Raggio Lecture Series

Louise Ballerstedt Raggio ’52 Endowed Lecture Series 

Established: 2010

Registration for this event is closed. Please contact mustangbar@smu.edu with any questions or call 214-768-4529.



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 country.

SMU Dedman School of Law Raggio Lecture Series

October 14, 2021

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

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

March 31, 2015

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

May 2, 2013

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

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

- Joycelyn Elders - former U.S. Surgeon General

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

- Wendy Kopp - founder "Teach for America"

- Sue Shellenbarger - Author Wall Street Journal

-  Anna Quindlen - author and Newsweek columnist

- Herb Kelleher and Colleen Barrett - Southwest Airlines Executives

- Ann Richards - former Texas Governor

- Geraldine Laybourne - Oxygen Media founder

- Gwen Ifill - PBS broadcaster

- Susan Faludi - feminist, author and journalist

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

- Gloria Steinem - founder Ms. Magazine