The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
Dallas homeless recovery center, The Bridge, is a home
Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024

Taking advantage of the Tate Lecture Series

One day I might actually take the time to compile a list of things you do not want to miss while you are at SMU. This list would include some obvious things: attend Celebration of Lights, go to the Family Weekend Talent Show, attend a sporting event for every sport, go to the Brown Bag Dance Series, attend a JAMPACT concert and take a class or two at SMU-in-Taos. One important “to do” that you must take advantage of is the Tate Lecture Series.

I don’t know about you, but my expectations for college included a strong desire to be intellectually challenged and culturally expanded. However, I highly doubt most people flip out their Blackberries or iPhones and add a new calendar entry for every interesting lecture held on campus. And to the students who complain that SMU is not very conducive to the “life of the mind,” I often wonder how many academic opportunities they have actually pursued. I have to admit, it is easy to ignore the paper flyer on the door of your classroom, the e-mails sent by the Honors Program, or the other confusing myriad of advertising channels utilized by the University. I know that I am guilty of not prioritizing many of these academic opportunities.

Now, I do not believe that I really need to present a case for why you should attend these lectures. I mean, don’t you want to become more knowledgeable about things beyond what you study in the classroom? Don’t you wish you heard perspectives and insights from some of the world’s leading experts on various topics? If you do not intend on learning or expanding your personal interests, then don’t go. Besides, we don’t want to force you to go to something you won’t enjoy.

I have to agree that it is not easy to know when many of these lectures are available. Some lectures on campus are very well publicized, and others are only promoted within specific departments. You have to do a little research to find some that interest you. To make your life just a little easier, I have included a list of the more well-established lecture series we offer at SMU. This list is not comprehensive. These are free lecture series that I have personally attended.

The Tate Lecture Series –

Gartner Lecture Series –

Godbey Lecture Series –

Gilbert Lecture Series –

Clements Center Brown Bag Lecture Series –

Meadows Museum Thursday Lectures –

The Sound Minds Lecture Series –

Another great resource is the SMU Calendar. Just visit and filter your search by lectures. It’s that easy. For example, just filtering for this week we have a presidential panel and mock election, a lecture on hospital ethics and the future of bioethics, and a Meadows Museum Thursday evening lecture.

The one lecture I definitely plan on attending this week is the Tate Lecture Student Forum with Quincy Jones. What an exciting opportunity to hear one of the greatest artists of the last six decades!

The Tate Lecture Series is my favorite, but I’m a little biased. It features a student Q&A in the afternoon before the evening lecture. I highly recommend more students take advantage of these smaller session opportunities to engage in conversation with our honored speakers. This past week, I had the opportunity to listen to Ambassador Clark T. Randt, Jr. share his experiences in China. How many people can say they’ve sat in the same room or shook hands with Martin Sheen, Bob and Lee Woodruff, Tony Blair and three of the top leading scientists in America all in the same semester? If you were an SMU student last year, you definitely had the opportunity.

So, stop reading this article, go do your homework and take the time to attend one of these events this semester. I beg you, for the sake of not only yourself, but also your academic peers, go and enrich your mind. Feed that hunger for knowledge and that desire for a life of the mind. You owe it to yourself and the people who do not have the same opportunities. Did I mention these lectures are all free? So go listen, learn and become a better Mustang.

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