Mini "History Lesson"

The Beginning of the Residential Commons Model at SMU

In the early 2010s, Southern Methodist University began the process of transforming its residential life model for students through its Residential Commons program, which integrates the academic, residential, and social experience.

In 2014, Mary Hay Hall, Peyton Hall, and Shuttles Hall united as one Residential Commons: Mary Hay Peyton Shuttles or MHPS. For the past few years, we have truly become one community, despite our three buildings. We have connected inside and outside the classroom and within the Commons. MHPS boasts live-in faculty and staff members, resident assistants and other student leaders who together create these communities of support. MHPS Commons thrives on the individual perspectives, skills, and talents of every student resident to build our community. 

SMU Residential Commons Overview and Faculty in Residence Videos

Mary Hay, Peyton, Shuttles Commons (Tria Ut Unum)

Facts about Mary Hay Hall

  • Mary Hay Hall is named in honor of Mary Randle Hay*, former SMU Dean of Women.

  • Mary Hay Hall was constructed in 1959 and houses more than 100 residents throughout its four floors. The building was renovated in 2007.

  • Mary Hay Hall has the largest first floor lobby, complete with a piano, plenty of seating, and a flat screen TV, and is the prime location for our monthly Lip Sync Battles/Karaoke Nights.

  • MHPS' Faculty-in-Residence, Liljana, resides in Mary Hay's first floor apartment with her husband, Johan, one of our Faculty Affiliates, and their dog, Ziggy. Go visit them for Sunday Night Snacks!

*Mary Randle Hay (1864-1953): Mary Randle Hay was the widow of Stephen J. Hay, the mayor of Dallas when SMU was established. Following her husband’s death in 1916, Mary Hay became SMU’s Dean of Women, serving from 1923-1934. Dean Hay’s leadership led to the construction of more housing for women student, and in 1927, under her leadership, all resident women students were able to move into Virginia and Snider Halls.

Facts about Peyton Hall

  • Peyton Hall is named in memory of George L. Peyton**, member of the SMU Board of Trustees.

  • Peyton Hall was constructed in 1950 and houses more than 90 residents throughout its three floors. The building was renovated in 2007.

  • Peyton Hall, with its private study rooms, is the perfect place to come to study. Peyton Hall also houses the first floor's Peyton Parlor, complete with a piano, plenty of seating, a flat screen TV, a pool table, and a collection of board games.

  • MHPS' Assistant Residential Community Director, Brittany, who is a graduate student, resides in Peyton's first floor apartment. Catch her at Commons Council meetings and events.

**George L. Peyton (1884-1939): George L. Peyton was a Methodist minister, director of Wesley Bible Choir, Professor of Religion, and member of the Board of Trustees at SMU from 1934-1939.

Leila Peyton Hall (1888-1972): Following his death, Leila Peyton Hall finished her husband’s term on the SMU Board of Trustees. In addition to funding the construction of Peyton Hall in her husband’s honor, she also funded the Peyton Lectureship in Preaching. Following her death in 1972, the Leila Peyton Hall Endowment was established in her memory as part of the President’s Scholars Program in 1977.

Facts about Shuttles Hall

  • Shuttles Hall is named in honor of Robert H. Shuttles***, former chair of the SMU Board of Trustees.

  • Shuttles Hall was constructed in 1957 and houses more than 140 students throughout its four floors. The building was renovated and expanded in 2007.

  • Shuttles Hall contains multiple classroom spaces that are ideal for attending class during the day and studying in groups at night. Despite being great for group studying, Shuttles Hall has a lively reputation, especially on the fourth floor: its open fourth floor lounge boasts plenty of seating, a flatscreen TV, and a pingpong table.

  • MHPS' Residential Community Director, Nate, resides in Shuttles' first floor apartment. Find him out and about walking the Quad!

***Robert Hall Shuttles (1878-1955): Robert Hall Shuttles was a Dallas area businessman, churchman, philanthropist, and former chair of the SMU Board of Trustees.

MHPS Commons Video

Visual Representations of MHPS 

Our Crest

Our Symbol

The Trinity Knot, also known as Triquetra, symbolizes the joining of our three residence halls, Mary Hay, Peyton, and Shuttles halls, in unity and shared purpose. Each of the three intertwined elements represents one of the residence halls. The circle emphasizes the unity of the whole combination of the three residence halls. The symbol reflects our motto "Tria Ut Unum" or "Three as One." 


"Slytherin" Green and Silver are the official colors of MHPS. These can be seen in the majority of our t-shirts and other promo materials we make - be on the look-out for some sweet swag!  


It's no secret that MHPS is part of the student-dubbed "old" Commons... and we love it that way. Our mascot, like our three buildings, has history. Our mascot is Trixie, the Triceratop. Trixie, the Triceratop, represents MHPS in that she is green (one of our colors, remember?) and is complete with three horns to represent each one of our halls. Also, Trixie is pretty fearless, much like how MHPS dominates on the Intramural fields for Commons Cup! 

Culture of MHPS

Our Vision

At MHPS, we want to make a home where diverse interactions and learning is happening both within and outside of our community. 

Our official Motto

MHPS' Latin motto is "Tria Ut Unum," which means "Three as One." Although distinct as three independent residence halls, Mary Hay, Peyton, and Shuttles are joined together in community and strength as one Commons.

Our unofficial Motto

"MHPS is the Best" - pretty self-explanatory. We think we're awesome, and you will too! 

Our Diversity Statement

MHPS works to bring together diverse groups of people into one inclusive space that celebrates differences in race, sexual orientation, ability status, religion, background, socioeconomic status, and more. Everyone's voice will be heard and valued through meaningful conversations and inclusive programming, such as:

  • Our Annual Taste of Diversity.

  • Encouraging students to participate in campus trainings to further understand multiple identities of themselves and others.

  • Cultural awareness programs and trips.

We strive to provide a leadership team that's as diverse as our residents. 

our Traditions

  • Home Sweet SMU - August

  • MHPS Initiation Ceremony: Welcome to the Triceratops Family! - August

  • Weekly Sunday Night Snacks in the FiR Apartment - Throughout the Year

  • Monthly Lip Sync/Karaoke Battles - Throughout the Year

  • RC Dinners - Throughout the Year

  • Fort Worth Excursion Trip with the FiR - Fall Semester

  • Downtown Dallas Trip with the FiR - Fall Semester

  • Home Away From Home - September

  • Our Annual Taste of Diversity - October

  • Halloweek - October

  • Homecoming - November

  • Holiday & Hang - December

  • MHPS Mavs Night/Sporting Event - Spring Semester

  • Musical/Play - Spring Semester

  • Grill & Chill - April