Calendar Highlights: Sept. 24, 2014

Tower Center for Political Studies

Calendar Highlights: Sept. 24, 2014

lonmorThe Morenci Marines: A Tale of Small Town America and the Vietnam War: Clements Center Monthly Talks presents Kyle Longley, author of The Morenci Marines: A Tale of Small Town America and the Vietnam War. Drawing on personal interviews and correspondence, Longley’s book sheds light on nine young men who left the Arizona mining camp of Morenci to serve their country in Vietnam. The event will take place 12:30-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24, in 144 Simmons Hall. 

Virtual Read-Out: As part of international Banned Books Week, SMU Fondren Library will host a Virtual Read-Out 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24. Join SMU and readers across the world to read 30 seconds out loud from a banned book of your choice. Click here to see a list of books challenged or banned in 2013-14.

SMU's James F. Hollifield

SMU’s James F. Hollifield will lead discussion on “The Euro Crisis and the Challenge for France.”

The Euro Crisis and the Challenge for France: SMU John G. Tower Center for Political Studies hosts SMU Professor James Hollifield and Dr. Mark Wynne as they discuss “The Euro Crisis and the Challenge for France.” The event will take place 12-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25 in the Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Great Hall. Open only to Tower Center Forum members, SMU students, faculty and staff, attendees are asked to please RSVP here.

Happiness Symposia: Continuing its two-month series on “Happiness: What Makes you Smile?” the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute presents Mary Esteve, Associate Professor of English at Concordia University, Thursday, Sept. 25. Esteve will share her work on “The Politics and Polemics of Happiness: Back to the Postwar Future.” The event will take place at 5 p.m. in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall.

33rd Season of Tate Lecture Series: Former Secretaries of State Madeleine K. Albright and Colin L. Powell will visit SMU Monday, Sept. 29 to kick off the 33rd season of the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture SeriesRead more about the 2014-15 kickoff event.

Coach Larry Brown Lecture on Value and Ethics: The Alpha Upsilon chapter of Delta Gamma and the Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility presents Basketball Hall of Fame Head Coach, Larry Brown as the next Delta Gamma Lecturer in Values and Ethics. The event will take place 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater. Read more about the Lectureship in Values and Ethics [pdf].

September 24, 2014|Calendar Highlights, Year of the Faculty|

Tune In: Tower Center’s Joshua Rovner talks national security after al Qaeda on ‘Think’ Sept. 11, 2014

Joshua RovnerJoshua Rovner, director of studies in SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, will discuss U.S. national security strategies in a post-al Qaeda landscape on KERA 90.1 FM Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. Rovner will appear on “Think with Krys Boyd” during the 1-2 p.m. hour with Hal Brands, assistant professor of public policy and history at Duke University.

Tune in at

Rovner and Brands are also among the speakers in tonight’s Tower Center Forum, “After al Qaeda: The Future of American Grand Strategy.” Joining them will be Barry R. Posen, Ford International Professor of Political Science and director of the Security Studies Program at MIT. The discussion, moderated by Rovner, will explore American “grand strategy” of the past, present, and future for maintaining national security.

The event is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014 in the Great Hall, Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall. It is free and open to the public; reservations are required. RSVP to the Tower Center.

Learn more about SMU’s Tower Center online

$4 million in gifts will fund SMU Tower Scholars Program

SMU Tower Center logoGifts totaling more than $4 million will endow and provide operational support for the new Tower Scholars Program – a unique immersion experience for undergraduates in public policymaking through SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies.

A gift of $2 million, made possible by Highland Capital Management L.P., will endow the Highland Capital Management Endowed Tower Scholars Program Fund. The participating students will be recognized as Highland Capital Management Tower Scholars.

A gift of $1 million from the Hamon Charitable Foundation will endow the Jake L. Hamon Endowed Internship Program in the Tower Scholars Program Fund. A $1 million gift from The Berry R. Cox Family Foundation will support endowment and provide operational support.

The University has received additional donations totaling over $400,000 toward operation of the Tower Scholars Program fund – important to the implementation of the program until the endowments mature.

> The Dallas Morning NewsBob Miller: SMU’s Tower Scholars Program receives over $4 million in gifts

Ten sophomore students will be selected as Highland Capital Management Tower Scholars every year. Students may apply to the program during the fall term of their sophomore year; the first applications are being accepted in fall 2014. The first scholars will begin their studies in spring 2015 leading to a minor in Public Policy and International Affairs.

The scholars will be steeped in domestic and foreign affairs, national security and defense, and international political economy. Access to global and national leaders and policy makers, study abroad opportunities and meaningful senior-year internships are hallmarks of the program. The specialized curriculum includes instruction by professors-of-the-practice and visiting diplomats.

“Few American universities offer a program designed for undergraduates with as much real-world policy education and experience as does the Tower Scholars Program,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The gifts that make this program possible allow students to begin gaining professional perspectives while working toward their undergraduate degrees, bridging the usual gap between graduation and career development.”

“The Tower Center is a signature program within SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and I’m delighted with the opportunity this presents for all of our SMU students,” said Dedman College Dean Thomas DiPiero. “The students who will graduate as Highland Capital Management Tower Scholars are destined for great things,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Paul Ludden.

The invitation-only Tower Scholars Program and associated minor is open for application from all majors across SMU’s schools, with admission based on a competitive process. The minor in Public Policy and International Affairs requires 15 hours of political science courses, beginning with Introduction to Global Policy Making in the spring of the sophomore year. The scholars will develop mentor relationships with public policy practitioners, work with clients on actual cases, and have access to local businesses, decision makers and Tower Center Board members.

The gifts to fund the Tower Scholars Program count toward the $1 billion goal of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, which to date has raised $874 million to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience.

Written by Kimberly Cobb

> Read the full story from SMU News

September 9, 2014|News|

‘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

February 14, 2014|Calendar Highlights, News|

2013 Tower Center conference examines defense under austerity

soldierEmerging regional threats and national security under budget austerity. will be the hot topics during a 2013 national security conference Oct. 30-31 at SMU. It is the 6th annual conference hosted by the University’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies.

“The Tower Center National Security Conference brings together a stellar group of senior military officers, policymakers and academic security specialists who can speak to the big picture as well as the nuts and bolts of the defense budget,” said Joshua Rovner, director of studies for the Tower Center. “We hope to encourage a serious discussion about the future of international security, the range of U.S. strategic responses and the difficult choices that will be necessary under fiscal austerity.”

The conference will open Wednesday, Oct. 30 with a keynote address by Gordon England, president of E6 Partners, LLC and the 29th U.S. deputy secretary of defense. His address, “The Changing Intersections of Technology, Culture and Leadership,” will examine the evolution of technology and its effect on markets, cultures, countries, companies and workers.

England served as the 72nd and 73rd secretary of the Navy and as the first deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Prior to joining the federal government, England served as president of the General Dynamics Fort Worth Division (later Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company); as president of General Dynamics Land Systems; and as corporate executive vice president of General Dynamics Information Systems and Technology Sector, Ground Combat Systems Sector and the International Sector.

On Thursday, Oct. 31, the conference focuses on national security under budget austerity featuring three panel discussions and a keynote address by Peter Feaver, Duke University professor of political science and public policy and director of the Program in American Grand Strategy. He also is director of Duke’s Triangle Institute for Security Studies. From June 2005 to July 2007, Feaver served as special advisor for strategic planning and institutional reform on the National Security Council staff at the White House, where his responsibilities included national security strategy, regional strategy reviews and other political-military issues.

All three panel discussions will seek to combine an objective assessment of emerging regional threats with a discussion of defense spending in a time of fiscal austerity. Panel one will examine national security threats and opportunities. The second panel will discuss national security capabilities and choices, and panel three will close with a debate on money and politics as it relates to national security.

“Debates about national security need to take budget realities into account,” says Rovner. “At the same time, debates about defense spending can’t just be about number crunching. Instead, they must start with a broad understanding of national interests, threats to national security and the menu of possible strategic responses.”

> Visit SMU’s Tower Center for Political Studies online

October 29, 2013|Calendar Highlights, News|
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