Center for Presidential History

SMU’s Center for Presidential History to host panel on Trump’s first 100 days Thursday, April 27, 2017

White House, line drawingSMU’s Center for Presidential History will look back at the victories, defeats and head-scratchers from President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office during a panel discussion at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 27, 2017 in the Mack Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.

The panel will feature perspectives from SMU faculty members specializing in history and communications, as well as from the CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and the deputy editorial page editor of The Dallas Morning News.

A light coffee will precede the event at 6:30 p.m. The event is free; RSVPs are required. Free passes will be emailed to registered guests before the event. Seating is limited, and not guaranteed.

> RSVP for “Assessing Trump’s First 100 Days” at Eventbrite

“The first 100 days is crucial for setting the tone of a presidency,” said Center for Presidential History Director Jeffrey Engel. “You shouldn’t look so much to measure accomplishments, but rather style and efficiency, which is all the more intriguing when we have an administration with historically limited levels of experience.”

> See video from the SMU CPH’s March 2017 event, “Hope or Alarm in the Age of Trump”

The panelists include:

 — Kenny Ryan

> Visit SMU’s Center for Presidential History online: smu.edu/cph

‘Why Standing Rock Matters’ is topic for Clements Center panel discussion Monday, Oct. 24, 2016

'Why Standing Rock Matters' graphicThe national protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline have drawn thousands to rallies throughout the country, including Dallas. What is Standing Rock and its history, and what is the basis of the dispute over the pipeline?

An invited panel moderated by Ben Voth, associate professor of corporate communications and public affairs in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, will take on these questions and more at SMU.

“Why Standing Rock Matters: Can Oil and Water Mix?” will take place 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24, 2016 in Crum Auditorium, Collins Executive Education Center.

A reception will precede the panel discussion at 5:30 p.m. Both the reception and forum are free and open to the public. Register online at Eventbrite or call the Clements Center at 214-768-3684.

> Learn more at SMU’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies website

The panelists include the following experts, who will each bring a different perspective to the discussion:

  • Archaeology – Kelly Morgan is president of Lakota Consulting LLC, which provides professional cultural and tribal liaison services in field archaeology. She works to protect cultural and natural resources alongside other archaeologists and environmentalists in North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota and on the island of Guam. Currently she is the tribal archaeologist for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Morgan received her PhD. in American Indian studies from the University of Oklahoma.
  • Energy – Craig Stevens is a spokesman for the Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now (MAIN), a partnership aimed at supporting the economic development and energy security benefits in the Midwest. MAIN is a project of the Iowa State Building and Construction Trades Council, with members in Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Illinois – the states crossed by the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. Previously Stevens served as a spokesman for two cabinet secretaries, a surgeon general, and a member of Congress. He also worked on two presidential campaigns.
  • Environmental – Andrew Quicksall is the J. Lindsay Embrey Trustee Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering. His research focuses on aqueous metal enrichment and water contamination in the natural environment by probing both solution and solid chemistry of natural materials. He received his Ph.D. in earth science from Dartmouth College.
  • Tribal history – Cody Two Bears, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Councilman and tribal member who represents the Cannon Ball district of the Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota.
  • Law – Eric Reed (Choctaw Nation), J.D., is a Dallas lawyer who specializes in American Indian law, tribal law and international indigenous rights. Reed received a B.S in economics and finance and a B.A. in anthropology from SMU and his J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law.
  • Mechanical – Tayeb “Ty” Benchaita is a managing partner of B&G Products and Services LLP, a consulting company in Houston that specializes in products quality control and assurance, products manufacturing and operations for the oil, fuels petrochemical, oil refining, lubricants, re-refining, and environmental industries. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and executive management training from the Harvard Business School.
  • Public policy – Michael Lawson is president of MLL Consulting which provides historical research and analysis for government agencies, Native American tribes, law firms and other private clients. Additionally, he is of counsel to Morgan, Angel & Associates, L.L.C. in Washington, D.C., where he formerly served as a partner. Lawson received his Ph.D. in American history and cultural anthropology from the University of New Mexico and is author of Dammed Indians Revisited: The Continuing History of the Pick-Sloan Plan and the Missouri River Sioux (South Dakota State Historical Society: 2010).

The event is cosponsored by SMU’s William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies and Maguire Energy Institute, with support from the University’s Dedman College of Humanities and  Sciences, Cox School of Business, William P. Clements Department of History, Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute through the Scott-Hawkins Fund, and Center for Presidential History.

Calendar Highlights: Mustang Must-do’s for Feb. 12, 2016

Free Valentine’s Day Piano Duo Concert: Internationally acclaimed pianists and SMU alumni Liudmila Georgievskaya and Thomas Schwan will give a two-piano recital, featuring works of Mozart and Otto Singer’s rarely performed and brilliant transcription of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3. The concert is Sunday, Feb. 14 beginning at 7:30 in Caruth Auditorium.

TEDxSMU Live 2016: Beginning Feb. 15 and running through Feb. 19, TEDxSMU will host live simulcast talks of the TED 2016 conference. Free and open to the  SMU community, you are invited for one talk, one session or the whole week! Viewing will be held in 253 Caruth Hall on the SMU campus.

> See a complete list of speakers, times and events here

WaltScreen Shot 2016-02-12 at 12.51.13 PMer Horne’s “Triple Execution” Postcards: Death on the Border: Using photographer Walter Horne’s “Triple Execution” images of the Mexican Revolution, Claudia Zapata, SMU Ph.D. candidate in Rhetorics of Art, Space and Culture, examines the pattern that Horne used to portray the role of Mexico and Mexican identity in the picture postcard format. The event is sponsored by the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies and will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at noon in McCord Auditorium.

Tower Center Monthly Seminar: On Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 11 a.m., James C. Garand, the Emogene Pliner Distinguished Professor and R. Downs Poindexter Professor of Political Science at Louisiana State University, will speak on “Is it Documentation, or is it Immigration? Exploring the Effects of Attitudes Toward Documented and Undocumented Immigrants on Immigration Policy Attitudes.” Garand will examine the effects of attitudes toward documented and undocumented immigrants on immigration policy attitudes. The event will be held in the Tower Center Boardroom, 227 Carr Collins Hall. The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. Please RSVP to tower@smu.edu.

The Life and Times of George McGovern: The Rise of a Prairie Statesman, The Life and Times of George McGovern is the first major biography of the 1972 Democratic presidential candidate who became America’s most eloquent and prescient critic of the Vietnam War. In it, Thomas Knock, SMU Associate Professor and Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor in the William P. Clements Department of History, traces McGovern’s life from his rustic boyhood in a South Dakota prairie town during the Depression to his rise to the pinnacle of politics at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago as police and antiwar demonstrators clashed in the city’s streets. The book will be available for purchase and signing after the event.

The event, sponsored by the Center for Presidential History, will be on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. in McCord Auditorium and is free and open to the public. Registration is required, and seating is not guaranteed. For more information visit SMU.EDU/CPH.

Center for Presidential History hosts Nixon biographer Evan Thomas Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015 at SMU

'Being Nixon' book cover, Evan ThomasOne of the chief architects of the “Southern strategy,” whose name became synonymous with political dirty tricks, was also the man who worked to desegregate schools, create the Environmental Protection Agency and end the draft.

The complicated and often contradictory character and legacy of 37th President Richard Nixon will be the subject of a lecture by his newest biographer, sponsored by SMU’s Center for Presidential History (CPH).

Visit SMU’s Center for Presidential History online at smu.edu/cph

Best-selling author, professor of journalism and former Newsweek reporter Evan Thomas will discuss his latest book, Being Nixon: A Man Divided, tonight at 6 p.m. in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. The event is part of the CPH’s Presidential Forum series and is free and open to the public.

> Save your place at “Being Nixon” for free on Eventbrite

The son of devout Quakers, Nixon – not unlike his rival John F. Kennedy – grew up in the shadow of an older, favored brother and thrived on conflict and opposition. As a result, he devoted much of his life and career to fighting off enemies real and imagined. Thomas’ new biography “reveals the contradictions of a leader whose vision and foresight led him to achieve détente with the Soviet Union and reestablish relations with communist China, but whose underhanded political tactics tainted his reputation long before the Watergate scandal,” as summarized in a CPH release.

Thomas’ book will be available for purchase and signing before and after the event. A light reception will precede the lecture beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Parking will be available on the SMU campus. FREE passes will be emailed to registered guests before the event.

Calendar Highlights: Sept. 17, 2014

BwjF4ZXCEAAqvAlRonald Reagan and the Struggle Over Apartheid: As part of the Presidential Forum lecture series, the SMU Center for Presidential History presents “Ronald Reagan and the Struggle Over Apartheid.” Co-sponsored by the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute’s Seminar “Global Africa: Between Intervention and Engagement,” the event will feature a discussion between two distinguished guests: Rozell W. “Prexy” Nesbitt and Piero Gleijeses. The event will take place Wednesday, Sept. 17 from 5-7 p.m. in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. Register for the forum online.

Professor Emeritus Darwin Payne Book Signing: DeGolyer Library and Friends of the SMU Libraries presents Professor Emeritus Darwin Payne and his new book, No Small Dreams: J. Erik Jonsson – Texas Visionary. Payne shares the biography of J. Erik Jonsson, the industrialist who led Texas Instruments during its rise to become one of the nation’s leading electronics firms. The event will take place Thursday, Sept. 18, 6 p.m. in DeGolyer Library. For additional information or to RSVP, e-mail DeGolyer Library.

Economics Seminar Series: The Department of Economics presents Denis Nekipelov from the Departments of Economics and Computer Science at the University of Virginia. Dr. Nekipelov will share his recent work on advertising Friday, Sept. 19, 2 p.m. in 303 Umphrey Lee. For more information about the seminar series, click here.

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 11.25.52 AM Happiness Symposia: Continuing its two-month series on “Happiness: What Makes you Smile?,” the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute presents Peter Huang from the University of Colorado Law School Friday, Sept. 19. Dr. Huang will share how happiness research can inform legal policy, as well as improve legal education and practice. The event will take place in McCord Auditorium at 5 p.m. For more information, e-mail Elizabeth Fielding.

Friday Night Stampede: Celebrate the 100th season of SMU Athletics and the first home football game by joining SMU for a special Friday Night Stampede on Sept. 19. Put on your red spirit attire and head out for the dedication of the new Mustang Band Hall at 7 p.m. Stick around for a block party starting at 7:30 p.m. on Mustang Mall. Then at 8:30 p.m. enjoy a Mustang Band concert and pep rally Doak Walker Plaza. For more information, visit the SMU Stampede homepage.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Book Signing: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand presents Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World Sunday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Theater. Off the Sidelines is New York Senator Gillibrand’s call to action encouraging every woman and girl to make their voice heard on issues they care about. This event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase.

World Peace Day: Celebrate World Peace Day with live music, poetry, food and special guest speakers from Human Rights Initiative, Dallas Peace Center, and other local organizations. The event will take place Sunday, Sept. 21, 4-7 p.m. on the Quad in front of Dallas HallFor more information, e-mail Amber Jackson.

‘When Life Strikes the White House’: SMU symposium examines effects of personal crises on U.S. presidencies

Black and white stock photo of the White House

SMU continues its schedule of events observing the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination with a symposium exploring the effects of personal crises on a presidential administration.

Experts from SMU and around the nation will participate in “When Life Strikes the White House: Death, Scandal, Illness, and the Responsibilities of a President,” a two-day examination of the effect of three types of turning points in the lives of sitting presidents – illness, personal matters made public, and death in the family. The symposium will explore what happens to a president and his administration when that president suffers a personal crisis, and whether it results in policy change or an identifiable change in historical moments.

The program begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 in the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza with a focus on John Kennedy. An all-day seminar on Wednesday, Feb. 19 on the SMU campus will examine Kennedy and 12 other presidents.

The symposium is presented by SMU’s Center for Presidential History, Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, George W. Bush Library and Museum and the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.

> More information and online registration at SMU’s Tower Center website

Richard Reeves

A summary of events, topics and speakers:

Tuesday, Feb. 18 – 7 p.m., Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza (411 Elm Street, Dallas)

Richard Reeves, senior lecturer in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, will discuss the traumatic events at play in John Kennedy’s life during his tenure as president – Addison’s disease, the death of his infant son, and extramarital indiscretions.

An author and syndicated columnist who has made a number of award-winning documentary films, Reeves’ latest book is Portrait of Camelot: A Thousand Days in the Kennedy White House (Abrams, 2010).

Wednesday, Feb. 19 – 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center, SMU

Personal Crises and Public Responsibility

  • A comparison of John Tyler and Gerald Ford: Mark Updegrove, presidential historian, author of Baptism by Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office During Times of Crisis (Thomas Dunne Books, 2009)
  • Bill Clinton: William Chafe, co-director of Duke University’s Program on History, Public Policy and Social Change
  • Andrew Jackson: Dan Feller, director of The Papers of Andrew Jackson at the University of Tennessee
  • Lyndon Johnson: Randall Woods, Distinguished Professor, John A. Cooper Professor of History, University of Arkansas

Loss in the Family

  • Calvin Coolidge: Amity Shlaes, syndicated columnist, director of the Four Percent Growth Project at the George W. Bush Institute, author of Coolidge (Harper Collins, 2013)
  • Franklin Pierce: Michael Holt, emeritus professor of history at University of Virginia, author of Franklin Pierce (Times Books, 2010)
  • John Kennedy: David Nasaw, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Professor of History at City University of New York, award-winning author
  • Abraham Lincoln: Michael Burlingame, Chancellor and Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois-Springfield

Presidential Illness

  • Woodrow Wilson: Tom Knock, associate professor in SMU’s Clements Department of History, author of To End All Wars: Woodrow Wilson and the Quest for a New World Order (Princeton University Press, 1992)
  • Richard Nixon: Jeremi Suri, Mack Brown Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, author of Henry Kissinger and the American Century (Harvard, 2007)
  • Ronald Reagan: Kiron Skinner, associate professor of social and decision sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, co-author of multiple books on the 40th president, including Reagan: A Life in Letters (The Free Press, 2001)
  • Franklin Roosevelt: Frank Costigliola, professor of history at the University of Connecticut, author of Roosevelt’s Lost Alliances: How Personal Politics Helped Start the Cold War (Princeton University Press, 2013)

Karen HughesCapstone Presentation – 7 p.m., George W. Bush Institute Auditorium (2943 SMU Boulevard)

Political and corporate strategist Karen Hughes ’77 – once named by The Associated Press as “perhaps the most influential woman ever to serve an American president” – will give the capstone presentation. Her ability to manage public policy, communications and politics helped brand George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservative” image, lending to the success of his gubernatorial campaigns beginning in 1994 and his subsequent campaigns for president.

From 2001-02 Hughes served as strategic adviser to President Bush on policy and communications, managing all communications, speech writing and media affairs for the White House. She served as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs from 2005-07. Now based in Austin, Hughes is worldwide vice chair of the public relations and communications firm Burson-Marsteller, advising global business leaders on communications and branding strategies. She also serves on the board of SMU’s Tower Center for Political Studies in Dedman College.

For more information, call 214-768-3210 or e-mail SMU’s Center for Presidential History.

> Register online at the Tower Center homepage

Calendar Highlights: Dec. 4, 2013

Creative Musings: On Thursday, Dec. 5, the Meadows Museum invites you to ”Creative Musings”: a discussion of different pieces in the Virginia Meadows Galleries that have an emphasis on the creative process and the materials used to execute them. The main focus will be on Juan de Borgona’s The Investiture of Saint Ildefonsus. The program begins at 6 p.m. and is free with museum admission. Advance registration is required; please call 214-768-4993.

logo

GW & slavery: The Center for Presidential History and the George W. Bush Library and Museum are hosting a lecture on “George Washington and the Problem of Slavery” on Thursday, Dec. 5 by Ed Countryman, SMU Distinguished Professor and historian of the American Revolutionary era. Countryman will share his own research on the topic and home in on how Washington’s capacity for growth and Revolutionary-era slavery are connected. The event begins at 6 p.m. in McCord Auditorium; registration is required.

Chamber Music

  • Faculty Concert: Meadows Chamber Music hosts its faculty recital Thursday, Dec. 5 at 8 p.m., featuring Liudmila Georgievskaya, adjunct lecturer in piano and coordinator of accompanying at Meadows. Guest artists Brent Buemi (clarinet), Marty Spake (bassoon), and Maria Schleuning (violinist) will also perform. The concert is in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center, and admission is free.
  • Honors Concert: Meadows Chamber Music holds its honors concert Saturday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. The night will feature advanced chamber music groups chosen by Meadows faculty. The concert is in Caruth Auditorium and free of charge.

Meadows Symphony Orchestra: The MSO presents their winter concert featuring guest cellist Christopher Adkins, Meadows adjunct associate professor of cello and Dallas Symphony Orchestra principal cellist. The concert will highlight two works: Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo and Symphony No. 4 by Dmitri Shostakovich. The show will run Friday, Dec. 6 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. Both performances are in Caruth Auditorium, and tickets are $7 for faculty, staff and students.

SMU hosts discussion on the White House and faith-based initiatives

'Faith, the White House, and the Public Square' ad graphicSMU’s Center for Presidential History will host a symposium exploring the importance of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships as part of the 21st-century presidency and its implications for church-state relations.

Every current and former director of the Office – John DiIulio, Joshua DuBois, Jay Hein, Melissa Rogers and Jim Towey – will participate in “Faith, the White House, and the Public Square” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall.

In 2001, President George W. Bush established the Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives. He tasked it with helping the federal government coordinate a national effort to equip and expand the work of faith-based and community organizations to better meet the social needs of America’s communities. This office, now known as the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, has continued under the executive leadership of President Barack Obama.

The event is free, but reservations are required. RSVP online at faithwhitehousecph.eventbrite.com.

Calendar Highlights: Mar. 5, 2013

Coolidge: Author and Director of the George W. Bush Institute’s 4% Growth Project Amity Shlaes will be on the Hilltop Wednesday, Mar. 6 to give a lecture entitled The President Who Said No: Debt, Temperament, and Calvin Coolidge’s Lessons for Today. The lecture will focus on Coolidge’s legacy as a president who is remembered for encouraging business growth, supporting technological innovation and helping the nation successfully confront difficult fiscal problems. Shlaes’ book, Coolidge, will be available for purchase and signing at the lecture. Shlaes is an adjunct professor of economic history in the Stern School of Business at NYU. The event is free and open to the public, but attendees must register. It starts at 6 p.m. in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall.

Martin Rico’s work at Meadows: At 6 p.m. Thursday, March 7,  Javier Barón Thaidigsmann will host an evening lecture on the new exhibit of Martin Rico’s work at the Meadows Museum. Thaidigsmann is chief curator of 19th-Century Painting at the Museo Nacional del Prado, and he will speak on the 19th century vistas by one of Spain’s beloved painters, who played a role in the introduction of the realist landscape. The exhibit opens to the public on Sunday, March 10 and will feature more than 100 works. Thursday’s lecture is free and open to the public, with priority seating for Museum members until 5:40 p.m.

Damaged Goods: SMU Meadows SYZYGY gives its first concert of the Spring 2013 season on Thursday, March 7. The performance takes the title Damaged Goods from a piece by Roshanne Etezday, which she composed as an expression of her less-than-successful relationships of the past. The ensemble make the piece their own with unique takes on lyricism, rhythmic drive and emotional yearning. The performance begins at 8 p.m. in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center, and tickets are $7 for faculty, staff and students.

The hills are alive: Meadows Opera pays tribute to American composer Richard Rodgers on Friday, Mar. 8 with performances of scenes from his best known works, as well as songs from Mary Rodgers, his daughter, and Adam Guettel, his grandson. Rodgers’ partnerships with Moss Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II produced more than 900 songs and 43 Broadway musicals. The performance starts at 1 p.m. in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

Happy Spring Break! 

SMU & Sixth Floor Museum explore role of politics in history

President John F. Kennedy

President John F. Kennedy

Three preeminent scholars of American history, including an SMU professor, will use Presidents Day and the upcoming 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination as a springboard for examining the changing nature of memory.

Presidential historian Jeffrey Engel, director of SMU’s Center for Presidential History, will moderate a discussion of “JFK, History and the Politics of Memory.” The event takes place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, in The Sixth Floor Museum at 411 Elm Street in Dallas’ West End District. It is presented by The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza and SMU’s John G. Tower Center for Political Studies and The Center for Presidential History.

The program features Edward T. Linenthal, professor of history at Indiana University Bloomington, and Timothy Naftali, senior research fellow with the New America Foundation’s National Security Studies program, both of whom have written extensively on the topic.

The 50th anniversary of the assassination presents a unique opportunity to reflect upon the changing nature of history and how it affects our own recollections and understanding of milestones. How has politics shaped our collective memory about this crucial 20th century event?  How has our thinking about the tragedy been shaped by the media, ongoing investigations and the passage of time?  What does this process tell us about what we choose to remember, what we forget and what we ultimately memorialize? Together the historians will explore the role that the politics of memory play in understanding the past.

“JFK, History and the Politics of Memory” is the first in a yearlong series of collaborative programs between The Sixth Floor Museum and SMU commemorating the assassination’s anniversary. This is the third consecutive year both have partnered to present a panel discussion surrounding Presidents Day.

Tickets are $25 per person. A combination ticket that provides access to The Sixth Floor Museum on the day of the event is $35. Tickets may be purchased online at www.jfk.org through Sunday, Feb. 17.

Seating is limited. For more information, visit www.jfk.org or call 214-747-6660.

> Read more from SMU News