Reporters may contact: Christina Ezekowitz
Lecture Programs
(214) 768-8283

April 12, 2001


DALLAS (SMU) -- As the result of a generous gift from American Airlines, the SMU Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series will present the first annual American Airlines Tate Academic Summit April 18. Each year, the Summit will consist of a variety of academic activities for both on-campus and off-campus constituents, providing a full-day's access to a Tate lecturer following his/her appearance at the Tate Series.

For the inaugural event, SMU will welcome underwater explorer and discoverer of the lost Titanic, Dr. Robert Ballard. Ballard will spend the day following his April 17 Tate lecture engaged in discourse with various faculty and student groups. His appeal to the areas of anthropology, history, law, engineering, business, religious studies and filmmaking, among others, should provide for an exciting day of diverse experiences.

"American Airlines is proud to be associated with this opportunity for SMU," said Tim Doke, vice president-corporate communications for the American Airlines Foundation. "This inaugural Academic Summit day will offer a great start to what is hopefully a long-term project for SMU's Tate Lecture Series and American Airlines."

The Tate Lecture Series is in its 19th season, bringing speakers of international prominence to the Dallas community. All proceeds generated from the Series benefit SMU's President's Scholars program and other student initiatives.

AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines, is a worldwide leader in scheduled air transportation, the development and application of information technology for aviation, travel and tourism, and other aviation-related activities.