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
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Looking back on all 2008 had to offer

Congratulations for another great year, Mustangs! Some of you have five finals and multiple papers due this coming week, while others have one or two tests and most business majors are already done. Whether you are almost done or already done, I want to send you a word of encouragement.

This year, the Hilltop buzzed with activity. Some of the most prominent physical changes have included renovations of residence halls and academic buildings like Caruth Hall, as well as construction of new buildings like Simmons Hall.

It’s almost hard to remember what SMU looked like just four years ago. Imagine how some of our alumni must feel when they came back for homecoming this year. While student life activity on weekends may not reflect it well, the SMU campus is alive and growing.

You may remember my excitement from a past article written about the unveiling of the public phase of the Second Century campaign: SMU Unbridled. I saw it as the start of a new era at SMU. I still think that. I draw encouragement and inspiration from it as I fight off bad study habits and procrastination.

So what’s the big deal? Sure, SMU has a bunch of wealthy alumni and friends who have donated millions of dollars this year. Unless I am getting a personal check, why should I even care? Who cares that we have had journalism majors attend the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primaries at the beginning of this year? Or the fact that our theatre students showcased their own art in California? We had a task force that took a look at substance abuse prevention and raised many questions about campus quality, student life, and even academic performance.

A few things I reflect on from Spring 2008 – elections, Tate Lectures with Martin Sheen, the Woodruffs and Tony Blair, the Bush Library, Dr. Etter and June Jones, and graduation (right turns only).

Mustangs were all over the news this summer with So You Think You Can Dance?, SMU athletes in Beijing for the Olympics and even the change in football uniform colors. SMU and its students are in the news constantly. Be proud – we’re kind of a big deal. Looking back on this fall season, the football team let many of us down, but our alumni showed that they still have “Mustang Fever.”

Now why in the world does any of this matter to you? SMU has a new reputation. America is starting to realize this. The world is too. As a result, SMU is ramping up its game to meet the new expectations of students and the public. SMU students are not just men and women looking for a pretty campus where they can socialize for four or more years. SMU students are bright minds from diverse locations and backgrounds that have the potential to tackle the problems and changes the world needs to see today. As students, we have the ability to make SMU greater than it already is. This is our challenge. Alumni believe that SMU will become greater with better facilities, faculty, and financial support. They believe that we are capable of becoming an institution that will lead the way in addressing the global problems humanity faces. So the gauntlet has been thrown. How will you respond?

My encouragement to you is to not blow off finals. Take a break. Think about why we even have finals.

Continue to pursue your education with fervor – seek truth. Veritas liberabit vos. Don’t just go home this winter break and tune out the world. Use your free time to think about the bigger picture and ask questions. Our generation is an important generation. We must shoulder a lot of the problems of our parents and grandparents. How prepared do you feel to face the real world? How is SMU making you a better person? What should SMU be doing to ensure our success? I look forward to hearing your answers.

I hope you feel inspired to know that hundreds of alumni, who studied in the very same study rooms and cafes, are waiting for current students to seize the great opportunities set before them. May you be encouraged to be more than just another college student.

I have thoroughly enjoyed writing and sharing my thoughts this semester. I’m not a good writer, but I wanted to share. I’ve decided to continue writing next semester. Let me know what you want to read about. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Daniel Liu is a graduate engineering management student. He can be reached for comment at [email protected].

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