Southern Methodist University (SMU) is a private university in University Park, Texas (an enclave of Dallas, Texas). Founded in 1911 by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, SMU operates campuses in University Park, Plano, and Taos, New Mexico. SMU is owned by the South Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church. 6,000 of the University’s 11,000 students are undergraduates. The university was chartered on April 17, 1911 by the five Annual Conferences in Texas of the United Methodist Church. Classes were originally planned to start in 1913 but were postponed until 1915.
SMU was established as the unsuccessful attempt to relocate Southwestern University from Georgetown, Texas to either Fort Worth or Dallas. The first relocation effort by Polytechnic College president Hiram A. Boaz and spearheaded by Southwestern president Robert Stewart Hyer involved merging Southwestern with Polytechnic College (now Texas Wesleyan University). The post-merger university would retain the Southwestern name while occupying Polytechnic’s campus in Fort Worth.