Dalai Lama To Receive SMU Honorary Degree

April 27, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Praveen Sathianathan

The Dalai Lama will give a speech and receive an honorary degree during the SMU Hart Global Leaders Forum.

The tenth annual forum will take place at SMU’s McFarlin Auditorium on May 9.

The spiritual leader of Tibet and Nobel laureate will speak to an audience of about 2,500, mostly high school students, SMU students and faculty.

Tickets for the general public sold out within an hour of when they went on sale on April 27.

SMU students, faculty and staff will be able to pick up two tickets starting May 3 at the Mane Desk in Hughes-Trigg Student Center. A valid SMU ID and birthdate is required to receive tickets, which are on limited availability.

His Holiness won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for using non-violent methods when facing Chinese rule in Tibet.

SMU joins a growing list of universities and colleges that have awarded honorary degrees. This list includes the Miami University, University of Washington, Melbourne University in Australia, the University of Oriental Studies in Los Angeles and Rutgers University.

Previous speakers for the Leaders program have included former Presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The Hart Global Leaders Forum, which is dedicated to turning younger generations into accountable, ethical beings, is sponsored by gifts from Mitch and Linda Hart.

At Tate Lecture, Jakes Seeks Common Good in the Midst of Diversity

January 26, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Anne McCaslin Parker

Students, faculty, alumni and the community of Dallas packed McFarlin Auditorium Tuesday night for the Tate Lecture Series.

Bishop T.D Jakes, founder of the Potter's House, spoke Tuesday evening on "Seeking Common Good in the Midst of Growing Diversity" inside McFarlin Auditorium as part of the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series. (PHOTO BY SARAH KRAMER / THE DAILY MUSTANG)

“Our speaker tonight is a pastor, entrepreneur, and visionary leader and has been awarded one of the Top 10 Religious Leaders by Time Magazine,” President Gerald R. Turner told the audience.

Bishop T.D. Jakes is founder and senior pastor of The Potter’s House, a 30,000 member Dallas-based multicultural and non-denominational church. He provides leadership to several philanthropic ministries and is widely known by his books, music, plays, conferences and television show that airs weekly in four continents.

“Seeking Common Good in the Midst of Growing Diversity” was the central theme of his speech. Bishop Jakes believes that we have all become too oblivious to notice the world is changing around us. If we do not learn to embrace diversity and start listening to one another’s opinions and ideas, this country will fail.

“Embracing diversity is embracing a willingness to change,” said Jakes. “We must become engaged in a richer, fuller diversity because it affects every last person. We must no longer think in terms of color, there are deeper issues to understand.”

He emphasized the importance of everyone getting out of their comfort zones. If we don’t, we will miss learning about each other.

A few years ago, while doing mission work in South Africa, Jakes met a cab driver who had a lasting impression on him. The man used to be a successful businessman but now his life is shattered and destroyed. All around him is a corrupt country where children are killed daily and people are shot in the street.

“I really didn’t notice how bad it really was,” the cab driver said when discussing the condition of his country.

Jakes said that this saddened him because he realized that we are all like the cab driver, so busy and consumed with our own lives that we forget to think about other people different from ourselves and miss out on our surroundings.

“Truth becomes distorted and efforts of diversity are distorted if we are only with people who look and act like ourselves,” he said. “Diversity begins in your house, in your kids, in your space.”

He compared diversity to a marriage: two different people who have to work hard at loving each other well and communicating.

“Relationships are the most fruitful when two differences come together,” Jakes told the audience. “You must intentionally work to understand diversity… Different can be good, different can be wonderful, we have to work at it or it will be destroyed.”

Jakes encouraged the audience not to become diverse just to meet requirements, but to try to love and understand others for the common good. In the end, everyone wants the same things out of life.

“We have a responsibility in pursuit of diversity to understand that we all want the same things-so we can make each other’s dreams come true. Love is intentional, not accidental. Overcome your fears. That is the joy of love. Run the risk of being uncomfortable to redefine what America is.”

Nobel Laureate Concludes Fall Tate Lecture Series

December 1, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Jordan Jennings

Southern Methodist University’s McFarlin Auditorium was packed Tuesday night as many gathered to hear Nobel laureate and global economics specialist Joseph Stiglitz share his pessimistic views on the current economic crisis of the United States and its aftermath.

Stiglitiz’s lecture was part of the SMU Tate Lecture Series’ Jones Day Lecture.

Stiglitz is the author of several textbooks, including his latest, “Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy.” He currently teaches at Columbia University, where he also serves as chair of Columbia’s Committee on Global Thought.

In addition, Stiglitz served on President Clinton’s economic team as both a member and chairman of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisors in the 1990s. He also received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2001, as well as a Nobel Peace Price in 2007, which he shared with Al Gore for authoring the 1995 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Stiglitz began his speech by forewarning his listeners of his pessimistic attitude about the future.

“I hate giving this speech after dinner, it gives people bad indigestion,” he said.

According to Stiglitz, before the economic ”bubble burst,” the American economy was on an artificial respirator. However, as the result of crisis several legacies have been left in its wake, including a downtrodden housing market, excess debt, a weakened banking system and increased unemployment rates.

Stiglitz spoke of his fear that increased unemployment rates would create a “new normal” for the one-sixth of Americans looking for full-time jobs and can’t find them, as well as unemployed youths who risk losing their skills.

He had something to say to those who fear that the United States is experiencing a jobless recovery.

“The problem is not that this is a jobless recovery, but that this is not a recovery,” Stiglitz said.

Stiglitiz also said that the fundamental problem of our suffering economy is our global financial market.

The only solution to the U.S. crisis is a second round stimulus, suggests Stiglitiz, who notes that the underestimated stimulus plan that was enacted in 2009 actually worked.

“We are stuck. A second round stimulus is the only way out of this crisis. We can’t afford not to have another stimulus,” he said.
Stiglitiz predicts that the consequences of the suffering U.S. economy will include a weakened economy, a negatively affect relative global position and a legacy of a divided society.

Despite many negative predictions, Stigilitz concluded his hour-long lecture on a more positive note, acknowledging our unmarketable share of universities that serve as a dynamic part of our economy as well as technological and scientific innovations.

Following the event, several audience members commented on Stiglitiz’s speech. SMU finance major Scott Faulker said: “ Our country’s leadership is lacking. While what Stiglitiz said was valuable, his delivery was less than favorable.”

Another audience members shared a similar opinion.

“I found tonight’s lecture to be insightful. Unfortunately he did not provide any answers to this economic crisis, though I trust his expertise in his field,“ Glenn Franklin said.

The SMU Tate Lecture Series has invited many outstanding leaders from all professional fields to speak for almost 30 years. The evenings event, sponsored by Jones Day, was the first lecture to be sponsored by a law firm.

The Tate Lecture Series will continue next year with the Gregg and Molly Engles Lecture. The lecture on Jan. 25 features T.D. Jakes, chief pastor of The Potter’s House.

Click here for additional information on Joseph Stiglitz and the SMU Tate Lecture Series.

President George and Laura Bush To Receive Medal

April 21, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Former President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush will receive the SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center Medal of Freedom today in McFarlin Auditorium from 5-9 p.m.

The tower center, which educates undergraduates in international relations, comparative politics and political institutions, presents the medal of freedom every two years to an individual who has furthered the cause of freedom throughout the world.

The Medal of Freedom is the highest honor given by the Tower Center. It is awarded in recognition of extraordinary contributions to the advancement of democratic ideals and to the security, prosperity and welfare of humanity.

Previous honorees include Tony Blair, John McCain, George H. W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher and Colin Powell.

SMU Daily Mustang will have more to come on the award ceremony tonight.

For more information on the Tower Center for politcal studies in Dedman College, go here.