The following is from the June 11, 2008, edition of The Dallas Morning News.

Tate Distinguished Lecture Series delivers leaders

Robert Miller
Business Columnist for The Dallas Morning News

The 2008-09 Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series at Southern Methodist University offers variety, informative discourse and uninterrupted entertainment as it brings renowned leaders from diverse fields to share their perspectives with area residents.

The Tuesday evening lectures, which appear from September to May, don't build to a crescendo; they start off at a high level that is maintained throughout. Judge for yourself.

Sept. 16: The Linda and Mitch Hart Lecture featuring James A. Baker III, senior statesman and former White House power broker, and Sam Nunn, former U.S. senator and international arms expert, moderated by David Gergen, news analyst, Harvard University professor and former White House adviser.

Sept. 30: The Gregg and Molly Engles Lecture with Clark T. Randt Jr., U.S. ambassador to China since 2001.

Oct. 7: The Omni Hotels Lecture with Quincy Jones, legendary entertainment icon and the all-time most- nominated Grammy artist.

Dec. 2: The Dan and Gail Cook Lecture with Philippe de Montebello, the longest- serving director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Jan. 27: The Oncor Electric Delivery Lecture with Chris Jordan, world- renowned photographer and environmental activist.

March 3: The Jones Day Lecture with Nicholas Kristof, Pulitzer Prize- winning commentator from The New York Times.

April 14: The Lacerte Family Lecture with Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the first woman elected to lead an African nation.

May 5: The Tolleson Lecture with Cokie Roberts, political analyst for ABC News and author of the best-seller Ladies of Liberty.

"Each year, the Tate Lecture Series faces the formidable task of announcing a speaker lineup that builds on the previous year's series," said Gregg Engles, chair of the series' board of directors.

"The Tate Lecture Series brings North Texas the opportunity to hear from national and international leaders and provides SMU with significant financial support for scholarships and student programs," said Brad E. Cheves, SMU's vice president for development and external affairs. "And through the Turner Construction Student Forums, we are pleased to provide thousands of area high school and middle school students the opportunity to hear from these legendary leaders."

The Tate Lecture Series is presented by The Dallas Morning News and sponsored by American Airlines Inc., Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Turner Construction Co. and WFAA-TV (Channel 8). The series gives nearly $1 million to the university each year.

A limited number of tickets to individual lectures may be ordered online at or by calling 214-SMU-TATE (214-768-8283). They cost $40 each for seats in the second balcony at McFarlin Auditorium.

There's a waiting list for season tickets, which range from $250 to $600.

# # #