Happenings on the Hill

Meadows Adds Six Artworks

The Meadows Museum at SMU has acquired six new works for its collection: five Spanish drawings from the 17th and 18th centuries, including one by Alonso Cano (1601–1667), and one terracotta sculpture by the Catalan Modernist Agustín Querol y Subirats (1864–1909).

“We are looking forward to the scholarship that will result from studying these newly acquired works alongside those already in our collection,” said Mark Roglán, the Linda P. and William A. Custard director of the museum.


Seismic Studies Gift
Brian Stump
Brian Stump

SMU received $18 million from the U.S. Department of Defense to continue global observations and research using acoustic and seismic waves to understand better when nuclear tests, massive earthquakes, and other significant events happen.

The award for the Seismic-Acoustic Monitoring Program IV is the largest ever given to SMU for research. 

SMU seismologist Brian Stump and his research team will use a combination of low-frequency acoustic waves and seismic waves to figure out if the occasional burps and shudders that travel through and around the Earth are caused by human-made events like a nuclear explosion test or natural events like earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.

“In the cases of earthquakes and volcanoes, the waves provide new insight into the physical processes that accompany these natural events,” said Stump. “For human-induced events, the waves similarly allow us to locate the sources as well as the processes that accompany the events.”


‘Still Leaving Kids Behind’

The latest issue of the quarterly digital publication The Catalyst: A Journal of Ideas from the George W. Bush Institute explores an educational challenge: “We’re Still Leaving Kids Behind.”

Progress was made since No Child Left Behind passed, but the racial equity gap in education still exists — and COVID threatens to widen it, the institute reports.

It includes interviews and editorials from Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF; Virginia Walden Ford, education advocate; Derrell Bradford, executive vice president of 50CAN; Chris Stewart, CEO of brightbeam; Keri Rodrigues, co-founder of the National Parents Union; Richard Whitmire, education author, and Holly Kuzmich, executive director of the Bush Institute. Learn more at bushcenter.org.


Chief Diversity Officer
Maria Dixon Hall
Maria Dixon Hall

Moving forward to accomplish shared goals developed with Black students, faculty, staff, and alumni, SMU has promoted Maria Dixon Hall, senior advisor to the president for campus cultural intelligence initiatives and associate professor of corporate communications in the Meadows School of the Arts, to chief diversity officer, a newly created post.

“Naming her to this position strengthens SMU’s mission to embrace excellence, integrity, intellectual freedom, open dialogue, diversity, and inclusion,” SMU President R. Gerald Turner said.

Dixon Hall will collaborate with SMU faculty, students, administrators, and staff and to align efforts to recruit, retain, support, and promote diverse faculty, staff, and students.

She said, “I believe that as Mustangs, we are more than able to meet this challenge together in authentic and collaborative ways that affirm the sacred worth of every student, staff, and faculty member.”

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William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at [email protected]. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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