Dallas Hall (SMU). DALLAS HALL, SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY When Dallas was selected in 1911 as the site for a new Methodist university, local citizens pledged 622.5 acres of land and $300,000. In appreciation, the first building on campus was named Dallas Hall. SMU President Robert S. Hyer chose the Chicago Branch of Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge to design the Hall. Influenced by Thomas Jefferson's plan for the University of Virginia, it opened in 1915 and for a decade housed all classrooms, university offices, the chapel and the library. RTHL - 1979 #6670