Contact: Victoria Winkelman or Kami Duncan
SMU Meadows School of the Arts
(214) 768-3785 or (214) 768-2788

September 17, 2002


Click on the photo below to view or download a high-resolution .jpg version.

(Photo printed with permission of The Dallas Morning News.)

DALLAS (SMU) -- Karen Hughes, adviser to President George W. Bush, will give the third annual Rosine Smith Sammons Lecture in Media Ethics at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, in Caruth Auditorium, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the campus of Southern Methodist University. The event is free; however, tickets are required and are available through the Meadows Ticket Office at 214-768-2787. The Sammons Lecture Series is presented by the Division of Journalism at SMU's Meadows School of the Arts.

Hughes, 45, has served as President Bush's trusted adviser and consultant for almost a decade, working side by side with him since the days he was an underdog candidate for Texas governor in 1993. As communications director and chief speech writer, she played a vitally important role in Bush's ascent to the presidency, prompting Time magazine to call her "the most powerful woman ever to serve in a White House."

The daughter of a U.S. Army general, Hughes was born in 1956 in Paris, France. She graduated from SMU in 1977 with degrees in English and journalism and then began a seven-year career as a television reporter at KXAS-TV in Ft. Worth. In 1984 she switched from covering politics to practicing politics, and took a job as the Texas press coordinator for the Reagan-Bush campaign. From 1985 to 1991 she served as a political public relations and media consultant in Dallas, working with candidates such as businessman Fred Meyer in his campaign for state chairman.

In 1992 she moved to Austin and became executive director of the Texas Republican Party. She joined George W. Bush's gubernatorial campaign in 1994 as director of communications and remained in that position during his term as Texas governor, helping craft the message that led to his historic re-election in 1998.

The following year, she joined Bush's presidential campaign, and when he assumed office in 2001 she became White House counselor where, according to CNN, she was "the most influential person" in Bush's political life. She directed a staff of more than 40, overseeing all White House press relations, speech writing and presidential appearances.

In April, Hughes resigned her job and returned to Austin, but continues to serve as adviser to the president.

The Rosine Smith Sammons Lecture Series in Media Ethics is funded by an endowment from Mary Anne Sammons Cree of Dallas. The series is named in honor of her mother, Rosine Smith Sammons, who graduated from SMU in the 1920s with a degree in journalism. The endowment provides permanent resources for the Meadows School of the Arts Division of Journalism to present annual lectures focusing on media ethics.