The last thing that most students want to do when they get out of class on Tuesday afternoons is get ready to go to another lecture after dinner at 8pm. There is only one exception—one lecture that students (including myself) dress up for, make plans with friends for, and line up to get tickets for if they get the chance: the Tate Lecture Series.
I know, I know. You’re thinking, you mean a lecture where a bunch of old people sit around and discuss boring topics in front of an audience? Well, if that’s what you’re thinking, then think again. The Tate Lecture Series brings to SMU’s campus a variety of speakers, young, old, experts in a variety of fields, and all passionate about what they’re doing and willing to share it. Basically, our lecture series is like a fancier TED talk, once a month.
Going to these lectures has been one of the highlights of my time at SMU, and in just the two years that I’ve been here, I’ve had the opportunity to see Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, Richard Haas, Ken Burns, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Nate Silver, and even Rob Lowe (pictured above in the selfie that he took of himself in front of McFarlin Auditorium right before he went on stage). In the hours that I have spent in the presence of these influential people, I have learned so much about passion, dedication, creativity, tenacity, failure and success. Going to the Tate Lecture’s isn’t about hearing a laundry-list of these world changer’s awards and credentials. It’s about listening to their perspective on the fields they occupy and life in general. I frequently find myself taking notes during the lecture or writing down quotes to share with my friends later.
Having the opportunity to go to these lectures is an incredible opportunity that SMU students are fortunate to have, and I have done my absolute best to attend as many as possible. There’s something (or rather, someone) for everyone and I would encourage every SMU student to seize this opportunity as soon as they get to campus.