Raggio Lecture Series

Louise Ballerstedt Raggio ’52 Endowed Lecture Series 

Established: 2010

History

Louise B. Raggio, an inspiration for generations of women, is remembered for her unwavering support of women’s rights.  Her outstanding legal career began in 1952 when she was the only woman in her SMU law school graduating class.  She went on to become the first female assistant district attorney in Dallas County and the first woman to prosecute a criminal case in Dallas.  She was a major influence in passing the Texas Marital Property Act of 1967, which gave married women legal rights to their own property.
 
Raggio received the SMU Distinguished Alumni Award in 1971 and the SMU Dedman School of Law Distinguished Alumni Award in 1992. Four years later, SMU conferred upon her the honorary Doctor of Laws, the university’s highest honor.
 
The Raggio Endowed Lecture Series, established by Ms. Raggio’s friends and family, honors and celebrates her tremendous accomplishments in advancing the legal rights of women in Texas and across the county.


SMU Dedman School of Law Raggio Lecture Series

2020
March 26, 2020

- Kelly Ayotte - U.S. Senator, New Hampshire and
     Claire McCaskill - U.S. Senator, Missouri
- Interviewed by Dean Jennifer M. Collins

2017
April 18, 2017

- Barbara Bush - CEO and Co-Founder, Global Health Corps
- "A New Generation of Global Health Crusaders"
- Interviewed by Dean Jennifer M. Collins

2015
March 31, 2015

- Susan Hawk - Dallas County's First Female District Attorney
- "A Conversation with Susan Hawk"
- Interviewed by Dean Jennifer M. Collins

2013 
May 2, 2013

- Jill Abramson – Executive Editor, The New York Times
- “Quality Journalism’s Role in the Hyper-Speed News Cycle”

2011 
August 29, 2011

- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – United States Supreme Court
- “A Conversation with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg”

SMU Louise B. Raggio Endowed Lecture in Women's Studies

2009
- Joycelyn Elders - former U.S. Surgeon General

2008
-  Valerie Plame Wilson - former U.S. CIA Operations Officer

2007
- Wendy Kopp - founder "Teach for America"

2006
- Sue Shellenbarger - Author Wall Street Journal

2005
-  Anna Quindlen - author and Newsweek columnist

2004
- Herb Kelleher and Colleen Barrett - Southwest Airlines Executives

2003
- Ann Richards - former Texas Governor

2002
- Geraldine Laybourne - Oxygen Media founder

2001
- Gwen Ifill - PBS broadcaster

2000
- Susan Faludi - feminist, author and journalist

1999
- Patricia Schroeder - Politician, U.S. House of Representatives

1998
- Gloria Steinem - founder Ms. Magazine