New Tate Lecture season begins Sept. 11, 2012

William J. Bennett, Chris Matthews, and David GergenFormer U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett will meet journalist and commentator Chris Matthews at SMU to offer insights and opinions on current events, including the 2012 elections. They kick off the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series’ 2012-13 season at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11 in McFarlin Auditorium.

Their discussion will be moderated by news analyst, former White House adviser and longtime Tate Series favorite David Gergen.

Bennett is the Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute, where he is also the chairman of Americans for Victory over Terrorism, a project dedicated to sustaining and strengthening public opinion in the war on terrorism. He headed the U.S. Department of Education during the Reagan administration. He later served the nation’s first Drug Czar as part of the George H.W. Bush. The author of numerous books, including the perennial best-seller The Book of Virtues (1993), Bennett is also the host of the nationally syndicated radio show Morning in America. In addition, he is the founder and first chairman of the online education company K-12.

> Follow Bennett on Twitter @WilliamJBennett

Matthews is host of MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” and NBC’s “The Chris Matthews Show.” As a journalist, he has covered the fall of the Berlin Wall, the first all-races election in South Africa, the Good Friday Peace Accord in Northern Ireland, the funeral of Pope John Paul II, and every U.S. presidential election campaign since the 1980s. His 14 years as a newspaper journalist included time as Washington bureau chief for The San Francisco Examiner and as a national columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle. Previously, he had a 15-year career in public service in the U.S. Senate, in the White House during the Carter Administration, and as the top aide to Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill. He is the author of 7 best-selling books, including his most recent, Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero (2011).

Keep up with Matthews on Twitter @Hardball_Chris

David Gergen is a senior political analyst for CNN and the director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he is also a professor of public service. Gergen joined the Nixon White House in 1971 as a staff assistant to a speech writing team that included Pat Buchanan, Ben Stein and Bill Safire. He worked in the administration of Gerald Ford and as an adviser to the 1980 George H.W. Bush presidential campaign. He served as director of communications for Ronald Reagan and as adviser to Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Warren Christopher on domestic and foreign affairs. In 2000, he published the best-selling book, Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton.

Check out Gergen on Twitter @David_Gergen

The lecture is sold out. All SMU community members are invited to attend the Tate Lecture Series Student Forum with the speakers at 4:30 p.m. on lecture day in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m. Seats may be reserved online, and reserved seats are guaranteed until 4:15 p.m.

To ask the speakers a question via Twitter, send a tweet with the hashtag #SMUTateGergen. A moderator will ask some of these questions during the event.

Learn more about this season’s Tate lecturers and the Tate Student Forum series for the community at