SMU’s 2016-17 Tate Lecture Series opens Tuesday, Sept. 20 with Doris Kearns Goodwin, Tom Brokaw and David Gergen

Tate Student Forum

SMU’s 2016-17 Tate Lecture Series opens Tuesday, Sept. 20 with Doris Kearns Goodwin, Tom Brokaw and David Gergen

Tom Brokaw, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David Gergen Tate Lecture Series 2016-17

Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and veteran journalist Tom Brokaw return to SMU Tuesday, Sept. 20 to kick off the 35th season of SMU’s Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series.

Goodwin and Brokaw will offer their insights on the historic 2016 U.S. election, moderated by political analyst and Tate Series veteran David Gergen. The trio will deliver The Linda and Mitch Hart Lecture program at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

Doris Kearns Goodwin by Eric Levin

Doris Kearns Goodwin | Photo credit: Eric Levin

After earning a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University, Doris Kearns Goodwin began her career as an assistant to President Lyndon Johnson in his last year in the White House. She later assisted President Johnson in preparation of his memoirs.

As a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of historical biographies, Goodwin has won praise for her meticulous, in-depth research and ability to chronicle both the public and private lives of her subjects. She has written six New York Times best-selling books.

Goodwin also worked with Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Studio to create the film Lincoln, based in part on her award-winning Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. The film grossed $275 million at the box office and earned 12 Academy Award nominations.

> Follow Doris Kearns Goodwin on Twitter @DorisKGoodwin

Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw is best known as the anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News” from 1982 to 2004. He has covered the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Challenger space-shuttle disaster, the 1989 Lorna Prieta earthquake, Hurricane Andrew and the 9/11 terror attacks. He now serves as a special correspondent for NBC News and can be heard every weekday on his radio segment, An American Story, on iHeartRadio.

In addition, Brokaw is the best-selling author of The Greatest GenerationThe Time of Our Lives: A Conversation About America, and A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope. His many awards and honors include several Emmys and Peabody Awards, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for excellence in broadcast journalism, the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in Media, and the Four Freedoms Award.

Brokaw was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014. He received his B.A. degree in political science from the University of South Dakota.

> Follow Tom Brokaw on Twitter @TomBrokaw

David Gergen

David Gergen

David Gergen is a senior political analyst for CNN, as well as professor of public service and co-director of the Center for Public Leadership in Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

In 1971, Gergen joined the Nixon White House as a staff assistant to a speech writing team and went on to presidential advisor for four former presidents. In addition to his political work, he was an officer in the U.S. Navy, worked at U.S. News & World Report and appeared on the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Gergen graduated with honors from both Yale University and Harvard Law School.

> Follow David Gergen on Twitter @David_Gergen

All SMU students, faculty and staff 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., and seats may be reserved online.

The evening lecture is sold out. However, SMU 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-serve basis.

> Learn more about the 35th Tate Distinguished Lecture Series
> For additional information, e-mail the Tate Series

August 16, 2016|Calendar Highlights, News|

SMU Tate Series to feature two political legends May 2, 2016

Veteran journalist Jim Lehrer will moderate a discussion between political legends James Carville and Karl Rove for the The Ebby Halliday Companies Lecture of SMU’s Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series Monday, May 2.

All SMU student, faculty and staff are invited to the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum segment at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Admission is free, doors open at 4 p.m. and seats may be reserved online.

Tickets to the Ebby Halliday Companies lecture are sold out. However, SMU 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-serve basis. The lecture will begin at 8 p.m.


James Caravelle

JAMES CARVILLE is a Democratic political consultant who led Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign. He previously managed several gubernatorial and senatorial campaigns. Recently, he has moved beyond domestic politics to manage political campaigns in more than 20 countries around the world.


Karl Rove

KARL ROVE is a Republican political strategist known as the architect of George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns. He served as Senior Advisor to President Bush from 2000–07 and as Deputy Chief of Staff from 2004–07.


Jim Lehrer

JIM LEHRER, moderator, spent more than 35 years as a television host for PBS and is best known as the host of PBS NEWSHOUR. Along with hosting PBS’ nightly news program, Lehrer has moderated 12 nationally televised debates in the past seven presidential elections, earning him the moniker “Dean of Moderators.”

For additional information: contact the SMU Tate Series.

May 2, 2016|Calendar Highlights, News|

Actor Rob Lowe to deliver SMU Tate Distinguished Lecture Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016

LoweRob Lowe, actor, producer, writer, director and activist, will be the featured speaker at The Tolleson Lecture of the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series at SMU Tuesday, Feb. 23. The Tolleson Lecture will begin at 8 p.m. Tuesday in SMU’s McFarlin Auditorium, 6405 Boaz Lane.

Lowe is a highly acclaimed actor who has made his mark in both television and film. He began his acting career in the TV series “A New Kind of Family” in 1979-80. He received his first Golden Globe Award nomination for his supporting actor role in the 1983 TV film Thursday’s Child. Also in 1983, Lowe made his feature film debut in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Outsiders. Subsequent feature films include Wayne’s World, Tommy Boy and Thank You for Smoking.

Lowe’s fan base expanded significantly with his role in the hit TV drama “The West Wing” from 1999-2003. That series brought him two Screen Actors Guild awards and nominations for Emmy and Golden Globe awards. Following “The West Wing,” Lowe starred in the TV series “Brothers and Sisters” from 2007-10 and “Parks and Recreation” from 2010-15. His portrayal of President John F. Kennedy in the 2013 television movie Killing Kennedy was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award. Currently, Lowe plays the lead role in the Fox comedy “The Grinder,” which debuted in September 2015.

In addition to his acting, Lowe has credits as a producer, writer and director. He also is an activist for breast cancer awareness. He has written two books: his 2011 New York Times best-seller, Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography; and Love Life, published in 2014. Lowe lives in California.

Follow Rob Lowe on Twitter @RobLowe

All SMU community members are invited to hear Lowe speak and answer questions at 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.

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

February 23, 2016|Calendar Highlights, News|

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:

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

December 1, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News|

Krauthammer, Moyers close 2011-12 Tate season May 1

Award-winning journalists and commentators Charles Krauthammer and Bill Moyers visit SMU May 1 for the final event of the 2011-12 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series season. They will give the Gregg and Molly Engles Lecture at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

Charles KrauthammerWinner of the Pulitzer Prize and named by The Financial Times as the most influential commentator in America, Charles Krauthammer has received honors for his writing from every part of the political spectrum, including People for the American Way’s First Amendment Award and the Bradley Foundation’s Bradley Prize. Since 1985, he has written a syndicated column for The Washington Post, for which he won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary. It is published weekly in more than 240 newspapers worldwide.

Krauthammer is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and The New Republic, and a weekly panelist on Inside Washington. He is also a contributor to FOX News, appearing nightly on FOX’s evening program, Special Report with Bret Baier.

Follow Charles Krauthammer on Twitter @krauthammer

Bill MoyersA survey of television critics by Television Quarterly, the official journal of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, placed Bill Moyers among the 10 journalists who have had the most significant influence on television news. He has received more than 30 Emmy Awards for excellence and 2 prestigious Gold Baton awards, the highest honor of the Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Award. He has also won 9 Peabody Awards and 3 George Polk Awards, including the Career Achievement Award.

Before establishing Public Affairs Television in 1986, Moyers served as executive editor of Bill Moyers’ Journal on public television, senior news analyst for the CBS Evening News, and chief correspondent for the acclaimed documentary series CBS Reports. Two of his public television series, Creativity (1982) and A Walk Through the 20th Century (1984), were named Outstanding Informational Series by the Academy of Arts and Sciences. With his wife and partner, Public Affairs Television President Judith Davidson Moyers, he has produced hundreds of hours of programming for public television. Currently, he is the host of Moyers & Company.

Follow Bill Moyers on Twitter @billmoyers

Krauthammer and Moyers will answer questions from SMU community members and local high school students in the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. May 1 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m.

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 the speakers a question via Twitter, send a tweet with the hashtag #TateSMU. Student moderator Derek Hubbard will ask some of these questions during the event.

The Tate Series’ 2012-13 season will be announced at the evening event, which is sold out. Watch the SMU Forum for more information after the announcement, and learn more at

May 1, 2012|Calendar Highlights, News|
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