Former Colombia president Álvaro Uribe delivers Tate Lecture May 7


The 58th President of Colombia,  Álvaro Uribe, visits SMU Tuesday, May 7 for the last lecture of the 2012-13 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series. He will give the Willis M. Tate Lecture at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium. The 2013-14 Tate Lecture season will be announced at the beginning of this event.

Uribe had a history of public service and politics before serving as President of Colombia (2002-10). He got his start in 1976 as head of the Real Estate Office of the Public Works Department of Medellín, the following year he was Secretary General of  the Labor Ministry and from 1980-82 he was head of the Civil Aviation Department. Uribe served his final positions in Medellín as mayor in 1982 and city councilman from 1984-1986.

Uribe was elected Governor of the department of Antioquia for 1995-97 and was elected Senator for 1986-1990 and 1990-94. His work in Antioquia focused on schooling opportunities for students and healthcare for the poor; he received the Star Senator, Senator with the Best Programs and Best Senator awards.

> Follow Álvaro Uribe on Twitter @AlvaroUrbieVel

Photo from Uribe’s campaign, “firm hand, big heart” (c/o)

Uribe was elected President of Colombia in 2002 and was re-elected in 2006; he was the first president to be consecutively re-elected in Colombia in over a century. He is recognized for transforming the “failed state”; while he was in office homicides and kindnappings were dramatically reduced. In 2009, George W. Bush awarded President Uribe a Presidential Medal of Freedom “for his work to improve the lives of (his) citizens and for (his) efforts to promote democracy, human rights and peace abroad.”

In fall 2010, after the end of Uribe’s presidency, he came to the United States and spent a year at Georgetown University. He was the Distinguished Scholar in the Practice of Global Leadership at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. During this year he taught students in different disciplines and conducted seminars. In 2012 News Corporation welcomed Uribe to the Board of Directors.

Uribe received his degree in law from Universidad de Antioquia and his post-graduate degree from Harvard University in Management and Administration. He currently lives in Colombia with his wife and two sons.

The evening lecture is sold out, but SMU faculty, staff and students may attend for free (with ID) if seats become available. It is recommended to get to McFarlin at 7 p.m., seats are filled on a first come first served basis.

Uribe will answer questions from University community members and local high school students in the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 7 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom.

The Forum is free, but seating is limited. SMU faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend; RSVP online to ensure a place. To ask Uribe a question via Twitter, send a tweet to @SMUtate with @AlvaroUrbieVel and the hashtag #SMUtate.

Visit the SMU Tate Distinguished Lecture Series homepage at

Economics celebrates 50th anniversary of SMU’s oldest Ph.D. program

Richard B. JohnsonThe Department of Economics in SMU’s Dedman College celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Ph.D. program – the University’s first – on May 7, 2010, in the Jones Great Hall of Meadows Museum.

The program was founded by Richard B. Johnson, chair of the Economics Department from 1952 to 1968 and founder of SMU’s Southwestern Graduate School of Banking. The “Johnson Document” of 1957-58 laid out the proposed Ph.D requirements, and the University’s Board of Trustees approved the new program in May 1958.

A key step in the program’s beginning was the 1958 hiring of Paul T. Homan as the department’s new Director of Graduate Student Studies. Formerly of the University of Southern California, Homan was also the longtime editor of the American Economic Review.

Economics Ph.D. David Bowers with Willis Tate and Paul Homan, 1963On January 5, 1963, David Bowers received SMU’s first Ph.D. degree from the Department of Economics; he was one of the first 6 students admitted to the program in 1959. He made his career as a faculty member at Case Western Reserve University, where he specialized in macroeconomics, business cycles and economic forecasting. He also served as chair of Case Western’s Department of Managerial Studies and its Department of Banking and Finance.

In addition, the Department of Economics produced SMU’s first woman Ph.D. recipient. Mona Hersh-Cochran successfully defended her dissertation on “Milk Distribution: A Study in Market Structure and Regulation” on April 26, 1966. She then began a long career as a professor of economics at Texas Woman’s University, where she had begun teaching during her last year of Ph.D. studies. Hersh-Cochran was a 1991 recipient of TWU’s most prestigious award for faculty, the Cornaro Outstanding Professor Award. She received SMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995.

Economics, as part of a combined department with history, was one of SMU’s original programs of study during its 1915-16 opening year. Two professors taught 8 undergraduate courses during that first academic year.

Today, the department has 15 faculty members and 3 full-time lecturers teaching nearly 80 undergraduate, Master’s-level and Ph.D. courses. As of March 2010, the department listed 438 undergraduate majors, and it grants an average of 3 doctorates in economics each year – with 5 and 6 Ph.D. candidates earning degrees in 2009 and 2010 alone.

(Above right, Richard B. Johnson, chair of the SMU Department of Economics from 1952 to 1968 and founder of the economics Ph.D. program and SMU’s Southwestern Graduate School of Banking.)

(Above left, economics student David Bowers receives SMU’s first Ph.D. degree from President Willis M. Tate – left in photo – and Director of Graduate Student Studies Paul T. Homan. Dallas Morning News staff photo by Bill Winfrey.)