Friends of the SMU Libraries to host annual ‘Tables of Content’

The Friends of the SMU Libraries will host the 16th annual Tables of Content fundraiser April 30 in the newly renovated Fondren Foundation Centennial Reading Room in Fondren Library.

Tables of Content invitationDALLAS (SMU) – The Friends of the SMU Libraries will host the 16th annual Tables of Content fundraiser at 6 p.m., Saturday, April 30, in the newly renovated Fondren Foundation Centennial Reading Room in Fondren Library, 6414 Robert S. Hyer Lane.

The event will include the presentation of the 7th annual Literati Award to Darwin Payne ‘68, SMU centennial historian and professor emeritus of communications. The event also will feature a reception honoring the “Top 10 Haute Young Authors” as well as 19 table hosts who will lead discussions on a variety of topics with guests at the dinner.

Honorary chairs of this year’s event are Toni Barksdale Terry ’53 and Marshall Terry ’53, ’54.

The event begins with a cocktail reception featuring promising young authors, including SMU alumni Paul Santa Cruz ’08 (Making JFK Matter: Popular Memory and the Thirty-fifth President) and Kate Petty ’13 (Holes in the Plan),and 18-year-old Juliette Turner, a three-time author and daughter of author and actress Janine Turner. The authors will sign books and talk with guests about their experiences as writers.

During the dinner, table hosts will lead discussions with guests at their table about topics ranging from art and literature to education and politics. Table hosts include Stephan C. Currall, SMU’s new provost and vice president for academic affairs; Sam Holland, dean of the Meadows School of the Arts; journalist and author Karen Blumenthal ‘90; Chris Vognar, culture critic for the Dallas Morning News; and photographer Laura Wilson.

Darwin Payne
Darwin Payne

Literati Award winner Payne is the author of the newly published One Hundred Years on the Hilltop: The Centennial History of Southern Methodist University. In 2011 he wrote In Honor of the Mustangs: A Centennial History of SMU Athletics. Payne earned an M.A. degree in history from SMU and a Ph.D. in American civilization from the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to teaching journalism at SMU for 30 years, Payne’s career has included newspaper and television reporting, publishing a weekly suburban newspaper, and writing several books on Dallas history and biographies of leading Dallas citizens.

Payne helped cover the Kennedy assassination as a reporter for the Dallas Times Herald and co-edited the book Reporting the Kennedy Assassination: Journalists Who Were There Recall Their Experiences. His latest book, published in 2014, is titled No Small Dreams: J. Erik Jonsson, Texas Visionary. His book, Indomitable Sarah: The Life of Judge Sarah T. Hughes won the Texas State Historical Association’s Liz Carpenter Award for the best book on the history of women in 2004.

Tickets to Tables of Content are $150. Sponsorship packages with special benefits and seating for the event are available from $1,000 to $10,000. For additional information, call (214) 768-3225 or visit

The Friends of the SMU Libraries is an organization dedicated to promoting and enriching the resources, services and operations of the eight SMU libraries.  Since its founding, the Friends organization has been committed to helping the libraries maintain their excellence. The Friends have funded more than $1 million in library materials and services.