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April 29, 2002


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Related release: Kathy Bates To Give SMU Commencement Address

DALLAS (SMU) -- SMU will confer three honorary degrees during its 87th annual commencement ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 18, in Moody Coliseum, 6024 Airline Road.

This year’s recipients are Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates, who will receive an honorary Doctor of Arts degree; former British cabinet secretary and master of University College, Oxford, Lord Butler of Brockwell, who will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree; and author and founding editor of Ms. Magazine Gloria Steinem, who will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

In addition, each of the recipients will take part in a series of symposia highlighting their achievements on Friday, May 17.

2:30 p.m. Bates symposium: “Reminiscence and Rumination: A Dialogue Starring a Cast of Real Characters Honoring Kathy Bates”; Greer Garson Theatre, 6101 Bishop Blvd; free and open to the public, but tickets are required, 214-768-2787; presented by the Meadows School of the Arts.

3:30 p.m. Steinem symposium: “Gloria in Excelsis”; Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater, 3140 Dyer St.; free and open to the public; presented by the Office of the Provost, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, the William P. Clements Jr. Department of History and the Women’s Studies Program.

4 p.m. Lord Butler symposium: “Lord Butler of Brockwell and British Politics”; Smith Auditorium in the Meadows Museum, 6101 Bishop Blvd.; free and open to the public; presented by SMU-in-Oxford, Office of the Provost, The International Office, the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies and the William P. Clements Jr. Department of History.

Bates, a 1969 graduate of SMU Meadows School of the Arts, will deliver this year’s commencement speech in addition to receiving an honorary degree. She began her career in the theater, working on and off Broadway, where she earned a Tony Award nomination for her role as the suicidal daughter in the Pulitzer Prize-winning “ ‘night, Mother” and an Obie Award for her portrayal of the down-and-out waitress in “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.” Appearing in more than 50 motion pictures, Bates won the 1990 Academy Award for Best Actress for “Misery.” In 1999 she won the Screen Actors Guild Award and was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for her work in “Primary Colors.”

Lord Butler served as cabinet secretary during the administrations of British Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair. In this capacity, he headed Britain’s entire civil service. He was made a life peer in 1998 and a member of the Royal Commission charged with reforming the House of Lords. That same year he became master of University College, which is Oxford University’s oldest college, founded in 1249. The master is elected by fellows of the college to lead the institution, a position equivalent of a college presidency. University College is home to SMU-in-Oxford and the Dedman School of Law summer program, and each summer Lord Butler has greeted SMU faculty and students with warm hospitality and enlightening talks on British politics.

Steinem is recognized as one of the foremost organizers of the modern women’s movement. She is a writer and consulting editor for Ms. Magazine, the international feminist bimonthly that she co-founded in 1972. Included among her books are Moving Beyond Words, Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem, and Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions. As an organizer, Steinem helped found the Women’s Action Alliance, a national center that provides nonsexist, multiracial children’s education and communication among women’s groups; the National Women’s Political Caucus; and the Coalition of Labor Union Women. She is founding president of the Ms. Foundation for Women, a national multiracial women’s fund that supports grass roots projects to empower women and girls.

Kathy Bates Gloria Steinem Lord Butler of Brockwell