curlchella recap
Mikaila Neverson, News Editor • April 23, 2024

Learn more about the Class of 2019

Photo credit: Courtesy of SMU

Back in August, SMU welcomed its newest class – a total of 1,374 students.

This class has a few interesting characters, including a 13-year-old, a set of quadruplets, and several others who have accomplished a lot during their high school years.

Colin Hughes is a first-year, but he has already had his name published by National Geographic.

Over the summer, Hughes worked with a company called Shark Explorers, which produces stock footage of sharks and marine life. Hughes worked off the coast of South Africa to take pictures of sharks – mostly great whites.

National Geographic, and other publications, then found Hughes’ photos through Shark Explorers and its partner, Atlantic Edge films.

A great white shark jumps out of the ocean for its prey. Photo credit: Courtesy of Colin Hughes

Hughes said he was shocked to learn that big name publications had picked up his photos.

“It’s very cool,” Hughes said. “You get so much recognition.”

He also described the process it takes to capture one of these photos.

“It can take two hours just to get a decent photo. It’s absurd,” Hughes said. “You’re just waiting and watching for a long time before any action happens.”

Photo credit: Courtesy of Colin Hughes

Hughes has gone cage diving to get his pictures, but he would rather free swim. He said he loves the thrill.

“Seeing a shark up close like that was one of the scariest and coolest moments of my entire life,” Hughes said. “It was like staring down a school bus.”

The Class of 2019 also has 21 presidential scholars and 32 members of SMU’s football team.

Maria Yienger is a member of the set of quadruplets attending SMU this year. Her siblings are Patrick, Teresa and Christopher.

While for most students, quadruplets may seem like a novelty, but for Maria, it’s just a part of everyday life.

From left to right: Patrick, Teresa, Maria and Christopher Yienger. Photo credit: Courtesy of Maria Yienger

“It’s normal to us,” she said. “We’re close. Our relationship is the same as any other sibling relationship, except we all happen to be the same age.”

But there were a couple quirks to having siblings so close in age. The Yiengers attended Plano West High School.

“In our math classes, sometimes my sister and I, we’d have the same class at different periods and we’d take the same test and end up with the same grade,” Maria said. “It totally wasn’t planned but it was funny because we’d end up getting the same questions wrong in the same way.”

According to Maria, all of the Yienger siblings are happy to be at SMU.

The quadruplets pose for a family photo. Photo credit: Courtesy of Maria Yienger

Both Maria and Christopher are majoring in accounting while Teresa is studying computer science and Patrick is majoring in mechanical engineering.

“The opportunities available here are amazing,” Maria said. “Especially within respective schools. It opens up so many doors.”


Class of 2019 – By The Numbers

  • 1,500 applications were submitted for first-years and transfers
  • 1,374 total first-years were admitted
  • 800 different high schools
  • 75 are on a varsity athletic team
  • 52 percent are male
  • 48 percent are female
  • 44 different states
  • 25 percent are members of a minority group
  • 6.8 percent are international students

Information Courtesy of SMU


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