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 celebrates women’s role

One little-known fact in SMU’s history is that the first student on the rolls for the inaugural fall semester in 1915 was a woman named Flora Lowery. This may seem like an insignificant bit of trivia, but it actually demonstrates something important about SMU as a community. SMU was – and continues to be – way ahead of the curve, creating a voice and space for women and women’s programs from its earliest years.

Women have been part of SMU’s history from the moment it opened its doors, and have contributed all along to making what it is today.

Stories like this one are worth telling, so on Thursday we will take time to honor the women of SMU and the myriad ways they have participated in institutional life over the past one hundred years.

As part of the Centennial Celebration, the Graduate Women’s Organization is excited to host an evening of storytelling and history-in-the-making, and we hope you’ll join us.

The event will feature a panel discussion, Q&A, and a reception, all hosted by the GWO in partnership with Women’s and Gender Studies, the Women’s Center, and Dedman College, with additional funding from the Student Senate and DeGolyer Library.

The event, “Telling Our Story: 100 Years of Women at SMU,” will gather in one room some current women faculty, staff and students, as well as alumnae and retired faculty, to share the rich history of women’s organizations and programs on campus from the Faculty Wives’ Club of the early years to current groups like the President’s Commission on the Status of Women.

The event will also celebrate some of the vital programs that the university has funded over the years-the Women’s Center for Gender and Pride Indicatives, Women’s and Gender Studies and the Women’s Symposium, to name a few.

We want to recognize the invaluable role that these programs play in the life of the university and honor the individuals who were there at their inception, as well as those who continue that important work today.

Why, you may ask, is it important that we take the time to celebrate in particular the contributions of women to the university? We do not mean to suggest that men have not played an important role in the first one hundred years of SMU; they certainly have, and their story is already being told.

What we hope to accomplish with this event is the addition of a story that still needs to be told, to ensure that the recorded history of SMU represents the experiences and impact of all the members of this community.

To this end, over the next few years, the ‘100 Years of Women’ Centennial Committee will host a series of events that will tell the stories of SMU women, their contributions to the life of the university, and their experiences as students, staff, faculty, and administrators.

We hope that the event this Thursday will be a jumping-off point for many more years of recognition of SMU women. We recognize that the speakers on Thursday’s program represent only a limited number of the many organizations on campus that serve SMU’s women, so we extend an invitation to each of you to come to the event and add your story to the conversation.

The DeGolyer Library has graciously made resources available to archive the event to make this narrative history part of the official record of the university, and we want that record to include the beautiful diversity of experiences of women at SMU.

Please, come and help us tell our story – April 19, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in McCord Auditorium. A reception will follow.

Kristina is a junior P.h.D student studing English.

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