Southern Methodist University

Southern Methodist University anniversary records

A Guide to the Collection


Creator: Southern Methodist University
Title: Southern Methodist University anniversary records
Dates: 1940-1987
Abstract: Southern Methodist University celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in the 1965-1966 school year, and its seventy-fifth anniversary in the Spring and Fall semesters of 1986. Celebratory programs and events were conducted campus-wide. The collection contains publicity materials, financial records, and correspondence of both anniversaries. In addition, the collection contains records from SMU’s twenty-fifth anniversary celebration held in 1940.
Accession No: SMU 1994.0236
Extent: 5 boxes (2.5 linear feet)
Language: Material is in English
Repository Southern Methodist University Archives, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Historical Note

Although Southern Methodist University obtained its charter in 1911, the doors of the University were not opened until September 1915. Nineteen hundred and sixty-five marks the fiftieth year of SMU’s program of instruction. This anniversary was commemorated in special publications and events, beginning with June Commencement in1965 and ending with June Commencement of 1966.

Claude Albritton, Dean of the Graduate School of Humanities and Sciences was the Anniversary General Chair and head of the Anniversary Executive Committee. The remaining members of the Anniversary Executive Committee were W.L. Ayres, Vice President of SMU, and Marshall Terry, SMU’s head of public relations. President Willis M. Tate presided during its 50th Anniversary celebration and ceremonies.

There were a number of notable 50th Anniversary Celebration events including a lecture given by Olga Ragusa of Columbia University, commemorating the 700th Anniversary of Dante. The first Women’s Symposium, whose theme was "The Education of Women for Social and Political Leadership" was launched during SMU’s 50th Anniversary season. More generally, unique records of departmental events have been well preserved illustrating the different ways in which SMU celebrated its milestone.

SMU’s 75th Anniversary was given the theme "A Legacy of Learning," referencing the large strides the university had made from 706 students in 1915 to 9,000 students in 1986. The theme also emphasized the significant impact SMU students and alumni have had on the local and state level, making SMU one of the preeminent institutions for undergraduate education in the Southwest.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection is comprised primarily of the publications produced by Southern Methodist University for its 50th Anniversary, and publicity, primarily newspaper articles, produced by the Dallas media. Planning and budgeting records along faculty correspondence, for the Anniversary year are also included.

The other major portion of the collection is comprised of the records of SMU’s 75th Anniversary. This includes faculty correspondence, publicity, and most uniquely, written memoirs of SMU alumni from its 75 year history.

In addition, the collection contains records from SMU’s 25th Anniversary celebration, held in 1940. The committees of the 50th Anniversary celebration used the records of the 25th Anniversary celebration as reference materials for planning the events of SMU’s 50th Anniversary.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into 7 series:
Series 1: 50th Anniversary Scheduling & Planning
Series 2: 50th Anniversary Publications
Series 3: 50th Anniversary Events & Speakers
Series 4: 50th Anniversary Publicity
Series 5: Assorted 50th Anniversary Documents
Series 6: 75th Anniversary Records
Series 7: 25th Anniversary Memorabilia


Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the DeGolyer Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Southern Methodist University -- Anniversaries.
Southern Methodist University -- History.
Universities and colleges -- Texas -- Dallas -- History.

Related Materials

Southern Methodist University origins and history collection, SMU 2006.0378.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Southern Methodist University anniversary records, Southern Methodist University Archives, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information


Processing Information

Collection was re-foldered and re-organized in 2009.

Finding aid written by

Lane J. Sobehrad, May 2009.

Encoded by

Lara Corazalla, 2009.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: 50th Anniversary Scheduling & Planning
9 folders

Box Folder
1 1 SMU Histories
2 Calendar of Events
3 Committees
4 Plans/Schedule
5 Stationery
6 President’s Annual Report
7 Budget/Expenses
8 Mailing Lists & Miscellaneous Expenses
9 Alumni Directory, 1965-1966
10 Miscellaneous Expenses

50th Anniversary Publications
5 folders

Box Folder
1 11 "Golden Anniversary" Pamphlet Calendars
12 The Modern Spirit, April 14 – May 29, 1966
13 The Modern Spirit (5 copies)
14 "Dallas and SMU: A Fifty Year History"
15 "SMU’s Fiftieth"

50th Anniversary Events & Speakers
16 folders

Box Folder
2 1 Commencement & Convocation, 1966
2 The Southern Methodist University Assembly, March 18-20, 1966
3 Homecoming, 1965 (50th Anniversary)
4 Texas Methodist Conference, 50th Anniversary Edition, June 6-9, 1966
5 Women’s Symposium, January 17-28, 1966
6 Texas Academy of Science
7 Department of Sociology & Anthropology
8 Department of Religion
9 Department of Mathematics
10 Department of Engineering
11 Department of Foreign Language & Letters
12 Department of the Arts
13 School of Business Administration
14 School of Law
15 Olga Ragusa, Dante 700th Anniversary Lecture
16 Miscellaneous Speakers & Events

50th Anniversary Publicity
10 folders

Box Folder
3 1 Supplement to Dallas Morning News Articles about SMU
2 Newspaper Clippings: January - February 1966
3 Newspaper Clippings: March - May 1966
4 Newspaper Clippings: June - August 1966
5 Newspaper Clippings: September - October 1966
6 Newspaper Clippings: November - December 1966
Box Folder
4 1 Supplement to Dallas Times Herald 50th Anniversary Feature
2 Dallas Times Herald 50th Anniversary Feature Section (1 of 2)
3 Dallas Times Herald 50th Anniversary Feature Section (2 of 2)
4 SMU 50th Anniversary Book

Assorted 50th Anniversary Documents
1 folder

Box Folder
4 5 Miscellaneous 50th Anniversary Material

75th Anniversary Records
1 Box (13 folders)

Box Folder
5 1 Calendar of Events (1986)
2 Convocation (August 26, 1986)
3 Founders’ Day (January 19, 1986)
4 Committee Meetings (04/25/1985 – 02/25/1986)
5 Stationery
6 Correspondence (12/03/1985 – 10/08/1986)
7 Press Releases (11/11/1986 – 01/13/1986)
8 Publications
9 News Clippings
10 History of SMU
11 Memories of SMU (see folder for list of contributors)
12 Miscellaneous
13 Assorted SMU Histories

25th Anniversary Memorabilia
1 folder

Box Folder
5 14 25th Anniversary Materials, 1940