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SMU's $5 Mil Closer to Having Sophomores Live on Campus So They Will "Learn" Together

The Residential Commons complex, which will insist SMU sophomores live next to the football stadium
The Residential Commons complex, which will insist SMU sophomores live next to the football stadium
Courtesy Southern Methodist University

Visited the SMU website today only to discover that two Denver-living Mustang grads have kicked in $5 mil toward what the Hilltop's calling the Residential Commons complex, a years-in-the-making project designed to keep sophomores on campus -- so they can "live" and "learn" together. Ah, so that's what they're calling it these days.

Turns out, that's been in the works since '04, says university spokesman Kent Best, when a task force recommended that second-year students be required to live on campus when housing came available. Three years after that, he tells Unfair Park, the university was told to go ahead and start a-plannin'. Last September, Best says, the SMU Board of Trustees signed off on the requirement -- and the Residential Commons complex. Which is why the freshman class of 2013 will be living on campus come 2014, in the complex partially funded by Elisabeth and William Armstrong of Colorado, who met when they were students at SMU.

The complex, as you can see in the rendering Best was kind enough to send our way, will be planted right next to Gerald J. Ford Stadium, and is expected to hold 'round 1,250 students come start of school 2014. As Liz Armstrong says, "The new sophomore residency requirement really should be called the 'sophomore residency privilege' -- it will be such a wonderful experience for students living there." Live and learn.


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