2015–16 Convocation Series
Convocations are held in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel and are free and open to the public.
Thursday, September 17, 2015
"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
"Race in America: A Deeper Black"
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
"The Mystery and Art of Living"
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.
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
"21st Century Merchants of Doubt; Where Is Plato When We Need Him"
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.