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Hunt Leadership Scholars Program

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The Tate Lecture Series and the Hunt Scholars


My final takeaway is the importance of seeing the potential in people.  To effectively lead, it doesn't matter so much what you do or accomplish, rather what you inspire those around you to do.  That is the measuring stick with which leadership is measured.  But to do so- to truly inspire those around you- you must be able to see the potential in people and truly understand their individual capacities.
                                                                                                                
--- Vafa Behzadpour,  Hunt Leadership Scholar 2017, speaking on behalf of the Hunt Leadership Scholars before a Tate Lecture by Indra Nooyi.
Twenty-six years ago, SMU inaugurated the Willis M. Tate Lecture Series. Since then, the Tate Lectures have become one of the premiere public lecture series in the United States. Tickets to it regularly sell out soon after the series lineup is announced.

The Hunt Leadership Scholars Program allows Hunt Scholars special opportunities to attend Tate Lectures.

First, each year, the Tate Series honors the Hunt Leadership Scholars by inviting all the Scholars to a Tate dinner and lecture selected by Ray and Nancy Ann Hunt.  Additionally, prior to the dinner, the Scholars and the Hunts take a group picture with the Tate speaker.

Second, for each Tate lecture each year, twenty tickets are given to the Hunt Scholars. Hunt Scholars sign up for these tickets as described below.

Third, Hunt Scholars serve as ushers for several of the Tate forums, which are question and answer sessions with the speaker, usually on the afternoon of the evening’s lecture

Tate Lecture Procedures for the Hunt Scholars


If you’re star-struck, Southern Methodist University’s Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series is the forum for you. If you crave first-hand information from movers and shakers who change our world, you’ll also want to be there.


--- Columnist Robert Miller
(Dallas Morning News)


  1. To attend an upcoming lecture, contact Lindsay Davis to sign up for a ticket exactly one week in advance of the lecture. The first twenty students who sign up will receive the tickets.

  2. Pick up your ticket at the McFarlin Auditorium box office before 7:45 pm on the lecture day. It will be in an envelope with your name at the Will Call window. At 7:45 your ticket will be given away if you have not picked it up. (Box office opens at 7:00 pm.)

  3. These tickets are a valuable and highly sought-after commodity, and it is a privilege for us to have them guaranteed to us. If you reserve a ticket and do not use it, you will not be allowed to sign up for any other Tate lectures for the year, absent extenuating circumstances.

  4. At each Tate Lecture, the speaker offers an open question-and-answer session with students, faculty, and members of the public. Usually, these occur at 4:30 P.M. on the date of the lecture. We encourage the Hunt Scholars to attend these sessions, which can provide even greater access to the speaker than the evening lectures themselves.

  5. If you want a ticket but were not in the first 20 requests, there are several other ways of seeing these lectures.

    Serve as an usher through the SMU Student Foundation.
    This allows you into the evening lectures, and you do not need to reserve a ticket.

    Go to McFarlin Auditorium basement before 8:00 pm. At 8:00 pm, all unclaimed tickets are given away. You can often get a seat this way.

  6. As a matter of protocol, we do not ask for autographs or photographs from the Tate speakers.
Class of 2020 Tate