Honorary Degrees
1918 - Present

Willis M. Tate 
Doctor of Humane Letters  1979
Status: conferred

Teacher, educational statesman, and wise leader, Willis Tate served as President of Southern Methodist University from 1954 to 1972- an eighteen year period of challenge and growth for SMU. President Tate has steadfastly preserved and protected academic freedom for the University and has skillfully interpreted what a university is to the many SMU publics. He conceived, directed, and carried out the Master Plan of 1963 that resulted in the quality and range of education at SMU. He has given outstanding leadership not only to SMU, but he has provided leadership in university and non-university circles in Texas, the Southwest, and the nation as well. Willis Tate will be remembered both for his outstanding material accomplishments at SMU and for the way in which he achieved them. For his contributions to this University and to higher education in general, Southern Methodist University is proud to confer upon Willis Tate the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.