McFarlin Auditorium

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns returns to SMU’s Tate Distinguished Lecture Series Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015

Ken BurnsRenowned director and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, creator of Baseball, The War and The Roosevelts, will return to SMU Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 for another engagement with the Tate Distinguished Lecture Series. Burns will present The Oncor Lecture at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium

Burns has been making documentary films for almost 40 years. Since the Academy Award-nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, he has directed and produced some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, including The Civil War; Baseball; Jazz; The Statue of Liberty; Huey Long; Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery; Frank Lloyd Wright; Mark Twain; Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson; The War; The National Parks: America’s Best Idea; The Roosevelts: An Intimate History; and, most recently, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies.

> Learn more about Ken Burns’ work at his website: KenBurns.com

In 2009, David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun said, “Ken Burns is not only the greatest documentarian of the day, but also the most influential filmmaker, period. That includes feature filmmakers like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. I say that because Burns not only turned millions of persons on to history with his films, he showed us a new way of looking at our collective past and ourselves.” The late historian Stephen Ambrose said of Burns’ films, “More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source.”

His future projects include films on Jackie Robinson, the Vietnam War, the history of country music, Ernest Hemingway and the history of stand-up comedy.

Burns’ films have been honored with dozens of major awards, including 13 Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards and two Oscar nominations. In 2008, at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, Ken Burns was honored by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

This is Burns’ second visit to SMU to deliver a Tate Distinguished Lecture. Previously, he spoke during the 2004-05 series.

> Follow Ken Burns on Twitter: @KenBurns

All SMU community members are invited to the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m. Please tweet your questions for the forum to #SMUtate.

Tickets for the evening are sold out. However, students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

> Follow the Tate Series on social media: Twitter – @SMUtate | Instagram – @smutate

2015-12-04T14:07:15+00:00 December 1, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News|

NPR’s Shankar Vedantam to give Tate Distinguished Lecture Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015

Shankar Vedantam, NPR science correspondent reporting on human behavior and social sciences, author of The Hidden Brain and former reporter and columnist for The Washington Post, will be the featured speaker at The Jones Day Lecture of the 2015-16 Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series on Tuesday, Nov. 10.

The lecture program begins at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

Vedantam is a science correspondent for National Public Radio, focusing on human behavior and the social sciences. He is the author of The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars and Save Our Lives, published in 2010.

> Visit Shankar Vendantam’s page at the NPR website

Vedantam earned an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering in his native India and a master’s degree in journalism at Stanford University. Before joining NPR in 2011, he spent 10 years as a reporter at The Washington Post. From 2007–09 he wrote a column on human behavior for the Post.

Vedantam has served as a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University and as a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. He has been recognized with numerous journalism honors, including awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors, the South Asian Journalists Association, the Asian American Journalists Association, the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association and the American Public Health Association. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

> Follow Shankar Vendantam on Twitter: @HiddenBrain

All SMU community members are invited to the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m. Please tweet your questions for the forum to #SMUtate.

Tickets for the evening are sold out. However, students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

Follow along with everything Tate on Twitter: @SMUtate and Instagram: @smutate.

> Catch up with Shankar Vendantam’s “Hidden Brain” podcast via NPR audio or podcast

The Tate Series’ 34th season also features the following events and speakers:

    • Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 – Renowned director and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, creator of Baseball, The War and The Roosevelts; will give the Oncor Lecture. Currently, he is producing Vietnam, scheduled for release in 2017.
    • Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 – Spoken-word poet Sarah Kay, who began performing in New York at age 14, will lecture. The founder and co-director of Project VOICE, which uses spoken-word poetry to entertain, educate and inspire young students, Kay is also the author of two books of poems, B and No Matter the Wreckage.
    • Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 – Actor Rob Lowe, best-selling author of two books and activist for breast cancer awareness, will give the Tolleson Lecture.
    • Tuesday, Mar. 29, 2016 – Keith Alexander, former director of the National Security Agency, former commander, U.S. Cyber Command, and CEO and President of IronNet Cybersecurity; and Kevin Mandia, former computer security officer with the U.S. Air Force and president of FireEye Security with nearly 20 years in the cybersecurity private sector; will give the Omni Hotels Lecture.
    • Monday, May 2, 2016 – James Carville, Democratic political strategist who led Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, political commentator, author and professor; and Karl Rove, Republican political consultant for George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns and former White House Deputy Chief of Staff; will give the Ebby Halliday Companies Lecture.

Visit SMU’s Tate Distinguished Lecture Series website: smu.edu/tateseries

2015-11-03T14:24:05+00:00 November 3, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

SMU reaches $1 billion Second Century Campaign goal; announcement made during Centennial Convocation

SMU President R. Gerald Turner has announced that SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign has reached its $1 billion goal ahead of schedule. He delivered the news on Thursday, Sept. 24, at the University’s Centennial Convocation in McFarlin Auditorium.

Read the full text of Dr. Turner’s Centennial Convocation address

The campaign’s official completion date is Dec. 31, 2015; campaign gifts will continue to be counted to that date.

The Centennial Convocation – gathering of volunteers, donors, alumni, civic leaders and other members of the campus and Dallas communities – was the official celebration of the 100th anniversary of SMU’s opening on Sept. 24, 1915, as well as a rally for its future. The centennial is being celebrated during a weekend of Homecoming and other special events.

> Find a full schedule of Centennial Homecoming events

“This is a doubly historic day for us,” said President Turner. “As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of SMU’s opening, we are pleased to announce unprecedented new support for our future. Our founders were forward-looking leaders, and they’d be pleased to see that today’s supporters are generously investing in our next century of achievement. These donors are truly the founders of our second century.”

> Find a summary of the advancements funded by the Second Century Campaign from SMU News

SMU is one of 34 private universities nationwide that has conducted a $1 billion gift campaign. Other institutions who have done so range from Columbia University and the University of Notre Dame to Emory and Vanderbilt universities.

The Dallas Morning News: SMU reaches $1 billion fundraising goal

“By raising $1 billion to support academic excellence, SMU joins distinguished company within the higher education community,” said Gerald J. Ford, SMU trustee and convening co-chair of the campaign. “This stature underscores the reality of our growth in quality and reputation. SMU is proving to be a wise and worthy investment, not only among donors, but also among the young people who will invest their futures with us as students.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

2015-10-06T16:26:25+00:00 September 24, 2015|News|

2015 Common Reading author Emily St. John Mandel to speak at SMU Wednesday, Sept. 9

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, North American coverEmily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven, the 2015 SMU Common Reading selection, will present a free lecture at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, at McFarlin Auditorium. The entire community is invited to attend.

Station Eleven is set 20 years after a virus has killed almost all humanity. The main characters are a traveling troupe of actors and musicians who bring performances of Shakespeare to the small and struggling human settlements that remain. The novel tells the story of the global disaster in real time and of its survivors 20 years later.

Community members, alumni, book lovers and book clubs are invited to join SMU Reads, a program that encourages reading and supports literacy in the Dallas community. SMU Reads participants can take part in other events planned by the University’s SMU Reads partner, the Dallas Public Library.

By registering to take part in SMU Reads, you will receive regular e-mails informing you about special events and gatherings. In addition, you also will qualify to purchase Station Eleven at a 10 percent discount through the SMU Barnes & Noble bookstore.

Upcoming events include survivalist training at REI, urban emergency preparedness from Dallas County health leaders at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library and a pop-up performance of King Lear performed by Shakespeare Dallas.

Partners in SMU Reads include Big D Reads, Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, Dallas Public Library, Dallas Social Venture Partners, Deep Vellum, Friends of the SMU Libraries, Highland Hotel, Highland Park Library, Highland Park Literary Festival, Richardson Public Library, Shakespeare Dallas, SMU Alumni Relations, the SMU Barnes and Noble Bookstore, University Park Public Library, Well Read Women of Dallas, and Wild Detectives.

For more details about events and to preregister for Mandel’s lecture visit smu.edu/smureads.

Written by Nancy George

> Visit the SMU Common Reading website

2015-09-02T12:14:01+00:00 September 2, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News|

Statistician and data-journalism pioneer Nate Silver to speak in SMU’s Tate Distinguished Lecture Series May 5, 2015

Nate Silver, SMU Tate speaker

Statistician, author and blogger Nate Silver – who has earned a national spotlight with his innovative analyses of political polling – will deliver the next Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture of 2015. Silver gives the Jones Day Lecture at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 5 in McFarlin Auditorium.

Follow Nate Silver on Twitter: @NateSilver538

Before his work in politics, Silver established his credentials as an analyst of baseball statistics. He developed the acclaimed sabermetric system PECOTA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm), which predicts player performance, career development, and seasonal winners and losers.

He first gained national attention during the 2008 presidential election, when he correctly predicted the results of the primaries and the presidential winner in 49 states. In 2012, he called 50 of 50 states. The accuracy of Silver’s analyses and predictions, and the innovative ways in which he arrived at them, led TIME Magazine to name him one of The World’s 100 Most Influential People in April 2009. In 2013, he was listed at #1 on Fast Company magazine’s list of The 100 Most Creative People in Business.

In 2010, Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog was licensed for publication by The New York Times. The site won Webby Awards for Best Political Blog from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences in 2012 and 2013.

> Learn more about Nate Silver’s work at FiveThirtyEight.com

The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver

Today, Silver is pioneering the new field of data journalism with the new FiveThirtyEight, recently relaunched in partnership with ESPN. The new format allows Silver to cover a wider range of topics, including politics, sports, science and travel. He also appears as an ESPN on-air commentator.

Silver’s first book, The Signal and the Noise, reached the New York Times best-seller list and was named the #1 best nonfiction book of 2012 by Amazon.com, as well as winning the 2013 Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science. Silver has also contributed chapters to several books in the Baseball Prospectus series, including Mind Game, Baseball Between the Numbers, and It Ain’t Over ‘til It’s Over.

Silver earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Chicago in 2000. Since then, he has received four honorary doctorates.

Tuesday’s evening lecture is sold out, but SMU students may attend for free with their University ID if seats become available. They may meet in the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m.

Silver will answer questions from University community members and local high school students in the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 5 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. The Forum is free, but seating is limited. SMU faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend; RSVP online to ensure a place.

To ask Silver a question via Twitter, send a tweet to @SMUtate with the hashtag #SMUtate.

> Visit SMU’s Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series homepage

2015-05-06T10:40:03+00:00 May 5, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News|
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