Middle East expert Gil Elan to speak at SMU March 14, 2013

Gil ElanGil Elan, president of the Southwest Jewish Congress and an expert on Israel and the Middle East, will discuss topics ranging from the Arab Spring to President Obama’s upcoming visit to the region at a meeting of the SMU Retired Faculty Association Thursday, March 14, 2013.

All SMU faculty and staff members are invited to attend. The discussion begins at 2 p.m. in Smith Auditorium, Meadows Museum. A reception will follow at 3 p.m.

A retired lieutenant colonel in the Israel Defense Forces, Elan gained extensive expertise as a combat and briefing officer and as a strategic and political analyst. Educated in London and Tel Aviv, he has published numerous articles and columns on the Middle East and hosted a popular live radio program in Seattle.

Topics will include the unintended consequences of the Arab Spring in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and other countries, as well as their relevance to the current civil war in Syria and their influence on U.S. and Israeli policy. Elan will also discuss Obama’s imminent visit to Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan, scheduled for March 20-23.

The event is sponsored by the SMU Retired Faculty Association, with the support of the Provost’s Office.

For more information, contact Marion Sobol Helgason, Retired Faculty Association president.

Jim Schutze to speak in Retired Faculty Association lecture

Jim SchutzeAuthor and Dallas Observer columnist Jim Schutze will share his views on everything from City Hall to the Trinity River toll road with the Retired Faculty Association Oct. 13. “Inside Dallas: A Muckraker’s Paradise” begins at 4 p.m. in Smith Auditorium, Meadows Museum.

A former Dallas bureau chief for the Houston Chronicle, Schutze is familiar to Dallasites for his Observer work focusing on city politics. His reporting has earned three Unity Awards, a national prize for journalism on racial issues.

Schutze is also the author of several nonfiction books on true murder cases; two have been finalists for the Edgar Allan Poe Award presented by the Mystery Writers of America. His 1998 work, Bully: A True Story of High School Revenge, in 2001 became a major motion picture directed by Larry Clark.

The afternoon begins with a wine and cheese reception from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Meadows Museum’s Jones Great Hall. The event is sponsored by the SMU Retired Faculty Association, with the support of the Provost’s Office.

For more information, contact Darwin Payne, Retired Faculty Association president.

Tom Sime to give first lecture in Retired Faculty Association series

Tom SimeSMU’s Retired Faculty Association, with the support of the Provost’s Office, has invited Dallas playwright and theater critic Tom Sime to inaugurate its annual Distinguished Lecture series. Sime will speak on “Commercial and Nonprofit Theater: Competition or Symbiosis?” at 3:30 p.m. March 13, 2009 in Smith Auditorium, Meadows Museum.

In a departure from its usual retirees-only events, “the RFA is inviting active faculty and staff to the new series as a means of strengthening its ties to former colleagues and the University,” says Thomas Arp, professor emeritus of English in Dedman College and RFA president.

Sime is well known in the Metroplex for his reviews in The Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Observer and was manager for the Contemporary Theater of Dallas. His most recent play, My Favorite Animal, was staged by his newly formed company, The Modern Stage, at Teatro Dallas in August 2008. In addition, Sime is a painter and sculptor with gallery showings in Dallas, New York and Houston. He received his B.F.A. degree in cinema from SMU in 1990.

The lecture will be preceded by a wine-and-cheese reception at 2:30 p.m. in the museum’s Great Hall. For more information, contact Thomas Arp. (Above, Tom Sime in a Dallas Morning News file photo.)