Tables of Content

Tables of Content events

Tables of Content

Table Hosts

Twenty table hosts will lead discussions on a variety of topics during the Tables of Content dinner. Table host information is still being updated so please check the website often for new hosts and topics.

Betsy Berry '76, Professor, UT Austin

Topic: Literary Marriages from Hell


Betsy Berry was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, and attended Alamo Heights High in San Antonio.  After graduating from SMU with a BFA in Film and a stint teaching acting in Los Angeles, she returned to her favorite Texas city, working as staff writer for Tex Schramm and the Dallas Cowboys.  In 1994 Berry received a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, writing on the British modernist Jean Rhys.  For the past two decades she has served as an award-winning Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at UT-Austin, where she developed her highly popular course on out-of-control literary marriages, this semester teaching T.S. Eliot and his first wife, Vivienne Haigh-Wood and Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes.  Her publications include poetry, short stories, and critical essays.  She is working on a novel titled “The Other Girl Things Happened To,” based on Assia Wevill, a third member of the Plath-Hughes fallout.



Karen Blumenthal '90, Journalist and Author

Topic: On the Trail of the Real Bonnie and Clyde


A native of Dallas, Karen Blumenthal had long heard of Bonnie and Clyde. But who were they really? And why were these two young criminals from West Dallas so famous? The journalist and author of award-winning nonfiction books for teens set out to find out. The result, Bonnie and Clyde: The Making of a Legend, was published in 2018 and was named a Booklist Editors' Choice, a New York Public Library Best Book for Teens and to the Texas Topaz nonfiction list. A former Dallas bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal with an MBA from SMU, Karen is also a library rat who serves on the board of the Friends of the SMU Libraries.


Cullum Clark '17, Director, Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative and Adjunct Professor of Economics, SMU

Topic: Economics of Cities


J.H. Cullum Clark received his PhD from SMU in May 2017.  As Director of the Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative, he leads the Initiative's work on domestic economic policy and economic growth, and is responsible for managing various aspects of the new partnership between the Department of Economics and the Bush Institute.  Cullum’s chief research interests are macroeconomic policy, economic geography and urban economics, and modern economic history.  He also teaches undergraduate classes on modern economic history. Cullum earned a B.A. in History at Yale University and an A.M. in Political Science at Harvard University.  He has worked for 24 years in the investment industry, serving since 2002 as President of Prothro Clark Company, a Dallas investment firm.  In addition to his time in the PhD program, his involvement with SMU includes serving since 2008 on the University’s Investment Committee, since 2010 on the Tate Lecture Series Board of Directors, and since 2017 as a Tower Center Fellow.  He also serves on the boards of the Eugene McDermott Foundation and Uplift Education, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations, and the Dallas Assembly.  He and his wife Nita have three daughters: Lili (21), Annabel (19), and Charlotte (15).   


Sonny Dykes, Head Football Coach, SMU

Topic: The Value of College Football


Sonny Dykes was named SMU’s head football coach on Dec. 11, 2017. Dykes arrived on the Hilltop after head coaching stints at Cal and Louisiana Tech.

Dykes spent four seasons at Cal (2013-16) and three seasons at Louisiana Tech (2010-12).

At Cal, Dykes returned the school’s football program to national prominence and a post-season bowl game. Inheriting a team that went 3-9 in the season before his arrival, Dykes had the Bears at 8-5 just three seasons later, capping the 2015 season with a win over Air Force at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl.

In his final season at Cal in 2016, Dykes led several Bears to national honors. Wideout Demetris Robertson earned Freshman All-America honors, as he hauled in 50 catches for 767 yards to break DeSean Jackson’s freshman school records. Fellow wide receiver Chad Hansen was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection, and at the end of the regular season, Hansen ranked second in the country in receiving yards per game (124.9) and third in receptions per game (9.2) as well as seventh nationally in receptions (92) and 11th in receiving yards (1,249) despite missing two contests due to injury. Quarterback Davis Webb was honored as Athlon Sports’ Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year, was a Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award and Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award semifinalist, and made the cut to the final 15 for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. Webb completed 382-of-620 passes (61.6%) for 4,295 yards with 37 passing touchdowns. He ranked among the nation’s leaders in nearly every passing category and set Cal single-season records for passing attempts, completions and total plays, and equaled single-season school marks for most touchdowns responsible for and 300-yard passing games.

Cal’s eight wins in 2015 marked the school’s most victories since 2009. Cal began the 2015 season with five straight victories to mark the program’s best start since 2007 before dropping four of their next five games to teams that were all ranked in the top 10 at some point in 2015, including top-five foes Oregon and Utah, with four of those five contests on the road. Cal finished strong, though, with three wins in its final four contests. At one point, the Bears were ranked for four consecutive weeks, moving as high as No. 19 in the Coaches Poll and No. 20 in the AP Top 25 in Week 7. Cal’s national rankings were its first since 2010 (Coaches Poll) and 2009 (AP Top 25). Cal’s offense flourished in 2015, setting numerous records, including single-season school marks in passing yardage (4,892), passing yards per game (376.3 ypg), passing touchdowns (44), total offense (6,879), total yards per game (529.2 ypg), total touchdowns (63), first downs (341) and first downs passing (201), as well as a modern-era record for points (493), with all the marks previously set in 2013 or 2014 under Dykes. Cal ranked third nationally in passing offense, eighth in total offense and 17th in scoring offense, and became the first college football team in recorded history to have six players with 40 or more receptions and three 500-yard rushers in the same season. For his efforts, Dykes was named to the midseason watch list for the 2015 Dodd Trophy.

The 2015 season was also the last in the Bay area for quarterback and NFL No. 1 Draft pick Jared Goff, who set 26 school records from 2013-15, including career marks for passing yardage (12,220), touchdown passes (96), total offense (12,086) and completions (977). In 2015, Goff ranked second nationally in passing yards per game (363.0), one of 10 categories in which he rated among the top 20 nationally. Goff was the first Cal quarterback to earn first-team All-Pac-12 honors since Aaron Rodgers in 2004, was a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award and was Cal’s Most Outstanding Player in the Armed Forces Bowl.

Cal finished the 2014 season with a 5-7 overall record and set or equaled nine single-season school or modern-era school records on the offensive side of the ball. Cal established then-single-season records for passing yards (4,152), passing touchdowns (37), total yards per game (495.2 ypg) and first downs passing (188), as well as then-modern-era school records for points (459), scoring average (38.2 ppg) and touchdowns (61) that were all broken in 2015. In addition, the Bears became the first Cal team in the modern era to score 55 or more points in a game three times, including 40 or more on five occasions and 30 or more 10 times. Cal ranked in the top 25 nationally in seven offensive categories including passing offense (6th, 346.0 ypg), scoring offense (10th, 38.3 ppg), total offense (13th, 495.2 ypg) and team passing efficiency (24th, 145.77). Cal was able to achieve all of this with 42 players seeing action for the first time in their Cal career including 23 freshmen and 19 other players appearing for the first time in their Cal careers.

Despite being an inexperienced unit that was the nation’s second-youngest to start the season and battling injuries that caused players on the preseason depth chart to miss 138 games, Cal still set then-school records in 2013 for single-season passing yards (3,977), pass completions (368) and total plays (1,046). The passing offense finished 10th in the nation with an average of 331.4 yards per game.

In all, Cal’s turnaround off the field was just as impressive over Dykes’ tenure, as evidenced by a single-season Academic Progress Rate (APR) score of 997 in 2016. After successive one-year scores under 930 in the two years before Dykes arrived on campus, the rates for the football program under Dykes were 969, 946, 997 and 991, registering Cal Football’s best-ever four-year APR with a score of 978, up 33 points over the his four years at the helm.

Dykes came to Cal after spending three seasons at Louisiana Tech where he directed an offense that led the nation in both scoring offense (51.50 ppg) and total offense (577.92 ypg) during his final campaign at the helm in 2012. He spent three seasons as head coach for the Bulldogs, compiling a 22-15 overall record and winning 16 of 17 regular-season games during one stretch over the 2011 and 2012 schedules.

The Bulldogs were 4-8 the year before he arrived in 2009, then proceeded to finish 5-7, 8-5 and 9-3 in successive campaigns. In 2011, Louisiana Tech won seven consecutive games to capture the Western Athletic Conference title – the team’s first league championship in a decade – and a berth in the Poinsettia Bowl. For his work, Dykes was named the WAC Coach of the Year.

Dykes’ 2012 Louisiana Tech team had road victories over Illinois, Houston and Virginia. The Bulldogs also lost a narrow 59-57 decision to a Johnny Manziel-led Texas A&M team that later defeated top-ranked Alabama and earned a spot in the Cotton Bowl. Louisiana Tech reached as high as No. 18 in the national polls according to USA Today and was No. 19 in the AP Top 25 after jumping out to a 9-1 start. Bulldog quarterback Colby Cameron was named the 2012 WAC Offensive Player of the Year and earned the Sammy Baugh Award that is presented to college football’s top passer by The Touchdown Club of Columbus.

Dykes’ high-energy style of offense produced a prolific unit that, in addition to leading the nation in both scoring offense and total offense in 2012, produced the fifth-highest per-game scoring average ever by a team in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The squad also finished among the NCAA’s top 20 in passing offense (3rd, 350.75 ypg), sacks allowed (7th, 0.83 per game), turnover margin (10th, +1.08 per game) and rushing offense (17th, 227.17 ypg). The Bulldogs scored more than 40 points in 11 of 12 games and over 50 points on eight occasions.

Dykes, the son of former longtime Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes, boasts a resume that includes additional stops in the Pac-12, Big 12 and SEC, where he served under head coaches Mike Stoops (Arizona), Mike Leach (Texas Tech) and Hal Mumme (Kentucky).

As offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Arizona for three seasons from 2007-09, Dykes helped the Wildcats to the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl and 2009 Holiday Bowl after Arizona had not reached the postseason for 10 years. Arizona posted marks of 8-5 both seasons and tied for second in what was then the Pac-10 in 2009 with a 6-3 league mark.

Under his direction, Arizona offenses established five single-season records. The Wildcats ranked 10th nationally in passing yards in 2007 (308.50 ypg), as well as 16th in scoring (36.62 ppg) and 33rd in total offense in 2008 (402.38 ypg).

Prior to his tenure at Arizona, Dykes spent seven seasons at his alma mater Texas Tech, serving as receivers coach from 2000-04 and adding the title of co-offensive coordinator from 2005-06. The Red Raiders made seven straight postseason appearances and won 56 games during the span, including four postseason victories over his last five seasons in the Tangerine, Houston, Holiday and Insight bowls. In 2006, Dykes received the Mike Campbell Top Assistant Coach Award from the American Football Coaches Association, the same year he was recognized as one of the top 25 recruiters in the country by Rivals.

Dykes began his collegiate coaching career with a two-year stint (1995-96) at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas. He also was a baseball assistant at Monahans High School in Texas in 1994 and a football assistant at Richardson’s J.J. Pearce High School in 1995.

Born in Big Spring, Texas, Dykes received his bachelor’s degree in history from Texas Tech in 1993 and was a member of the Red Raider baseball team for two seasons. He is married to the former Kate Golding and they have two daughters, Alta (Ally) and Charlotte (Charlie), and a son, Daniel.



Kurt Eichenwald, Journalist and Author

Topic: Behind the Bestsellers


Kurt Eichenwald is the New York Times bestselling author of four previous nonfiction books. His second, The Informantwas made into a movie starring Matt Damon and directed by Steven Soderbergh. In addition to his distinguished work as a senior writer at Newsweek and a contributing editor at Vanity FairEichenwald spent two decades as a senior writer at The New York Times, where he was a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is also a two-time winner of the George Polk Award, as well as the winner of the Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism and an Emmy Award nominee.


Anthony Elia, J.S. Bridwell Foundation Endowed Librarian and director of Bridwell Library, SMU

Topic: Revisiting the Harlem Renaissance One Floorboard at a Time: The Legacy of a Great Artist


Anthony Elia is the J.S. Bridwell Foundation Endowed Librarian and director of Bridwell Library in SMU’s Perkins School of Theology.


Elia earned a B.A. degree in religious studies from St. Lawrence University, M.A. degrees in religious studies from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and in history of Christianity from the University of Chicago Divinity School, and the Master of Science in Library and Information Science (MSLIS) degree from the University of Illinois.

Elia has held positions at the JKM Library of McCormick Theological Seminary and Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, the American Theological Library Association, and the Regenstein Library, University of Chicago.

The author of numerous publications, he will present “The Theology of Cybersecurity” at the June 2018 American Theological Library Association (ATLA) conference in Indianapolis.  Elia has held numerous leadership positions in his field, including membership on the Directors’ Committee of the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI), where he also served as secretary of the Executive Committee.  He was chair/president of the New York Area Theological Library Association (NYATLA) from 2011-12 and vice-president of the Chicago Area Theological Library Association (CATLA) in 2010.  In addition, he was chair and past co-chair of the International Relations Round Table IVC Committee, American Library Association (ALA) from 2013-15.

A composer, Elia served as Composer in the Religion, Spirituality, and the Arts Seminar at Butler University and was also invited by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra to deliver a pre-concert lecture on Olivier Messiaen and Theology in 2016.

Jeffrey Engel, Director, Center for Presidential History, SMU

Topic: A Non-Partisan History of Presidential Impeachments


Jeffrey A. Engel is founding director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University.  A Senior Fellow of the Norwegian Nobel Institute and of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, he studied at Cornell University, Oxford University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, from which he received his PhD in American History in 2001.  Having previously taught at Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Texas A&M University where he was the Kruse ’52 Professor, Engel is author or editor of twelve books on American foreign policy, including his latest, When the World Seemed New: George H.W. Bush and the End of the Cold War.


Andrew R. Graybill, Co-director, William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, SMU

Topic: The Indian Wars on the Silver Screen


Andrew R. Graybill has taught at SMU since 2011 and serves as the co-director of the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, as well as professor and chair of the Clements Department of History. Born and raised in San Antonio, he received his PhD in history from Princeton University in 2003 and was a Clements Research Fellow for the Study of Southwestern America in 2004-05. Graybill is a historian of the North American West, with particular interest in continental expansion, borders, race, violence, and the environment. He is the author or editor of four books: Policing the Great Plains: Rangers, Mounties, and the North American Frontier, 1875-1910 (University of Nebraska Press, 2007); Bridging National Borders in North America: Transnational and Comparative Histories, which he co-edited with Benjamin Johnson (Duke University Press, 2010); The Red and the White: A Family Saga of the American West (Liveright, 2013); and Civil War Wests: Testing the Limits of the United States which he co-edited with Adam Arenson (California, 2015).  His current research projects include a book on the Indian Wars for North America for the “Very Short Introductions” series for Oxford University Press (co-authored with Ari Kelman), and a biography of the legendary Texas cattleman Charles Goodnight.  Graybill is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, and, with Benjamin Johnson, he established and edits the “David J. Weber Series in the New Borderlands History” at the University of North Carolina Press.  He has written book reviews for The American Scholar, Texas Monthly, and The Wall Street Journal, among other venues.


Skip Hollandsworth, Author and Journalist

Topic: The Midnight Assassin


Skip Hollandsworth grew up in Wichita Falls, Texas and attended TCU in Fort Worth. After graduation in 1979 he worked as a reporter and columnist for the Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Times Herald. He also has worked as a television producer and documentary filmmaker. Since 1989, he has been a staff writer at Texas Monthly magazine, where he has received several journalism awards, including a National Headliners Award, the national John Hancock Award for Excellence in Business and Financial Journalism, the City and Regional Magazine gold award for feature writing, and the Texas Institute of Letters O. Henry award for magazine writing. He has been a finalist four times for a National Magazine Award, the magazine industry’s equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, and in 2010 he won the National Magazine Award in feature writing for “Still Life,” his story about a young man who, after suffering a crippling football injury while a student at Dallas’ Hillcrest High School, spent the next 33 years in his bedroom, unable to move.


The movie "Bernie," which Hollandsworth co-wrote with Richard Linklater, was released in May 2012. It is based on a story he wrote in the January 1998 issue of Texas Monthly titled "Midnight in the Garden of East Texas."


His book, The Midnight Assassin was published in April 2016 and became a New York Times bestseller. The Midnight Assassin is a history of Austin, Texas in the year 1885 when a brutal but brilliant serial killer went on a rampage, ritualistically slaughtering seven women over the course of twelve months, and setting off a citywide panic. Three years later, when a man nicknamed Jack the Ripper carried out a similar series of killings in the Whitechapel district of London, England, Scotland Yard detectives speculated that he was the Austin killer who had traveled overseas to continue to carry out his "diabolical work." In its review, The New York Times described the The Midnight Assassin as “true crime of high quality,” “smart and restrained” and “chilling.” The Wall Street Journal called the book a “thoroughly researched, excitingly written history” and an “absorbing work.”


Anné Kouri Hughes, Author and Director of Fine Arts, The Shelton School

Topic: How Dallas Became the National Leader in Musical Theatre


Anné Kouri Hughes is the author of My Life with Tom Hughes: A Personal Story of the "Musicals Man" of Dallas with co-author, Janis Leibs Dworkis. Tom Hughes was the legendary theatrical producer and managing director of Dallas Summer Musicals for thirty-three years. Under Tom’s leadership, Dallas Summer Musicals gained national and international acclaim as the finest in musical comedy theatre, bringing a host of stars to Dallas including Carol Burnett, Katharine Hepburn, Carol Channing, Angela Lansbury, Richard Burton, Lauren Bacall, Sandy Duncan, Tommy Tune, Gene Kelly, and many more. Anné Kouri met Tom Hughes in 1981 at The University of North Texas in Denton at an on-campus theatre production, and they married in 1983. With a degree in drama and acting experience in New York City, Anné has served as a theatre educator at Shelton School in Dallas, Texas, since 1999 and currently serves as Director of Fine Arts.



Louis L. Jacobs, Professor Emeritus of Earth Sciences, SMU

Topic: SMU in the Smithsonian Institution: From Idea to Exhibit


Louis L. Jacobs is a paleontologist who studies fossil bones to understand the history of life and Earth. His team has been exploring the coastal cliffs of Angola in southwest Africa since 2005.  Sea Monsters Unearthed, an exhibit telling the story of their Angolan discoveries, opened on November 9, 2018, in the Smithsonian Institution’s U.S. National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. This exhibit is unique in its story, in the role of SMU students who pieced much of it together in the laboratories of Heroy Hall, and in the way it was produced cooperatively.


Jacobs was formerly Head of Paleontology at the National Museums of Kenya. He has conducted extensive field work in Malawi, Cameroon, Mozambique, Ethiopia, and now in Angola. Beyond Africa, he has conducted fieldwork in Costa Rica, Mexico, Pakistan, Yemen, Mongolia, Antarctica, and the US.


In addition to well over 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, he is the author of Quest for the African Dinosaurs, which received the Edwin H. Colbert Award, and Lone Star Dinosaurs, which was recognized by joint resolution of the Texas Legislature and formed the basis of a traveling exhibit of the same name, shown in the Rotunda of the State Capitol.


He has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard, Specially Appointed Professor at Hokkaido University, Japan, and Visiting Professor at Richard Leakey's Turkana Basin Institute, Kenya. He served on the National Park Service Science Committee Advisory Board and was Director ad interim of the Dallas Museum of Natural History.  He has received numerus awards from SMU and from teacher, professional, and avocational organizations. Nine fossil species are named for him.


With his colleagues, he is now engaged in writing a new book, a narrative tracing the germ of an idea to an expedition, through execution of field work, laboratory preparation, training of students, answering questions through research, and then to planning and building Sea Monsters Unearthed, culminating in its display to millions of visitors in the premier natural history museum in this country. 




Stephanie Knight, Dean of the Simmons School of Education & Human Development, SMU

Topic: Reimagining Urban Education


Stephanie Knight is the Dean of the Simmons School of Education & Human Development at Southern Methodist University. Stephanie is a nationally recognized education leader, researcher and professor.  Formerly the associate dean and professor of education in the College of Education at Pennsylvania State University, Stephanie assumed the role of Dean in August of 2017.

She began her education career as a classroom teacher of Spanish and French in Texas, Saudi Arabia and Pennsylvania. She received her doctorate in Curriculum and instruction at the University of Houston before beginning a 20-year tenure at Texas A&M University, where she was professor of educational psychology and teaching, learning and culture. In addition, she held the Houston Endowment, Inc. Chair in Urban Education at Texas A&M, received the University Distinguished Teaching Award and was named a University Faculty Fellow. Stephanie joined Pennsylvania State University in 2009 as professor of educational psychology, where she taught courses in educational psychology and effective learning. In 2013 she became associate dean at Penn State, leading the College of Education's undergraduate and graduate studies programs.

Her scholarly interests demonstrate a dedication to bringing the results of evidence-based research to the K-12 classroom. Her research into relationships between instructional strategies, classroom processes, learning environments and student outcomes; teacher professional development, and the use of observational techniques to study classroom processes has been published in hundreds of professional journal articles, book chapters and books and presented at numerous professional conferences.

In addition, Stephanie has directed university and national research centers, including serving as associate director of research into practice for the National Science Foundation Information Technology in Science Center for Teaching and Learning and director of evaluation and assessment for the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement in Washington, D.C.  She recently concluded five years as co-editor of the Journal of Teacher Education and also served from 2004 to 2006 as co-editor of the Teaching, Learning and Human Development section of the American Educational Research Journal. She currently serves as associate editor of the Review of Educational Research.



Shira L. Lander, Senior Lecturer and Director of Jewish Studies, SMU

Topic: Holy Land or Land of the Holy?: The Significance of Jerusalem to Jews, Christians, and Muslims


Dr. Shira L. Lander (B.A., Yale University, M.H.L., Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania) is Professor of Practice and Director of Jewish Studies specializing in late antique Judaism and Christianity. Her book, Ritual Spaces and Religious Rivalries in Late Roman North Africa (Cambridge, 2016), explores why religious groups competed over and destroyed sites considered holy. Lander previously was the Anna Smith Fine Senior Lecturer of Jewish Studies at Rice University, where she taught in the departments of Religious Studies and History. Before moving to Texas, she taught at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, St. Mary's Seminary and University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Delaware, and Princeton University. Her areas of interest include Jewish-Christian relations, sacred space, martyrdom, religious violence, and material culture. Her current research project explores images of synagogues in medieval manuscripts.



Matthew Myers, Dean of Edwin L. Cox School of Business, SMU

Topic: The 4th Industrial Revolution


Matthew B. Myers is the ninth dean of the Edwin L. Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University where he holds the Tolleson Chair in Business Leadership. SMU-Cox offers undergraduate and graduate degrees to a student population of about 2,000 with almost 40,000 global alumni. Prior to his deanship at SMU-Cox, Myers served as dean and Mitchell P. Rales Chair at the Farmer School of Business, Miami University.

Myers has worked and consulted with organizations in the engineering, global distribution, chemical, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries, and has served as visiting faculty at ESSEC-Paris and the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He has taught at the Vienna University of Economics and in other locations including Italy, Romania, Taiwan and Uzbekistan, and has led executive education courses worldwide. Prior to academia he worked at both Merrill-Lynch and IBM-Argentina. He is an associate member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, and a member of the Society of Fellows of the Aspen Institute. Myers serves on the board of the Maguire Energy Institute, the Southwest Graduate School of Banking, the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center in the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies, Goodwill Industries-Dallas, & the Baylor Health Foundation, and is an advisory council member for the George Bush Institute for Economic Growth.

Myers received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University, a Masters of International Business Studies from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelors in Geology from the University of Louisville. He served as a medic in the U.S. Army Airborne from 1979 to 1982, and was stationed at Hunter A.A.F., Georgia and Ft. Kobbe, Panama.



Paige McCoy Smith, Reporter/Producer, Good Morning Texas, WFAA

Topic: The Most Unique People...And Their Stories...That I Have Interviewed Over The Years


Paige McCoy Smith was raised in Texas but moved to Boulder to attend the University of Colorado. There she began a career in Sports Marketing. After several years, the Lone Star State beckoned her back and she moved with her new husband to Abilene. There, she received a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Eventually, Paige and her family settled in Fort Worth where she served as the Vice President of Communications at the Gladney Center for Adoption. With a little luck and a lot of perseverance, Paige landed her Dream Job at Good Morning Texas. Paige is married and has three children.

Bradley Hunter Welch, Resident Organist, Meyerson Symphony Center

Topic: Pulling Out All the Stops: How Many Roles Can One Organist Play?”


To invoke an old Southern expression, Bradley Hunter Welch plays the organ like nobody’s business. With the virtuosity of the playing and the easy going spoken commentary, he quickly proves that entertainer and organist are not mutually exclusive. Hailed as “A world-class virtuoso” (The American Organist) and “an expert at defining darks, lights, shadows and colors” (Birmingham News, Alabama), Dr. Welch is increasingly in demand as a recitalist, concerto soloist, and collaborative artist. He is the Resident Organist at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas and Artist-in-Residence at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, Dallas.



Rusty Williams, Author and Historian

Topic: Deadly Dallas Streets: Unfortunate Incidents, Deplorable Mayhem, and Grisly Fatalities at the Turn of the Twentieth Century


From the 1880s through much of the 1920s, all manner of vehicles shared the streets of Dallas: horse-drawn and mule-drawn, two-wheel gigs and four-wheel carriages, streetcars, delivery wagons, bicycles, locomotives, and (later) automobiles, autotrucks, jitneys, and motorcycles. There were few enforceable rules of the road, fewer traffic laws. Driving the streets of turn-of-the-twentieth-century Dallas could be as harrowing as a blindfolded rush hour trip up the length of North Central Expressway today. Or worse. 


Laura Wilson, Photographer

Topic: Photography


Laura Wilson’s photographs have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, London’s Sunday Times Magazine, and The Washington Post Magazine. She has published six books of photographs: Watt Matthews of Lambshead (Texas State Historical Society, 1989), Hutterites of Montana (Yale University Press, 2000), Avedon at Work (University of Texas Press, 2003), Grit and Glory (Bright Sky Press, 2003), That Day: Pictures in the American West, (Yale University Press, 2015), and From Rodin to Plensa: Modern Sclpture at the Meadows Museum (Scala, 2018).


Wilson is currently working on two projects. The Writer’s Project is for the Ransom Center at the University of Texas. This book and exhibition documents 35 of the most distinguished writers in the world. Making Movies documents directors, cinematographers and actors behind the scenes.


Laura was elected to the Philosophical Society of Texas and is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters where she won the Carr P. Collins award. She was also awarded the Royal Photographic Society of England Book of the Year for Avedon at Work. She currently serves on the board of the Ransom Center and Clements Center for Southwest Studies.


Works in Public Collections:

Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas

Houston Museum of Fine Art, Houston, Texas

Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana

Ransom Center for Southwest Studies, Austin, Texas


Recent Exhibition History:

Meadows Museum, Dallas, Texas

Galerie Gmurzynska, Zurich, Switzerland

Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

Phillips, New York, New York

Whitney Western Art Museum, Cody, Wyoming

Briscoe Western Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas

Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville, GA

Fomento Cultural Banamex, Palacio Iturbide, Mexico City




Mike Wilson, Editor, Dallas Morning News

Topic: Journalism in the Age of Disbelief


Mike Wilson started his career at the Miami Herald, then worked for 18 years at the Tampa Bay Times. As a reporter in Tampa Bay, he was on a team that was a finalist for the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. He later rose through the editing ranks to become managing editor. His staff won two Pulitzer prizes during his tenure. In 2013 he moved to ESPN in New York to become managing editor of Nate Silver’s data journalism website, FiveThirtyEight. During this time he also served on ESPN's editorial board. In 2015 he was named editor of The Dallas Morning News, which has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize under his leadership.


He is the author of two
books, Right on the Edge of Crazy and The Difference Between God and Larry
Ellison. He and his wife, Alisa, live in Dallas and have three grown children.


Bill Young, Vice President of Television Programming, KERA

Topic: Is There Life after Downton Abbey?


Bill Young is Vice President of Television Programming and responsible for selecting programs and developing the KERA 13 broadcast schedule. In addition, Young sits on a number of PBS advisory panels, including the PBS Children’s Advisory Panel and the Top 20 Market Programmer’s Advisory Group, which help evaluate and set PBS network programming and policy agendas. Through appointment to national program advisory boards, such as CyberchaseCurious George, The Henson Company, Sesame Workshop, and Electric Company, Young evaluates program production, rollout strategies and national scheduling of current and future programming concepts.

Young has been named Programmer of the Year by the Public Television Programmer’s Association in 1994 and 1997. In March of 2000, Young co-produced and directed A Salute to British Comedy for national public television broadcast through American Public Television. Young was also co-executive producer for a number of national PBS programs including Celebrating Mollie Sugden: An Are You Being Served Special (December 2002),  Funny Ladies of British Comedy (March 2004), Funny Blokes of British Comedy (March 2005),Fawlty Towers Revisited(December 2005), in addition to Life Lessons From Onslow: A Keeping Up Appearances Special and The Historic Pubs of Dublin, both broadcast nationally on PBS in 2008. Bill is a Texas native who attended the University of Texas in Austin.