2015 Archives

Conference to feature six expert speakers and Margaret Spellings, former Secretary of Education

Immigration history conference at Old Red offers SMU students free seats

September 9, 2015

DALLAS (SMU) — The Old Red Museum has made 50 tickets to its history of immigration conference available to SMU students, free of charge.

The conference, which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, is designed to inform teachers, politicians and other citizens on the history of immigration, which has increasingly become a hot-button topic. Future teachers might especially be interested in the conference, which is particularly aimed at helping instructors teach the subject in the classroom.

“Issues surrounding immigration are at the forefront of public discourse these days,” explained Zac Harmon, executive director of the Old Red Museum in Dallas. “Statistics and beliefs are strongly held but are often mistaken for facts. This conference will provide documented, factual information for teachers, politicians and other citizens who really want to understand the issue. We are grateful to the Philip R. Jonsson Foundation for sponsoring this first of what we hope will become an annual conference.”

Conference participants can choose to hear two of six speakers scheduled during the morning session. Lunch and a keynote address by Margaret Spellings, president of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and former secretary of education (2005-2009), will follow.

Afternoon breakout sessions will provide attending teachers with lesson plans, materials and strategies to help them make history come alive for students of all grade levels. Teachers attending both sessions can earn six Continuing Professional Education Credits.

Topics and speakers include:

  • D/FW Becoming an Immigrant Gateway – Caroline Brettell, University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Ruth Collins Altshuler Director of the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute at SMU.
  • Gone To Texas: Immigration to the Lone Star State in the Nineteenth Century – Gregg Cantrell, Emma and Ralph Lowe Chair of Texas History at TCU.
  • Immigration and the Changing Face of America – Neil Foley, Robert and Nancy Dedman Chair in History at SMU.
  • Visualizing the Changing Landscape of U.S. Immigration – Kyle Walker, assistant professor of population and urban geography at TCU.
  • Managing Migration in an Era of Globalization – James F. Hollifield, Ora Nixon Arnold, Professor of International Political Economy and director of the Tower Center for Political Studies at SMU.
  • Immigration and the Changing Demography of Liberal Democracies – Gary Freeman, professor of government at the University of Texas.

Students can register for the conference at http://www.oldred.org/rsvpmaker/new-history-at-old-red-smu/. A continental breakfast, lunch, parking, materials and access to the exhibit area will all be provided free of charge as well. 

For information, contact Shannon Page at 214-757-1927 or shannonop@oldred.org.


SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls approximately 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.



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