It's all in the family
Published: Friday, September 16, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
It's Family Weekend and students' families are traveling from all over the country to see what life is like on the Hilltop.
But, for some of these parents and grandparents, Family Weekend is a chance to come back to the place they also called home for four years.
For freshman J.D. Mahaffey, Hilltop history runs especially deep.
His great-great-grandfather was on the founding committee for SMU and served as an interim professor at the university's opening.
His grandmother attended the school with Doak Walker. His father and two of his aunts are also proud alum.
"From the construction of Dallas Hall, to the most recent construction of the Turner Centennial Quad, history is being made each day here at SMU, and I am so blessed to be a part of it," Mahaffey said. "While going to a school with such a strong family connection has many pressures involved, I couldn't imagine myself at any other university in the world."
Senior Katie Perkins is also a fourth generation Mustang. Her grandmother was even the recipient of the prestigious SMU "M" award.
"It is really neat to be able to talk to my grandparents and my Dad about traditions and how things were when they went to school," Perkins said. "It is also cool to share in the rivalry against TCU, a love of Peruna and the best dressed band in the land."
Perkins' dad was in the Mustang Band, so she added that she had some familial obligation to include that last part.
Senior Daly Hite's parents are SMU alum.
They look back on their own time on the Hilltop fondly, though they never pushed her to come here.
"I initially looked at SMU only because my parents had gone here and were coming out to Dallas anyway, but I quickly realized that it was exactly where I wanted to go to school," Hite said. "It just worked out that we all felt the same about SMU."
Hite's parents mark their 25th reunion at this year's homecoming.
"It's fun when they come to visit because we are all excited to be in Dallas and everyone has something that they have to do," Hite said. "My dad cannot come to Dallas without going to Snuffers, and my mom can't come without going to Campisi's."
The SMU stories families pass down from generation to generation help to make campus special.
"My favorite story is how my grandparents kissed for the first time on the steps of Dallas Hall," Perkins said. "Years later, my father proposed to my mother also on the steps of Dallas Hall."
Fraternity parties, Boulevard adventures and other Mustang traditions help tie generations of SMU students together.
"My aunt actually called me the other day after she saw I went to Beta's Eurotrash," Mahaffey said. "Believe it or not, the annual Eurotrash party was here when she attended SMU. It's really hard to imagine my aunt went to the same party I went to over 20 years later."
For Perkins, keeping it all in the family is a big part of why she loves SMU.
"I have grown up coming to SMU football games on Saturdays," Perkins said. "The school has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I didn't want to go anywhere else. I wanted to continue my family tradition and become a Mustang."