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UMW launches annual 'Great Lives' lectures
UMW host annual Great Lives lecture series

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Date published: 1/17/2008



Tonight, the University of Mary Washington will begin its fourth annual "Great Lives" lecture series. The 2008 series is planned in conjunction with the university's Centennial Celebration.

The first lecture focuses on Mary Ball Washington, the mother of our first president and the person for whom the university is named.

Martha Saxton of Amherst College's departments of history and women's and gender studies will give tonight's centennial lecture.

The 2008 program also includes lectures by Time magazine's Michael Duffy (speaking about Billy Graham), author Kathleen Dalton (lecturing about Theodore Roosevelt), and one of UMW's political science professors, Stephen Farnsworth, who will talk about Richard Nixon's life and career.

The university began hosting the lecture series in 2004. Each week throughout the spring semester, noted scholars and journalists present a biographical sketch of historical figures.

The diversity of subjects covered in the "Great Lives" lecture series, from famous scientists and sports stars to politicians and musicians, has contributed to its popularity.

Carter L. Hudgins, distinguished professor and Hofer Chair of the history and American studies department, said that attendance has increased steadily over the years and currently averages approximately 400 to 600 people per lecture.

An interesting aspect of the "Great Lives" lectures is that they also include infamous figures in history, such as Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler--to be presented on Feb. 21 by Robert Gellately of Florida State University and author of "Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler."

According to Professor Hudgins, the figures selected for the series do not have to be "great" in the sense that they have done excellent things for America or the world, but "for better or worse, they grew to prominence and affected lives; they were a significant impact in the world."

UMW students also take part in the annual lecture series.

Each spring semester the university offers a course titled "Great Lives: Biographical Approaches to History." Students attend the lectures and complete assignments related to the information that is presented.

Alll lectures start at 7:30 p.m. in Dodd Audiorium.

JAN. 17: "Mary Ball Washington" Special Centennial Lecture, by Martha Saxton, Amherst College, departments of history and women's and gender studies

JAN. 24: "Franklin D. Roosevelt," by Jean Edward Smith, Marshall University, author of "FDR"

JAN. 31: "Theodore Roosevelt," by Kathleen Dalton, Boston University, author of "Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life"

FEB. 7: "Frank Lloyd Wright," by Meryle Secrest, author of "Frank Lloyd Wright: A Biography"

FEB. 12: "Ella Fitzgerald," by Douglas Gately, UMW's music department

FEB. 19: "James Farmer," by Timothy O'Donnell, UMW's department of English, linguistics and speech

FEB. 21: "Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler," by Robert Gellately, Florida State University, author of "Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler"

FEB. 26: "Douglas MacArthur," by Porter Blakemore, UMW's department of history and American studies

FEB. 28: "Eisenhower and Marshall," by Mark Perry, author of "Partners in Command"

MARCH 13: "Mary and George Washington" Special Centennial Lecture, by Peter Henriques, professor emeritus of history, George Mason University

MARCH 20: "Margaret Sanger," by Ellen Chesler, Hunter College, CUNY, author of "Woman of Valor"

MARCH 27: "Betty Friedan," by Daniel Horowitz, Smith College, author of "Betty Friedan and the Making of the Feminine Mystique"

APRIL 1: "Margaret Mitchell," by Darden Asbury Pyron, Florida International University, author of "Southern Daughter: The Life of Margaret Mitchell"

APRIL 3: "Billy Graham," by Michael Duffy, Time magazine, author of "The Preacher and the Presidents"

APRIL 8: "The Beatles," by Gardner Campbell, UMW's department of English, linguistics and speech

APRIL 15: "Dr. Seuss," by Philip Nel, Kansas State University, author of "Dr. Seuss: American Icon"

APRIL 17: "Babe Ruth," by William Nack, retired from Sports Illustrated

APRIL 22: "Richard M. Nixon," Stephen Farnsworth, UMW's department of political science

APRIL 24: "Bill and Hillary Clinton," by Sally Bedell Smith, author of "For Love of Politics: Bill and Hillary Clinton"

What: "Great Lives" lectures

Where: University of Mary Washington's Dodd Auditorium

When: Each Thursday through April 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

Info: umw.edu/greatlives/schedule