2015–16 Convocation Series

Convocations are held in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel and are free and open to the public.


Matriculation Convocation
Thursday, September 17, 2015
11:10 a.m

"For Mature Audiences Only: A Liberal Arts Education"
President Mark Burstein

A native of Cedar Grove, N.J., Burstein is in his third year as Lawrence's 16th president. He previously spent nine years as executive vice president at Princeton University and 10 years at Columbia University as a vice president working in human resources, student services and facilities management.

Burstein earned a bachelor’s degree in history and independent studies from Vassar College and a master of business administration degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Thursday, November 5, 2015
11:10 a.m.
"Race in America: A Deeper Black"
Ta-Nehisi Coates

A national correspondent for The Atlantic who writes about culture, politics and social issues, Ta-Nehisi Coates has been compared to James Baldwin and is considered by many to be among the most important contemporary writers on the subject of race. Coates has written about subjects ranging from the call to remove Confederate flags from state capitol grounds to slavery reparations, but earned national acclaim for his 2015 book Between the World and Me, an open letter to his teenage son in which he discusses past and current events, sharing his hopes and fears with his son and explaining what it means to be black in America.

Coates attended Howard University but left before earning a degree to pursue writing and journalism. He has worked for The Village Voice, Washington City Paper and Time magazine. He holds a journalist-in-residence position at the City University of New York.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016
11:10 a.m.

"The Mystery and Art of Living"
Krista Tippett

A Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and New York Times bestselling author, Krista Tippett has established herself as an important voice in religious and philosophical conversation. Tippett hosts the nationally syndicated public radio podcast “On Being,” which explores questions of what it means to be human and how do we want to live.

Prior to her radio and writing career, Tippett earned a bachelor’s degree at Brown University and won a Fulbright Scholarship to study politics in Cold War Europe. She remained in Europe through the 1980s and returned to the U.S. a decade later. She earned a master of divinity degree at Yale University and “saw a black hole where intelligent coverage of religion should be.” A 2014 recipient of the National Humanities Medal, she focuses on fostering conversations about the intellectual and spiritual sides of faith.

Honors Convocation
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
11:10 a.m.

"21st Century Merchants of Doubt; Where Is Plato When We Need Him"
John Dreher

Lee Claflin-Robert S. Ingraham Professor of Philosophy John Dreher joined the Lawrence faculty in 1963. A two-time recipient of the Babcock Award “for outstanding service to students” (1975, 1983), the University Award for Excellence in Teaching (1989) and the Freshman Studies Teaching award (2002), Dreher has remained student-focused during his 53-year career. His academic interests include environmental ethics, applied ethics and the history of philosophy. Dreher has said that he aims “to teach ethics down here, where we live, not pie-in-the-sky ethics."

A native of Jersey City, N.J., Dreher earned a bachelor’s degree in English from St. Peter’s College. He also holds a master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Chicago.

Main Hall Forum

Main Hall Forum presents a wide range of lectures by Lawrence faculty and distinguished guest speakers on historical and contemporary issues and recent scholarship in the humanities.

Economics Colloquium

The Economics Colloquium began in 2010 and features talks from visiting scholars, distinguished alumni and guests, and Lawrence faculty.  Topics run the gamut from hardcore economic theory (presented in an audience-friendly  fashion, of course) to social science and policy issues more generally.  The Colloquium typically features an author of the Senior Experience work in economics.

Science Hall Colloquium

The Science Hall Colloquium presents a series of cross-disciplinary lectures that address research developments in diverse areas of the natural, physical and social sciences.

Fine Arts Colloquium

The Fine Arts Colloquium presents several occasional lectures during the academic year that touch on topics related to art, art history, and theatre.

The Mojmir Povolny Lectureship in International Studies

Established in 1987 and named in honor of long-time Lawrence government professor Mojmir Povolny, the lectureship promotes interest and discussion on issues of moral significance and ethical dimensions.

Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube LarryU