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

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
Dallas homeless recovery center, The Bridge, is a home
Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024

Remember our legacy

This week we take a moment to honor the founders of our great university, and celebrate our progression into the second century of our university’s history.

So what’s to honor? Is it our perfectly manicured lawn that Dr. Turner always boasts about or our plethora of cooling fountains? What about the buildings that we study in, the scholarships we receive or the professors who spend their time educating us? Do we honor our schools, our silly memories and the value of our degree?

This week, we honor it all.

The university, I suppose, would have us remember the seriousness and dedication of our founders – the men who began the university. However, if I could meet these men, I would, of course, thank them for my education and the effort and hard work they put in to start the university, but I would also thank them for the best two years of my life thus far.

I remember my freshman year (of course, it was only last year), when I began to explore the university’s grounds and find secret hiding spots to study. On my adventure, I instead found the tanning pool, and designated it as my favorite reading spot. It may not be an academic setting, but it suited my needs. I rather enjoy pulling up my shorts mid-thigh and reading a bit about the history of Hinduism.

As I continued my academic adventure, I discovered more surprising things about the university.

Before I acquainted myself with the ways and workings of college life, I assumed professors would be pompous, distant and unwilling to establish a relationship with me. I soon learned that they would be some of my closest friends. I’ve eaten dinner with many, know the families of a few and view one as a parent. We plan jail raids together, talk about home cooking and issues of family life regularly. At times, the professor-student pull is diminished, and a friendship is established.

I couldn’t have asked for better people to guide me along my academic career.

To some it may seem like I am more partying away my college life and making friends instead of colleagues with my professors and superiors. But that is not the case.

All jesting aside, I have found an academic institution that caters to my needs as an intellectual much like my own parents did as I grew up. My professor-friends challenge me to create new theories about religion and communications, and give me opportunities to fall or succeed.

Although the tanning pool is the center of many jokes around campus, it is a place for me to unwind and have peace while diving into an academic book.

And yes, we have fountains and lawns and Georgian architecture galore, but it adds to the ascetic of the university and makes a great place to live for four years.

I love this school, the culture and the way of life that I have found at SMU. I am constantly in intellectual conversation, surrounded by a gorgeous setting and given opportunities that I would receive at no other place.

Our founders helped to create this environment. So this week, I’m thankful for their work, and not just their work to break the first plot of land to build Dallas Hall, but for their work in creating an institution that grows with time, and progresses each year, putting itself closer and closer to the top of the list of the greatest universities in the United States.

Michael is a sophomore majoring in communications studies and religious studies. 

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