One 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.
As the days dwindle down to a precious few, here are some notable dates for the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012:
- Dec. 16: The Guildhall at SMU Cohort 14 Exhibition and Graduation, SMU-in-Plano. Paul Barnett, senior creative director of BioWare Mythic and the guiding force behind the critically acclaimed MMO game Warhammer Online, will deliver the graduation keynote speech.
- Dec. 17: Last day of term and official date for conferral of degrees.
- Dec. 17: All-University December Graduation Ceremony, 10 a.m., Moody Coliseum. Business and civic leader and SMU Trustee Carl Sewell (’66) will give the address. Faculty members may RSVP online for the Faculty Breakfast and processional.
- Dec. 26, 2011-Jan. 2, 2012: University holidays.
- Jan. 3-12: J Term 2012 at SMU-in-Plano.
SMUSA plays Santa: The SMU Staff Association continues to collect gifts for United Way partner Children’s Medical Center of Dallas until Dec. 14, 2011. The Staff Association is accepting “ABCs” – action figures and dolls or their accessories; board games or handheld games and puzzles; and cards (as in gift cards, to child-friendly stores). Check the most current list of drop-off locations for the one nearest you.
Fine forgiveness: The Central University Libraries 2011 Food for Fines drive is on through Friday, Dec. 16. Every gift of a can or package of nonperishable food for the North Texas Food Bank equals a $2 credit toward outstanding library fines assessed from November 2011 onward. The waiver applies to materials from Fondren Library Center, Hamon Arts Library and the ISEM Reading Room and for all SMU faculty, staff and students. Drop off donations at any listed library.
Celebration station: President and Mrs. R. Gerald Turner host the 2011 All-University Holiday Party 3:30-5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19, in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.
Signed and sealed: SMU Chaplain Steve Rankin will sign his new book, Aiming at Maturity: The Goal of the Christian Life, from 2-4 p.m. Dec. 20 at Logos Bookstore, 6620 Snider Plaza. In this work, published by Wipf and Stock, Rev. Dr. Rankin draws from the Scriptures, from popular biblical interpretation, and from his own work as a teacher and minister to make the case for spiritual maturity. For more information, call the Chaplain’s Office at 214-768-4502.
SMU’s DeGolyer Library is honoring Willard Spiegelman on April 30 to mark the release of his latest book – a celebration of the pursuit of everyday pleasures. The event begins with a 6 p.m. reception in the library’s Texana Room, followed by a 6:30 lecture and book signing in its Stanley Marcus Reading Room
Spiegelman, the Duwain E. Hughes Jr. Distinguished Professor of English in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has written Seven Pleasures: Essays on Ordinary Happiness, published in April 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. In Seven Pleasures, Spiegelman seeks to define “real happiness” and examines the possibilities for achieving it without recourse to the “happiness industries” – religion and pharmacology.
In his essays, Spiegelman – who is also editor of SMU’s Southwest Review literary quarterly – explores 7 activities that lead naturally and easily to a sense of well-being: dancing, reading, walking, looking, listening, swimming and writing.
“Some books are easy companions, and this essay collection, in which Spiegelman speaks affectionately of them, can join their ranks,” reads the Publishers Weekly review. “Spiegelman … is no self-help guru, but he is an intelligent, well-read and kindly soul.”
Copies of Spiegelman’s book will be available for purchase at the signing. The event is free; to reserve a place, contact Betty Friedrich in DeGolyer Library.