RBG, MLK, FDR, JFK, IBM, SMU: Which One Doesn’t Belong?

A full-page ad in the April 1st issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education (p. 19) boldly proclaims the accomplishments of SMUNowhere on that page is the full name of the school spelled out: Southern Methodist University.  Clearly, the ad assumes that readers of the Chronicle perceive Southern Methodist University as the SMU.

Hold on there just a minute, buckaroos.

How about Saint Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota?  Or Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia?  Or Singapore Management University in….um….Singapore?  Have you considered Sikkim Manipal University in Gangtok, India?  Of course, there’s Shanghai Maritime University in China.  And let’s not forget Svenska Missionskyrkans Ungdom, a prominent Christian Youth Organization in Sweden.

R. Gerald Turner, President of Southern Methodist University, makes no apologies for the assumption:  “We’re the only SMU that matters.  Our endowment is over $2 billion, and our football team would crush a team from any of those other schools.  Hell, we’d take on TWO of their teams at the same time — 22 versus 11 — and still obliterate them.  And don’t get me started on that unpronounceable Scandinavian youth group.  Playing them would be like driving a road paver over a box of Swedish Fish gummies.  All that would be left is a stain on the asphalt.”

A bit callous, perhaps, but probably correct.