Our Vision and Values

McElvaney Commons strives to be a community in which tomorrow’s world changers feel at home, welcomed, and supported.

McElvaney Commons strives to create a community in which the experiences and journeys of every student are both welcomed and celebrated. In McElvaney Commons we foster experiences that allow students to grow together and create more holistic perspectives through which to view the world. Our commons understands that inclusivity is more than just a lack of exclusivity. We demonstrate our commitment to creating an inclusive home by offering comprehensive resources, creating opportunities for cultural exchange, and fostering an environment that encourages each student to make their voice heard. The implementation of these ideals is an indispensable part of the McElvaney experience.

McElvaney Motto

ubuntu |oo˘’booˇntoō|

Ubuntu: Ubuntu is a Bantu term that means “I am, because of who we all are.” This speaks directly to the ideals of the McElvaney community and the “Welcome Table”. Where each community member can grow and learn based upon the shared experiences and relationships that are formed with other members of the community.


The Crest

The Torch: Symbolizes the pursuit of knowledge and enlightenment

The Cornucopia: Symbolizes prosperity and success.

The Welcome Table: The red circle represents the welcome table. Which symbolizes unity, equality and community. The Welcome Table is a concept developed by Distinguished SMU Alumni Reverend William K. McElvaney.

Our Pillars

Leadership: McElvaney Commons is a place where student leaders are developed to take on the world. 

Diversity: In McElvaney Commons difference is celebrated and honored. In our commons each student is encouraged to learn more about themselves and those around them.

Service: Students living within McElvaney Commons will have the opportunity to engage in service learning activities and give back to the Dallas community. 

Academics: Both the McElvaney Commons Leadership Team and the students living in McElvaney work to support the academic needs of each resident.