FROM STAFF REPORTS

South African leader Nelson Mandela, comedian Lucille Ball and baseball ironman Cal Ripken Jr. are among the famous figures who will be featured during this year’s William B. Crawley Great Lives lecture series at the University of Mary Washington.

The lectures, which were announced by UMW last week, take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in Dodd Auditorium on the Fredericksburg campus. They are free and open to the public.

The 2019 series kicks off Jan. 15 with Todd S. Purdum, author of “Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution,” and concludes April 9 with Heath Hardage Lee, author of a book on the wives of prisoners of war titled “The League of Wives: The Untold Story of the Women Who Took on the U.S. Government.”

The 18-lecture series also includes Richard Stengel, author of “Mandela’s Way: Lessons for an Uncertain Age,” on Feb. 26; Kathleen Brady, author of “Lucille: The Life of Lucille Ball,” March 12; and John Eisenberg, author of “The Streak: Lou Gehrig, Cal Ripken Jr., and Baseball’s Most Historic Record,” April 2.

On Feb. 19, UMW alumna Joanna Catron, longtime curator of Gari Melchers Home and Studio, will share intricate details of the 18th-century Impressionist absorbed during nearly four decades of study.

The Great Lives series began as an academic course, with certain lectures opened to the community. The extraordinary response spawned a public lecture series.

Soon after it began in 2004, the program received an endowment from John Chappell, whose late wife, Carmen Culpeper Chappell, was a 1959 graduate of the school. Originally known as the Chappell Lecture Series, it was renamed the William B. Crawley Lecture Series in 2016 for the professor who conceived it with a colleague and continues to direct it.

Here is the full schedule:

  • Jan. 15: Rodgers and Hammerstein, Todd S. Purdum, author of “Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution.”
  • Jan. 22: Bruce Lee, Matthew Polly, author of “Bruce Lee: A Life.”
  • Jan. 29: Mikhail Gorbachev, William Taubman, author of “Gorbachev: His Life and Times.”
  • Feb. 5: Benedict Arnold, Joyce Lee Malcolm, author of “The Tragedy of Benedict Arnold: An American Life.”
  • Feb. 7: Jane Goodall, Dale Peterson, author of “Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man.”
  • Feb. 14: Billie Holiday, Tracy Fessenden, author of “Religion Around Billie Holiday.”
  • Feb. 19: Gari Melchers, Joanna Catron, curator of “Gari Melchers Home and Studio.”
  • Feb. 21: Dale Carnegie, Steven Watts, author of “Self-Help Messiah: Dale Carnegie and Success in Modern America.”
  • Feb. 26: Nelson Mandela, Richard Stengel, author of “Mandela’s Way: Lessons for an Uncertain Age.”
  • Feb. 28: Oscar Wilde, Nicholas Frankel, author of “Oscar Wilde: The Unrepentant Years.”
  • March 12: Lucille Ball, Kathleen Brady, author of “Lucille: The Life of Lucille Ball.”
  • March 14: Radium Girls, Kate Moore, author of “The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women.”
  • March 19: Rocket Girls, Nathalia Holt, author of “Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, From Missiles to the Moon to Mars.”
  • March 21: J.R.R. Tolkien, Devin Brown, author of “Tolkien: How an Obscure Oxford Professor Wrote The Hobbit and Became the Most Beloved Author of the Century.”
  • March 26: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Caroline Fraser, author of “Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder.”
  • April 2: Gehrig and Ripken, John Eisenberg, author of “The Streak: Lou Gehrig, Cal Ripken Jr., and Baseball’s Most Historic Record.”
  • April 4: The Last of the Romanovs, Helen Rappaport, author of “The Race to Save the Romanovs: The Truth Behind the Secret Plans to Rescue the Russian Imperial Family.”
  • April 9: POW Wives, Heath Hardage Lee, author of “The League of Wives: The Untold Story of the Women Who Took on the U.S. Government.”
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