Loyd Residential Commons opened its doors on August 20, 2014 to welcome in the first residents of the commons. However, planning for the commons began several years before the opening. The Residential Commons model had been an idea of many administrators at SMU for many years. The idea was finally pushed forward with groundbreaking for the five new buildings in the southeast corner of campus occurring on April 20, 2012. The groundbreaking coincided with Founders Day Celebration at the beginning of SMU’s Centennial Celebration. Also during the Founders Day Celebration, it was announced that the Paul B. Loyd, Jr & his wife Penny Requa Loyd had given the first gift of $5 million. Thus Loyd Residential Commons was the second of the five new buildings to be named.
The Residential Commons continued moving forward with the selection of students to take part in the planning of the big endeavor. D’Marquis Allen ’16 & Luke Oglesbee ’16 were selected as members of the Residential Commons Leadership Corps in Fall 2012 and were later assigned to Loyd. Professor Mark Fontenot, having already been serving as a Faculty in Residence at SMU since Fall 2009 working primarily with the Engineering Community in Cockrell-McIntosh Hall, was selected to be the first Faculty in Residence for Loyd Commons and dubbed a Founding Faculty in Residence, one of only three with the title. Ty Krueger, having served as a Residential Community Director at SMU since Fall 2008 in the Fine Arts Community in Mary Hay & Peyton Halls, was assigned to Loyd in Fall 2013. Alexis Nguyen ’17 was the final addition to the Loyd Residential Commons planning team in Fall 2013 with the recruitment of the second group students added to the Residential Commons Leadership Corps.
Loyd Commons’ first year was extremely successful in making its mark on the SMU campus having won numerous campus and regional awards. Through the efforts of Loyd leadership, Loyd hosted numerous community-building events, as well as social activities for all residents to enjoy. Loyd had events for residents occurring frequently throughout the year, including floor specific game nights, dinners, Faculty in Residence fun, finals study breaks – just to name a few. Loyd created numerous memories and new traditions. The Loyd Leadership Team also developed the Loyd Strategic Plan that would help them have a structured focus for the first four years of the commons. The Strategic Plan lead to the redevelopment of responsibilities for the RAs and provided more ownership of and direct impact in the direction of the commons by the Council.
Loyd Commons' second year continued the path of progress for the commons. Loyd started off the year with a large welcome event dubbed the Loyd Luau welcoming in the Class of 2019. The Leadership Team continued progress on the Loyd Strategic Plan from which many successes of the year were developed. The Commons continued the tradition of the Loyd Pin Families and remained one of the only commons to continue with formal banquets twice a semester. The new Council structure enabled them to organize fun activities that specifically fell in line with the Loyd Values. Loyd Commons also worked closely with TEDxSMU to have TED Talks in the community and also showcase students, faculty, and staff in a semesterly event known as Loyd on the Lawn. Loyd introduced new events and initiatives from the Strategic Plan including Luck of the Loydians.
For Loyd's third year, the Commons is welcoming a brand new Faculty in Residence Family - Dr. Alice Kendrick and her husband Kevin Kendrick. Loyd will be continuing its collaboration with TEDxSMU as well as continuing to further develop what will become longstanding traditions.