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 the legal right to 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 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 country.

 


Raggio Lecture Series Past Speakers:

 

2021
October 14, 2021

- 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 columnist, Newsweek

2004
- Herb Kelleher and Colleen Barrett - senior executives, Southwest Airlines

2003
- Ann Richards - former Texas Governor

2002
- Geraldine Laybourne - founder, Oxygen Media

2001
- Gwen Ifill - broadcaster, PBS

2000
- Susan Faludi - feminist, author and journalist

1999
- Patricia Schroeder - former U.S. Representative

1998
- Gloria Steinem - founder, Ms. Magazine