May 15, 2012
DALLAS (SMU) - On Saturday, 43 SMU student-athletes walked across the stage at Moody Coliseum in what was a defining moment of their college careers. It wasn't a game-winning goal or a long touchdown pass, but rather the simple handoff of a piece of paper - a college diploma. It marked the end of one chapter and the beginning of the rest of their lives and also marked the end of another successful academic year for Mustang student-athletes. This year, 31 SMU student-athletes earned the Conference USA Commissioner's Academic Medal, each of whom have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or better, while 205 SMU student-athletes were named to the Commissioner's Honor Roll for maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking on Saturday, told SMU's graduates that as educated persons they have a responsibility to commit themselves to reason and the pursuit of truth.
"You've been encouraged to know that reason and faith are not enemies of one another, but together permit the fullest expression of what it is to be human," she said. "This experience will sustain you for the rest of your lives."
She told the some 2,100 graduates, their families and friends crowded into Moody Coliseum that education "is a force that erases arbitrary divisions of race and class and culture, and unlocks every person's potential. . . Education is transformative. It literally changes lives. That is why people work so hard to become educated. And that is why education has always been the key to human beings and their dreams."
Also on Saturday, Kelvin Beachum, who received his Master's degree from SMU, delivered the commencement address for his class at SMU's Simmons School of Education & Human Development.
To see a slideshow from SMU's Graduation, click here.