NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin State University will host guest speaker Dr. John Smith for the Robert Maxwell Lecture at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, in the Grand Ballroom of the Baker Pattillo Student Center.

Smith, assistant professor of history at Georgia Tech, specializes in American sports history and will present "Basketball Under The Big Top: UCLA, Houston, and the Game of the Century." Smith will discuss how this single game, which was played at "the Eighth Wonder of the World," the Houston Astrodome, in front of a record-breaking attendance of more than 52,000 fans, transformed college basketball into a national pastime.

Smith also is the author of "The Sons of Westwood: John Wooden, UCLA, and the Dynasty That Changed College Basketball," and is currently writing a book about Muhammad Ali and the 1960s. 

The Robert Maxwell Lecture is presented by the Department of History and Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society. Maxwell, former chair of the SFA Department of History from 1969 through 1983, received a Bachelor of Arts from Kentucky Wesleyan College, a Master of Arts from the University of Cincinnati and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. 

Additionally, Maxwell served as an infantry captain in World War II and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Prior to arriving at SFA in 1952, he taught at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Kentucky. Maxwell died in 1990. 

The Maxwell family has generously endowed this lecture series in his name to bring distinguished scholars to SFA to enhance the educational experience of the students and to inspire faculty members across the university to reach their potential not only as teachers but as scholars. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact Dr. Karl Baughman, assistant professor of history at SFA, at (936) 468-2245 or email