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  #1  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2013, 10:16 PM
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Universities: Southern Methodist University ("The Harvard of the South") Dallas, TX.

I'm not sure if its just me but I am fascinated by Universities. I think it stems (like a lot of things) from my childhood. I grew up in a little East Texas town called Mineola and always wanted to go to the University of Texas in Austin. I would go there for school trips and watch BMX videos where they would ride around Austin and UT (Don't know if anyone knows this but Austin is somewhat of the BMX capital of the world). In later years I realized I probably needed to study in HS if I wanted to get into UT. I ended up graduating from the University of North Texas which while being a pretty nice school (especially for what my degree was in) is certainly not on par with UT. I think what still interests me in universities is three fold.

One, is the fact that a university is somewhat of a self sufficient city within a city. It has its own neighborhoods, government, architectural styles, History, etc. Therefor, it makes sense that if I am interested in those details of cities, I would be about Universities as well.

Two, is that a graduate of a university remains a part of that community for the rest of his or her life. Its like belonging to an exclusive club no matter what you do or where you go. My wife graduated from TCU, which is a much more well known and prideful school than UNT. Whenever she runs into somebody that went to TCU there is an instant bond that is already formed between them. That's something I always found really impressive.

Three, the competitive and prideful nature a person feels toward their school can be a pretty fun thing. I'm not so sure this is as prevalent outside the U.S. but for whatever reason universities here have become something like individual nations. These nations (or city states or whatever you want to call them) are all competing with each other to prove which is the best and whose allegiance is more worthy. Part of this is because of the popularity of collegiate athletics (Especially football & Basketball) but academics can be just as competitive. For my school (UNT) we take a lot of pride in our music program which is top notch. Its such a big deal that almost everyone I know who never went to college (some have never even steeped foot on a campus) still claim loyalty to some university. They buy their t-shirts, root for their sports teams, and brag about the academics, all while never once stepping foot on the campus (allot I know have never even been to the state of the school they love). Why would somebody do this? I think they want to be a part of the community, the exclusive club, these schools have become.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I find the unique characteristics of schools to be as interesting as that of cities and I doubt I'm the only one here.

I wanted to start sharing some tours of campuses nearby with you guys because I have found that I frequently have an image of a school in my head without ever seeing the campus. I get it from the mascot, the conference it belongs to, the region or city its in, the stadium, and the people I know who attended. However, The image in my head is often drastically different from the reality.

So in an effort to get the a college tour up and running on this forum, I present Southern Methodist University. SMU is a private university nestled right in the heart of Dallas, TX. It was established in 1911 and has an enrollment of around 12,000 students and 700 faculty. Basically this is a really damn nice university full of rich, beautiful people. In fact, it costs more to go here than Yale. The academics are great too though and there is lots of partying going on.

As far as the campus goes, it is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. It's located in Highland Park which is the nicest part of Dallas and probably one of the nicest neighborhoods in the U.S. The campus is full of trees and greenery that is all kept groomed to perfection (In fact, I found getting pictures of the main boulevard and the buildings off it really difficult because there are just too many trees blocking the view!). It really gives you a feel of an Ivy league university with gold spires and columned red brick buildings.

So without further banter here are the photos:


The very northern most part of campus from a the top of a parking garage (very attractive and covered in red brick of course).





Looking west and Northwest toward Preston Center Skyline.





Looking South toward downtown Dallas.







Onto another parking garage. Northeastern side of campus.















Yet another parking garage roof. This time a bit more central east of campus toward the George W Bush Library.





The SMU mascot is the Mustang.





Looking east at band practice.





The new George W Bush library.



The renovation of the arena is going on to the right.





The Greek housing is swanky.









SMU emblem.



Geaorge W Bush Presidential Libraby.







SMU's signature building lies at the northern end of the blvd.





SMU chapel.





Meadows art museum.

























Hope you enjoyed the tour! It was not quite complete but I didn't want to get out of the car..

Last edited by Modifyourself; Aug 19, 2013 at 11:13 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2013, 10:30 PM
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a lot
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  #3  
Old Posted Aug 20, 2013, 12:09 AM
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It is has a nice, consistent look; very subdued and Methodist looking.

Their law school just accepted a paper I wrote for a journal they publish ... this makes me feel as though it's almost as good as being in a Harvard Law School journal.

I think you're correct that in the U.S. there are so many universities that cater to so many distinct 'market niches' that they do tend to have the characteristics of nations in a certain sense. Which college you go to is the product of so many years of student effort, parental saving and general worrying that it really has meaning down there. In Canada, it is getting to be a little bit more like that but in my day we pretty well all just went, without much thought, to whatever was closest. There was little sense that any university was any different than any other and in any case there were fewer post-secondary institutions in the entire country than you would find in some individual U.S. states.
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  #4  
Old Posted Aug 20, 2013, 1:32 AM
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Thanks for the photo tour. Never been there. It does look somewhat eastern, and is a very pretty campus.
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  #5  
Old Posted Aug 20, 2013, 7:37 PM
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I stayed at SMU once. Beautiful campus, and it definitely has its picturesque spots. Great location too! I enjoyed my time there.

"Harvard of the South" has been used much more frequently in reference to other universities. I think Vanderbilt, Rice, Duke, UVA, Emory. Lesser so are in reference to Tulane, Ole Miss, W&M. This is the first time I've heard of anyone refer to SMU as HotS. Although with the cost of attending SMU, you would think you're paying for an Ivy League university.
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Old Posted Aug 20, 2013, 8:30 PM
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Nice campus and great pictures, though I've only heard "Harvard of the South" in reference to Duke.
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Old Posted Aug 20, 2013, 9:35 PM
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I also enjoyed the photos a lot but have never heard SMU regarded as the Harvard of the South. I think of Vanderbilt, Duke, Rice, or Emory when I think of that moniker.
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Old Posted Aug 20, 2013, 10:19 PM
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Thank you for the photo tour. I have been on the campus and remember it being very nice. I couldn't believe the Greek housing. I too share your love of universities and university campuses and visit as many as possible, most recently Middlebury College, Columbia, Harvard, U of Arizona. All very nice but then again I don't think I've toured a campus I did not like.
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Old Posted Aug 21, 2013, 12:05 AM
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Well done. My observation is centered on the look of the older buildings in relation to the newer ones. In my part of the world, the patina of time and the harshness of winter, the dampness,would dirty the bricks and stone to a degree not seen in the southwest. It is funny how a campus in Vermont or NY state or Quebec w the same architecture looks a lot
older.
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  #10  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2013, 2:48 AM
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great pictures of a very nice campus i've never heard much about previously. i agree with all of your sentiments, especially this - "what I'm trying to say is that I find the unique characteristics of schools to be as interesting as that of cities and I doubt I'm the only one here." i've been thinking about making some photo threads of some of the urban campuses around here as well - emory and ga tech especially.

dallas and its tree canopy looks beautiful in the background as well.
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  #11  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2013, 4:57 AM
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SMU is more like the BC of the South but with fewer Catholics.

In all seriousness, SMU has really done a great job of improving itself. In the 1980s, it had a 90% acceptance rate that was more or less based on the ability to pay. The overall quality of the student body has really improved.

It's been interesting to see TCU grow into what SMU used to be (a snobby school full of rich kids that aren't overly gifted academically).
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Old Posted Aug 21, 2013, 2:52 PM
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Geaorge W Bush Presidential Libraby.

Good one!

I'll echo the comments about SMU being the "Harvard of the South"... I'm sure SMU would like to think that, but it certainly is not the case by any stretch of the imagination... a good school though. And I suppose having Bush 43's library on campus eliminates it from ever achieving that distinction.
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Old Posted Aug 21, 2013, 3:45 PM
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Also the only football school to have received the "death penalty" from the NCAA. And that's saying something.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Souther...otball_scandal

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Old Posted Aug 21, 2013, 5:51 PM
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The "Harvard of the south" has defiantly been used many times for a variety of schools. I think it depends on where your located as to which one you hear it about. Around North Texas you hear it in regards to SMU.

The GWB library is actually really impressive. I actually liked it more than the Clinton Library which is also really neat. I don't think having it on SMU's campus means SMU is any more conservative than any other school. In fact, there was a lot of student protesting to it being built. Overall though its good for the economy and I think it adds credibility to the school as a notable university.

Not sure I agree with the statement about TCU. They have also been raising acceptance standards over the years. Yes its generally rich beautiful people who attend but its even more so with SMU. There are snobby people everywhere but of the couple of dozen I know who went to TCU there are none. Obviously your experience with TCU has been different than mine though.
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Old Posted Aug 21, 2013, 6:02 PM
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Pretty campus - always has been - and the redbrick colonial architecture is reminiscent of parts of the Harvard campus. Academically, it is not the Harvard of anything, however.
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Old Posted Aug 23, 2013, 4:04 PM
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Quote:
"Harvard of the South" has been used much more frequently in reference to other universities. I think Vanderbilt, Rice, Duke, UVA, Emory.
Maybe but Harvard is the "UCLA of the North."
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Old Posted Aug 24, 2013, 6:57 AM
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The Dallas skyline looks great from there.
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Old Posted Aug 24, 2013, 7:59 PM
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Nice photos of SMU, I decided visited this campus once a few years back during the holiday Christmas break it, and there was not in soul in sight. I was really impressed with the campus and enjoyed what I did see. The neighborhood surrounding the school is also quite beautiful.
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Old Posted Aug 28, 2013, 5:31 AM
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Originally Posted by SouthmoreAve View Post
Although with the cost of attending SMU, you would think you're paying for an Ivy League university.
I think this is a common misconception about Ivy League schools, which are no more expensive than their peer private institutions. Moreover, Yale and Harvard are probably the most generous schools in the country when it comes to financial aid.
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Old Posted Aug 29, 2013, 1:15 AM
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Great pics. Love the campus and the Park Cities area in general. Ford Stadium is also a very underrated place to take in a game and it has been made all the better since June Jones arrived and put a better product on the field.
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