Issuu on Google+

Advertisement FRIDAY NOVEMBER 30, 2012 FRIDAY High 77, Low 61 SATURDAY High 81, Low 63 VOLUME 98 ISSUE 44 FIRST COPY FREE, ADDITIONAL COPIES 50 CENTS ACADEMICS Courtesy of Courtney Schellin Students learn to scuba dive in WELL 2144. Students dive into their curriculum COURTNEY SCHELLIN Contributing Writer Courtesy of Keith Austell The Margaret Hill Hunt Bridge connected West Dallas to the rest of the city with its opening in March 2012. What’s behind a bridge? KELSEY CHARLES Associate Sports Editor There is a new addition to the Dallas skyline in 2012: the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge opened its lanes to traffic in March. The architectural elements of the newly minted masterpiece and its meticulous design is evident as one stands beneath the massive structure. As impressive as the new bridge may be, there is more to its history than meets the eye. The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, which stands about the height of the W Hotel, was initiated from a bond that was passed in the late 1990s by then mayor, Ron Kirk, as an effort to connect the city to its suburbs and bridge the gap between the parts of Dallas that the Trinity River had separated for years. The initiative later became known as the Trinity River Corridor Plan and will eventually involve the construction of multiple bridges, outdoor trails, parks and other public works projects throughout the Trinity River Corridor. The mastermind behind the Hunt Hill Bridge design is world-renowned Spanish artist, architect and engineer, Santiago Calatrava. “I was so inspired by him and the elegance and beauty of his designs,” Gail Thomas, the president and executive officer of the Trinity Trust, said. The structure is Calatrava’s first vehicular bridge to be built in the United States and the first steel bridge to cross the Trinity River. Calatrava is no stranger to Dallas though; his perpetually moving sculpture, “The Wave”, can be seen on the street level of SMU’s campus in front of the Meadows Museum. “The Wave” is another one of Calatrava’s firstsit is the original large-scale work of his to be permanently installed in the U.S. Calatrava was commissioned to design the Hunt Hill Bridge and “The Wave” around the same time in 1999, but despite similar beginning dates, the two are not directly related. “There’s no direct link between the two, but his many ties to SMU (the multiple artworks contained in the Meadows Museum collection, his receipt of the Meadows Award and an honorary doctorate from the university in 2005) have created a positive perception of him among the people of Dallas and perhaps raised his profile among those specifically involved with the bridge,” Carrie Hunnicutt, the marketing and public relations manager for the Meadows Museum, said. “I think there are always correlations,” Thomas said. “Calatrava had kind of a meteorlike rise in popularity all over the world [at the time of his commissioning]. People were fascinated with his architecture.” The Hunt Hill Bridge is soon to be joined by a neighboring bridge also designed by Calatrava. It will be named the Margaret McDermott Bridge. What many don’t know is that the two women, while both being philanthropists and having bridges named after them, were also close friendsMcDermott actually caught the bouquet at Hunt-Hill’s wedding. McDermott was the first person to give money to the Hunt-Hill Bridge project. She later donated more funds towards the construction of the bridge that would hold her namesake in the future. The Hunt Hill Bridge may be less than a year old, but it has already had a great impact on the city of Dallas. “I think it is a real beacon to bringing the people to the city center. The image of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge has become an icon for the city. Like the Eiffel Tower. I think it’s the landmark for Dallas and I think it will be for years to come,” Thomas said. ACADEMICS Bush Library, Tower Center commemorate JFK assassination BASMA RAZA Contributing Writer The John Goodwin Tower Center and George W. Bush Library announced their partnership with the Sixth Floor Museum to observe and commemorate the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The partnership will include a series of programs over the course of the year to remember the tragic event. The assassination of President Kennedy during a motorcade on Dallas’ Dealey Plaza marked a significant and tragic event in the city’s history. Other programs will be held throughout the year dealing with the legacy of Kennedy’s presidency and its impact on American domestic and foreign policy. SMU political science professor James Hollifield, director of the Tower Center and chair of the Sixth Floor Museum Board, was instrumental in designing the collaboration. “SMU next year will be home to the newest Presidential library in the country, and thinking about Presidential history and politics suits the occasion especially when reflecting on the life of President Kennedy,” Hollifield said. SMU has designated a special committee of distinguished faculty members and guests known as the Tower Center Working Group on Remembrance and Commemoration: The Life and Legacy of JFK. The committee is led by Dennis Simon, an SMU political science professor and Tower Center fellow. “SMU is looking forward to bringing an academic and scholarly orientation to the observance of this somber anniversary,” Simon said. “The Tower Center has a history of productive partnerships with the National Archives and Records Administration and presidential libraries, as well as with the Sixth Floor Museum. We are excited about the opportunity to re-examine the life and legacy of JFK and to help commemorate this tragic event.” The Bush library brings with it many prospects for SMU students, as this partnership shows. Through the course of the programs, SMU students will be able to surround themselves with powerful speakers from all around the country with great expertise on various subjects. SMU senior Alex Munoz, an economics major, is eager for the opportunities. “I think it is a great opportunity for us students, not only will it bring great speakers to our campus but we will get to be part of the conversation on a topic which is so rarely discussed,” Munoz said. Nicola Longford, executive director at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza described the partnerships as beneficial to the whole Dallas community, not just students and faculty. “Our collaboration in observance of the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination in 2013 will benefit SMU students and the entire Dallas community by raising awareness of Dallas’ world-class archival and scholarly resources on American politics and presidential history,” Longford said. “We look forward to expanding this partnership to include the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, as well as SMU’s Center for Presidential History.” Programs begin on Presidents Day, Feb. 18, 2013 with “Politics of Memory” and end a year later on President’s Day, Feb. 17, 2014 with “Coping with Crises: How Presidents Manage National Crises.” Details on additional programs will be announced as planning is finalized.For more information visit It is a Thursday morning on the SMU campus and professor Randal Diercoff is making his preparations for his first class period by getting out his snorkel and fins. Welcome to professor Diercoff ’s course: WELL 2144, Scuba Diving, where students wear masks and swim with the fishes. Well, maybe not the fishes. Students actually swim in the SMU diving pool behind the SMU Natatorium off Bishop Boulevard. It’s not surprising that Diercoff ’s class fills up in a hurry considering that the class leads to scuba certification for the students. “I wanted my license and it seemed like a great opportunity,” Elliott Haifleigh, an SMU sophomore who was finishing up Diercoff ’s fall 2012 class, said. Although scuba diving is seen to many as a tropical sport, Texas is currently ranked third for the number of diving certifications it grants to residents, following California and Florida. Texas has dozens of dive sites and dive shops scattered across the state. Diercoff, who has been certified since 1984, is very passionate about the sport and believes Texas’ unique location plays a part in why so many people get certified here. “Texas I believe is the third largest certification state because of the size, which makes it have a wide variety of dive sites as well as close flight time to Cozumel, a very popular destination,” Diercoff said. For the SMU scuba diving class, an average class will start with the students picking a dive buddy and then jumping into the SMU diving pool. “The feeling of first hitting the water is exhilarating,” Faith Michael, who took the class in Fall 2012, SAID. Students will then make their way down to the bottom for the majority of the hour and twenty minute class to learn new dive skills and practice diving techniques such as diving rescues and sharing air. “I really liked the buddy system and all the hand signals that we did underwater,” Haifleigh said. Alex Bretthauer, Haifleigh’s dive buddy in the class, said she had been planning to get certified, which is why she took the SMU scuba diving class in fall 2012. “I have always wanted to be scuba certified so I could scuba when I go abroad,” Bretthauer said. “I plan to dive in Africa and I do plan to dive in Texas again.” Diercoff has his students take online courses offered from NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) on top of their class periods to get them their certification cards, but in order to officially become certified they must dive in an actual body of water. For this purpose, Diercoff takes his students near the end of the semester out to Clear Springs Scuba Park in Terrell for the official dives leading to Texas certification. “It is close enough, one hour, that it is not too inconvenient for the time necessary and it is well laid out and has excellent facilities,” Diercoff said. The park includes different dive platforms submerged in the body of water, sunken boats and a giant imitation shark constructed of metal, large enough for divers to even swim inside of. Michael said her trip to Clear Springs Park to get certified for the class was a great experience. She especially enjoyed diving around the park’s metal shark. “The shark was so long I thought it would never end,” Michael said. Other dive sites in north Texas include Tyler State Park, Lake Ray Roberts, Possum Kingdom, Lake Whitney, Lake Texoma and Daingerfield State Park. Athens Scuba Park and Clear Springs Scuba Park are the closest parks to the Dallas Fort Worth area specifically made for diving. Another way Texas natives can receive their scuba certification is through local dive shops. Dive shops located around the Dallas-Fort Worth area include International Scuba, Lone Star Scuba, Scuba Toys, Adventure Scuba and others. Diercoff requires his students to have masks, snorkels, buoyancy controlling devices, tanks, fins and booties. The cost for purchasing all the equipment usually will total out around $300 to $800, but depending on where you dive there may be additional costs. SMU scuba student, Gaby Ramirez said that so far she has loved her scuba diving experiences, even though it is not a cheap sport. “Scuba diving is an expensive hobby but it’s easy to learn, full of fun experiences, and worth every penny,” Ramirez said, who took the class in fall 2012.


Related publications