All News & Blogs
UMW host annual Great Lives lecture series
View More Images from this story
Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 1/17/2008
FOR THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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.