In 1977, U.S. Senator John Goodwin Tower ’53, a member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, presented his weekly television spot, “Tower News,” to Texans.

“I believe more and more people across the country are beginning to recognize that the Soviet Union is engaged in serious, steady and sustained efforts to become the dominant modern military power in the world,” Tower said in one broadcast. He represented Texas in the U.S. Senate from 1961 through 1984.

A digital video of the recording, along with other Tower speeches, is available to viewers for the first time in more than 30 years on SMU’s Central University Libraries’ website as the result of a gift from the late senator’s youngest daughter, former SMU Trustee Jeanne Tower Cox ’78. (View the Libraries’ digital collections at

The project represents a collaboration between two universities. The speeches had been preserved on film considered too fragile to screen at Tower’s undergraduate alma mater, Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, home of the John G. Tower Collection. SMU houses the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, which was established by his family soon after Tower and his daughter Marian were killed in a plane crash in 1991.

Plans call for more materials to be digitized for Central University Libraries. “We have embarked on an ambitious plan to bring hidden treasures into the public domain,” says Gillian McCombs, dean and director of Central University Libraries. “We are counting on the support of SMU alumni and friends to help us.”

To learn about supporting Central University Libraries, please contact Director of Development Paulette Mulry at 214-768-1741 or