SMU keeps getting better

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When choosing a school, I couldn’t help but see that SMU stood out beyond all other universities in Texas.

SMU boasts a great location, beautiful campus and, most importantly, small class sizes.

The access and familiarity with professors makes all the difference, not to mention the learning community that is created by having the same students in your classes each semester.

So when I observed signs of growth around campus, I got concerned. New dorms with a cafeteria? A presidential center that’s sure to draw the attention of high school seniors across the nation? Talk of new academic buildings?

Fortunately, research stifled my fear that future Mustangs would miss out on the personal attention that I’ve had at SMU.

President Turner’s vision for growth mentions nothing of quantity. Rather, quality of academic experience is the prevalent goal in all the construction and renovations.

In fact, enrollment rates have remained largely unchanged since 2002, and no signs of increasing student headcounts are in sight.

SMU is creating an environment that attracts the best and brightest. Administrators set a goal for upping the average SAT score to 1300 by 2015, and this year’s first-year class already bypassed this by having an average of 1302. That’s an increase of 158 points since 2000, and we hope this number will continue to climb.

The Second Century Campaign, SMU’s fundraising effort to enhance Mustangs’ education and college experience, recently raised the goal from $750 million to $1 billion. It may look like we’re spending money on pretty buildings and tennis courts, but over 20 academic programs will receive funding through the campaign.

Even more exciting for students is funding for countless scholarships, which is a must for many students who chose SMU.

For these new perks, on top of maintaining small academic communities, I extend my thanks to the generous donors.

If I thought my college experience was incredible before, I can’t imagine how incoming classes will feel. I looked forward to coming to SMU for years, and it has exceeded my expectations.

Future Mustangs will have so much to gain without compromising what already makes SMU exceptional, and current Mustangs should be proud that our degrees will become more distinguished as the years pass.

Thrall is a junior majoring in journalism and film.

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