John A. Mears
Dedman College 2016
John A. Mears, Associate Professor of History in Dedman College, came to SMU in 1967. He earned a B.A. degree magna cum laude at the University of Minnesota, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year, and both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Chicago. Before joining SMU's history faculty, he began his teaching career in 1964 at New Mexico State University. His honors include a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and two National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships. Professor Mears initially specialized in early modern European history, with particular interests in the emergence of standing professional armies and the Hapsburg Monarchy. He later broadened his interests to encompass world history. He served as president of the World History Association from 1994-96 and remains active in the new International Big History Association. He co-authored a world history textbook, Achievements Through the Ages, and currently is working on a volume titled To Be Human: A Perspective on Our Common History. A devoted University citizen, Professor Mears served on numerous campus committees, as director of the SMU-in-Austria program and as director of SMU International Programs from 1984 to 1992. He retires as Professor Emeritus of History.