Teach For America founder to give Raggio Lecture

Wendy Kopp

DALLAS (SMU) — Wendy Kopp, the award-winning founder and CEO of Teach For America, will deliver SMU’s 10th annual Louise B. Raggio Endowed Lecture in Women’s Studies at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4.

Her lecture will be on “Classroom Calling: Inspiring a New Generation of Teachers.” (Hear the lecture. )

Tickets to the lecture are $20 each and may be purchased in advance by calling 214-768-8283. It will be held in Crum Auditorium, Collins Executive Education Center, 3150 Binkley Avenue, on the SMU campus.

Kopp came up with the idea for Teach For America as part of her senior thesis in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Now in its 18th year, the nonprofit organization sends 4,400 college graduates — including 18 SMU students in 2007 — to teach each year in 26 of the nation’s poorest school districts.

Kopp’s achievements have been honored with awards, including the Kilby Young Innovator Award, Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson Award, the Clinton Center Award for Leadership and National Service and the John F. Kennedy New Frontiers Award.

A 2007 guest on “The Colbert Report,” Kopp is the author of One Day, All Children: The Unlikely Triumph of Teach for America and What I Learned Along the Way, published in 2001 by PublicAffairs.

Teach For America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates and young professionals of all academic majors, career interests, and professional backgrounds who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools and become leaders in the effort to expand educational opportunity.

The Louise Ballerstedt Raggio Endowed Lecture Series brings nationally renowned speakers to SMU to speak on gender and women’s issues. Past speakers include Ms. magazine founder Gloria Steinem, PBS broadcaster Gwen Ifill, author and Newsweek columnist Anna Quindlen, Southwest Airlines executives Herb Kelleher and Colleen Barrett, and former Texas Governor Ann Richards.

For questions or additional information, call 214-768-1384 or email

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