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July 30, 2001

WASHINGTON JOURNALIST GWEN IFILL TO SPEAK AT SMU

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DALLAS (SMU) -- Tickets are now on sale for the fourth annual Louise B. Raggio Endowed Lecture in Women's Studies featuring Gwen Ifill, moderator and managing editor of PBS' "Washington Week" and senior correspondent and occasional anchor on "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer." The Raggio lecture will be at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater at Southern Methodist University.

On "Washington Week," Ifill leads a rotating panel of journalists offering analysis into the week's top news stories. She previously worked at NBC News as chief congressional and political correspondent, appearing on the "Nightly News with Tom Brokaw," "Today" and MSNBC, and was a frequent panelist on "Meet the Press." Prior to that, Ifill was the White House correspondent for The New York Times, and covered politics and government for The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun and the Boston Herald American. She chairs the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Journalism Awards, is a board member of the Harvard Institute of Politics and a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Tickets are $10 for the lecture and a dessert reception. To attend a dinner with Gwen Ifill at 6 p.m., as well as the lecture and reception, tickets are $75. Visa and Mastercard are accepted. For more information or tickets, contact Lisa Chou at (214) 768-2610 or by email at lisac@mail.smu.edu. Proceeds benefit the Women's Studies Program at SMU.

In her lecture, Ifill will look at the current political climate, including insights on the first year of the Bush presidency and key legislative issues facing the nation. She also will meet with SMU students in a private session during the day of the lecture.

The Raggio Lecture Series brings role models of vision and achievement to SMU to speak on politics and gender issues. Launched in 1998, the program has featured author and feminist Gloria Steinem, U.S. Rep. Patricia Schroeder and author Susan Faludi.

The lecture series is named for Dallas family attorney Louise Ballerstedt Raggio, who directed a task force in the mid-1960s resulting in the Texas Marital Property Act of 1967, giving women the right to own property. The only woman in her SMU Law School class of 1952, Raggio is known as the "Mother of the Texas Family Code." For 12 years, Raggio worked with other legal scholars to streamline Texas' marriage, family and divorce laws into the first codified set of family laws in the world.


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