Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Historical Note

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Arrangement of the Collection

Restrictions

Access Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

General Information on the Origins of Southern Methodist University, 1911-1986

Founding of SMU to Ownby Stadium Accident, 1915-1940 (also includes material on SMU 20th Anniversary Celebrations, 1935)

Inauguration of Willis M. Tate as SMU President up until the SMU 60th Anniversary Celebrations, 1955-1970

SMU 60th Anniversary Celebrations and Visit of President Gerald R. Ford, to the Persian Gulf War, 1971-1991

Southern Methodist University

Southern Methodist University origins and history collection

A Guide to the Collection



Overview

Creator: Southern Methodist University
Title: Southern Methodist University origins and history collection
Inclusive Dates: 1911-1996
Bulk Dates: 1911-1930
Abstract: The Southern Methodist University origins and history collection consists of documents, school publications, and news articles relating to the founding of the university, university events, the history of SMU, and world events as related to SMU. The content of the collection is varied and includes the governing documents of the university, newspaper articles and clippings (including, for example, issues of the SMU Daily Campus from the time of the JFK assassination and the Persian Gulf War), and programs and brochures released for various celebrations marking school anniversaries.
Accession No: SMU 2006.0378
Extent: 4 boxes (2.5 linear feet)
Language: Material is in English
Repository Southern Methodist University Archives, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Historical Note

Southern Methodist University was established in Dallas by an Educational Commission appointed in 1910 by the five Annual Conferences of The Methodist Episcopal Church, South in Texas. These Annual Conferences confirmed the work of the Commission, which resulted in the University being chartered by the state of Texas on April 17, 1911.

The University was designated the connectional institution for all Conferences west of the Mississippi River by action of the Methodist General Conference in 1914. First classes were held in 1915. By an act of the Uniting Conference of The Methodist Church in 1939, the University is operated by Trustees elected by Methodist conferences in the South Central Jurisdiction, comprising the states of Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

In 2007, Southern Methodist University is on the verge of commemorating its 100-year anniversary, to be celebrated in 2011. Boasting an enrollment of roughly 11,000 students, SMU confers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees through seven schools: humanities and sciences; business; performing, visual, and communication arts; engineering; education and human development; law; and theology.

Return to the Table of Contents


Scope and Contents of the Collection

The SMU origins and history collection contains university documents and news clippings that pertain to the establishment of the university, as well as notable events during the life and times of the school. The collection is not entirely confined strictly to campus news and events. It does contain information detailing world events from the perspective of SMU; for example, how the SMU community reacted to the Persian Gulf War of 1991.

The papers date roughly from 1915 until 1991, but it is important to note that the materials contained are not spread evenly over those years. The founding and beginning years of SMU are amply documented, but there is not much information covering the 1940s through the mid-1950s.

The records have been organized into four series in chronological order and are generally divided by time period, marked by notable school events. The first series is an assortment of general school information covering the entire span of years of the collection. University governing documents are included here, but the bulk of this series holds pamphlets and articles written for various occasions that give general overviews of school history. Other records detail Dallas Morning News stories on SMU, the granting of tax-exempt status, and information on the university’s early curriculum.

Series Two covers the establishment of SMU in 1915 until the Ownby Stadium bleacher collapse in 1940. Most of this series covers the first year or two of SMU, but the 1920s athletic scandal (in which the university athletic program was accused of offering money to athletes to come play at SMU) is also included, as is a paper written in the 1980s detailing SMU history during the Great Depression Years.

Series Three begins with materials from the inauguration of Willis Tate as SMU President in 1955, and goes through the 1960s. Included are campus newspaper editorials from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, and publications from the SMU 50th Anniversary celebrations. Series 4, finally, covers the 1970s through the early 1990s: the SMU 60th and 75th Anniversary celebrations, the campus visit of President Gerald R. Ford in 1975, academic reports and initiatives from SMU President A. Kenneth Pye, and the Persian Gulf War.

Return to the Table of Contents


 

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into 4 series:
Series 1: General Information on the Origins of Southern Methodist University, 1911-1986
Series 2: Founding of SMU to Ownby Stadium Accident, 1915-1940 (also includes material on SMU 20th Anniversary Celebrations, 1935)
Series 3: Inauguration of Willis M. Tate as SMU President up until the SMU 60th Anniversary Celebrations, 1955-1970
Series 4: SMU 60th Anniversary Celebrations and Visit of President Gerald R. Ford, to the Persian Gulf War, 1971-1991

Return to the Table of Contents


Restrictions

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.

Return to the Table of Contents


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 --History.
Universities and colleges --Texas --Dallas --History.

Return to the Table of Contents


Related Material

Southern Methodist University anniversaries collection (SMU 1994.0236)

Return to the Table of Contents


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Southern Methodist University origins and history collection, Southern Methodist University Archives, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Deposit.

Processing Information

Finding aid written by Paul H. Santa Cruz, 2007.

Encoded by

Lara Corazalla, 2007.

Return to the Table of Contents


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series 1:
General Information on the Origins of Southern Methodist University, 1911-1986

Box Folder
1 1 Correspondence Regarding the Initial Endowment of Southern Methodist University, and the Filming of the School’s Opening, 1915
2 Correspondence, Newspaper Articles on the Founding, Early Years of SMU, 1911-1974
3 Historical Brochures, Speeches, Other Material Commemorating the Founding of SMU, 1929-1986
4 Charter and Bylaws of SMU, and Amendments (also includes material from the incorporation of SMU, 1967)
5 Charter and Bylaws of SMU (and amendments)
6 Bylaws (pamphlets with SMU charter and bylaws, dates ranging from 1918-1945)
7 Ideals and Aims of SMU
8 The Campus, 1913 (fundraising publication)
Box Folder
2 1 History of SMU—pamphlets, newspaper articles, correspondence
2 Stories about SMU from the Dallas Morning News (bibliographic information and summaries)
3 Early Curriculum (two brief papers, one from sociology department, other from philosophy department)
4 Tax-Exempt Status of SMU (undated)
5 Logos, History of SMU
6 Presidents of SMU (includes one photograph with group of Presidents Selecman, Boaz, Lee, and Tate)

Return to the Table of Contents




 

Series 2:
Founding of SMU to Ownby Stadium Accident, 1915-1940 (also includes material on SMU 20th Anniversary Celebrations, 1935)

Box Folder
2 7 Correspondence Regarding the Establishment of SMU, 1915 (includes a letter with SMU tuition fees in the school’s early years; also two manuscripts: one on the initial course of study for women at SMU, the other a written history of the school with statements from witnesses at the school’s founding
8 Envelope with Articles from Texas Christian Advocate and The King’s Messenger regarding the founding of SMU, 1912-1916
9 Envelope with Typed Excerpts from the Texas Christian Advocate regarding the location of the University in Dallas, 1910
Box Folder
3 1 Dr. Pepper and R.S. Lazenby
2 Goals and Preliminary Plans for the Opening of SMU, 1911-1915
3 SMU, First Entering Class
4 Founders Day, 1916-1929
5 Founders Day, 1929-1987
6 World War I and Postwar Conditions
7 SMU Athletic Controversy, 1920s (controversy over charges that SMU was attempting to improve its athletic program by paying athletes to come to SMU)
8 SMU Athletic Controversy, part 2
9 SMU During the Great Depression Years (report compiled by history student, 1989)
Box Folder
4 1 SMU 20th Anniversary Material, 1935 (announcements, newspaper articles, etc.)
2 SMU 20th Anniversary Material, part 2
3 SMU 20th Anniversary Material, part 3
4 Ownby Stadium Bleacher Crash, 1940 (photos)

Return to the Table of Contents




 

Series 3:
Inauguration of Willis M. Tate as SMU President up until the SMU 60th Anniversary Celebrations, 1955-1970

Box Folder
4 5 Inauguration of Willis M. Tate as SMU President, 1955
6 "Leftist" Charges Against SMU, 1960-1961
7 Semi-Centennial Celebration, 1961 (includes newspaper articles, pamphlets from 50-year anniversary of SMU)
8 President’s Report Material, 1961 (includes several fold-outs with color photographs of SMU campus in 1961)
9 Seminar on Relevance of History to Learning & Wisdom (Transcription), Part of Semi-Centennial 1961-1965
10 The SMU Campus Issue (11/27/63) on the Assassination of President Kennedy (11/22/63)
11 SMU’s Status as a "University"
12 Year-End Roundup, 12/24/69 (School News & Accomplishments)

Return to the Table of Contents




 

Series 4:
SMU 60th Anniversary Celebrations and Visit of President Gerald R. Ford, to the Persian Gulf War, 1971-1991

Box Folder
4 13 SMU in the Seventies
14 1975 Speech & Visit of President Gerald R. Ford on the Occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Founding of SMU
15 Publications, Statements, Other Materials on the 75th Anniversary of SMU, 1987
16 SMU 75th Anniversary, Continued
17 The Daily Campus Issues with School Highlights; 1988, 1989
18 Academic Priorities Task Force Report, 1989 (includes President A. Kenneth Pye’s Recommendations on Academic Priorities, Financial Feasibilities, etc.)
19 Academic Reform, Result of President Pye’s Proposals, 1989-1990
20 School Releases, Newspaper Articles on Campus Reaction to Persian Gulf War, 1991

Return to the Table of Contents