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DeGolyer Library

SMU Archives

SMU Presidents and Presidential Papers

Each presidential collection is different, but most have biographical materials and speeches. To locate materials, refer to the collection numbers below. The following list does not include interim presidents.

Finding aids can be simple box listings to detailed online encoded archival materials. Check with the Archivist for access to these and other materials.

Robert S. Hyer

Dr. Robert S. Hyer

1911 – 1920

Although Southern Methodist University’s first president Robert S. Hyer served a relatively short time, he made a very long impact on the university’s history.  He personally hired most of the first faculty and was responsible for the physical “look” of the campus. After serving as President, Hyer continued to teach physics until his death in 1929.

Finding aid available.
SMU 1994.0203

Bishop Hiram Abiff Boaz

Bishop Hiram Abiff Boaz

1920 – 1922

SMU President (later Bishop) Hiram A. Boaz had a long history with the University beginning as the first Vice President and full-time fund raiser hired by SMU in 1913, serving as President for 2 years, and always a supporter of the university until his death in 1962.

Finding aid available.
SMU 1995.0252

Dr. Charles C.Selecman

Dr. Charles C. Selecman

1923 – 1938

Dr. Charles Selecman served the University ably during the Depression when funds were hard to find.  He built the campus from two buildings to eleven buildings—and added  business, law and engineering schools. After his tenure at SMU, Selecman was elected as a bishop to the Methodist Church.

Finding aid available.
SMU 1995.0247

Dr. Umphrey Lee

Dr. Umphrey Lee

1939 – 1954

Umphrey Lee served as the first president of SMU student government. Later he was a very popular president at SMU during World War II.  He oversaw our V12 program and our postwar growth with Trailerville.   After his retirement as President, he served as Chancellor from 1954 – 1958.

Finding aid available.
SMU 1995.0248

Dr. Willis Tate

Dr. Willis Tate

1954 – 1972; 1974 – 1975

Chancellor from 1971 – 1976.

Finding aid available
SMU 1995.0250 and SMU 1995.0250x

Dr. Paul Hardin

Dr. Paul Hardin

1972 – 1974

Finding aid available
SMU 1995.0249

Dr. James H. Zumberge

Dr. James H. Zumberge

1975 – 1980

Finding aid available
SMU 1998.0326

Dr. L. Donald Shields

Dr. L. Donald Shields

1980 – 1986

Finding aid available
SMU 1995.0253

Dr. A. Kenneth Pye

Dr. A. Kenneth Pye

1987 – 1994

SMU 1995.0251, SMU 2006.0381

Gerald Turner

Dr. R. Gerald Turner

1995 –

SMU 1996.0274