The Al & Sadye Gartner Honors Lecture Series was established in 1969 by friends and associates of Al Gartner upon his retirement from the Zale Corporation, in honor of his exemplary service to the corporation. The Series has consistently brought noted authorities in the humanities and sciences to the SMU campus: Harold Bloom, David Broder, Lady Bird Johnson, and Victor Frankl, to name a few. In 1999, the Series established a partnership with the University Honors Program in order to fully institute the practice of bringing noted academics, business leaders, civic figures, and cultural experts to SMU for two days of activity.
This practice, modeled on the Chubb Program at Yale University, invites the University community, as well as the general public, to interact with the lecturers in a variety of forums: the public lecture, the classroom visits, sharing a meal, and small, informal gatherings in which lecturers and the community may talk freely of wide-ranging issues.
Beginning in 2004, the Series was expanded to include Gartner Conversations. Students are invited to have informal discussions over dinner with visiting faculty.
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