The Tate Lecture Series is in its 37th season at Southern Methodist University. For 37 years, it has brought some of the most influential politicians, philanthropists and successful world-changers to campus to encourage and provoke our future world-changers. 

Lectures begin at 8 p.m. on the evening they are scheduled.

Students who are interested in going to the lecture should meet in the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m.


Student Foundation provides ushers for every lecture.

2018-2019 Schedule

September 25: James Baker, III and Leon Panetta with David Gergen

Two senior statesmen – James Baker, III, former Secretary of State, and Leon Panetta, former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director – lend their unparalleled perspective on national affairs as the mid-term elections approach. David Gergen moderates the conversation.

October 16: Jon Meacham

Renowned presidential historian and best-selling author Jon Meacham received a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. His latest work, The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels, will be released in May 2018 and helps us understand the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame division and fear.

November 6: Thomas Friedman

An acclaimed global thinker, Thomas Friedman has covered monumental stories from around the globe for The New York Times for over 35 years. Known for his direct reporting and sophisticated analysis of complex issues facing the world, Friedman is a three-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize and the author of six best-selling books, including The World Is Flat, That Used to Be Us and, most recently, Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations.

December 4: Siddhartha Mukherjee

A cancer physician and researcher, Siddhartha Mukherjee was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2011 for his book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, which TIME named as one of the top 100 books of the past 100 years and was the basis for Ken Burns’ 2015 documentary Cancer. His latest work, The Gene: An Intimate History, describes the quest to decipher the master-code of instructions that makes and defines humans, governs our form, function, and fate, and determines the future of our children.

February 5: Bill Browder

Hermitage Capital Management was the largest foreign investor in Russia until 2005, when founder and CEO Bill Browder was denied entry to the country and deemed a threat to national security by the Russian government. Since then, Browder has focused his efforts on exposing individual human rights abusers and fraud in the Kremlin. He tells his story in his best-selling book, Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder and One Man’s Fight for Justice.

February 26: Lisa Randall

Lisa Randall's studies involve the most fundamental questions about the nature of matter, space and the universe. Her research into extra dimensions of space, particle physics and cosmology has made her one of the most important and cited theoretical physicists in the world. Randall, a Harvard professor, has the great ability to connect abstract scientific ideas to more familiar contexts and applications. Named as one of TIME’s Most Influential People, Randall’s best-selling books include Warped Passages, Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs and Knocking on Heaven’s Door.

April 2: Amy Cuddy

Named one of 50 Women Who Are Changing the World by Business Insider, a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and a Game Changer by TIME, Amy Cuddy is a social psychologist and an expert on the behavioral science of power, presence and prejudice. Author of the best-selling book Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, Cuddy’s TED Talk on the topic of body language is the second-most-viewed TED Talk of all time.

May 7: Kathy Bates

A 1969 graduate of SMU, Kathy Bates is an undeniable force on stage, screen and television. She first received critical acclaim and a Tony Award nomination for her role in the original Broadway production of ‘night Mother. Known for her ability to portray a breadth of characters, Bates won an Academy Award for her depiction of obsessed fan Annie Wilkes in Misery. A two-time Emmy Award winner, she’s been celebrated most recently for her work on the television series American Horror Story. Bates is an avid philanthropist and a two-time cancer survivor.


2019 tate committee

Tate Chair - Allison Schultz

Head Usher - Abba Yaney

Head of Marketing - Adelaide Villasana

Vice President of Programming - Dylan Beams