Campus Life

Robin Roberts Tate Lecture

The Tate Lecture Series hosted at SMU brings prestigious speakers to campus that are either industry leaders, political figures, or influential thinkers who have experiences to share that are unmatched throughout the world. Most recently, I was able to attend the Robin Roberts Tate Lecture, which was both an entertaining and humbling experience. Roberts is a co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America, an athlete, and a cancer survivor. Her story opened my eyes to the potential future challenges, but also encouraged me to remember that the power of an optimistic outlook can carry you through even the toughest of times.

Carissa Laughlin (far left, student ambassador), Jacob Conway, and Emily Hegi (student ambassador)
Carissa Laughlin (far left, student ambassador), Jacob Conway, and Emily Hegi (student ambassador)

Roberts shared personal stories, including the first time she reported for a sports news show on live television, and the time where she met the Queen of England. Her spirit was infectious, as she kept the crowd laughing the entire time. Even through the conversations about fighting cancer, Roberts was positive and candid. Roberts mentioned that although she does not agree with people who say cancer is the best thing that ever happened to them (because she said it definitely was not), that cancer did help her to prioritize and balance family time and relationships with her busy career.

I am a senior here at SMU graduating this May. Attending this Tate Lecture encouraged me to reflect on all of the other similar opportunities I have had as an SMU student over my four years. I was able to attend the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Institute opening, the opening of the new Residential Commons buildings, a dinner with the SMU Board of Trustees, and much more. SMU provides these unparalleled opportunities for its students across all majors and interests, and I believe this is something that makes SMU unique to all other universities.

By Carissa Laughlin

By Claire Piepenburg


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