When a former governor, a NASA chief scientist, a National Geographic explorer-in-residence and group of songwriters visit Southern Utah University’s campus all can expect to feast on copious amounts of ideas from the world’s affluential leaders, thinkers and innovators as part of SUU Convocations.
And that is just the beginning. A more than 30-year-old program at SUU, the Convocations Lecture Series regularly feature top scholars, musicians, philosophers, scientists, educators, authors, and activists, with the goal to increase understanding and opportunity for personal, academic and professional growth across the University and the region. Each unique presentation brings a new world perspective to the public’s consideration and seeks to both educate and inspire.
Speaking to the purpose behind this lecture series, Raymond Grant, SUU academic information and program officer, stated, “A main purpose of a university is to a be hub of knowledge and ideas, bringing these speakers does that. These incredible don’t just speak and leave, they go into classrooms, meet with students and connect with faculty.”
This spring’s line-up features many talented and knowledgeable individuals, beginning with former Governor Olene Walker as the semester’s first presenter on Tuesday, January 14 at 11:30 a.m. in the Gilbert Great Hall located within the Hunter Conference Center.
Governor Walker will be speaking on Utah women in education, and that theme of women in higher education will emanate through the next two presenters: Kathryn Clark, NASA chief scientist for Human Exploration, and Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Society explorer-in-residence.
Succeeding will be Alfie Kohn, family psychologist, who will speak on negative effects the current education system has on children. Kohn will be this year’s Grace A. Tanner Lecture on Human Values on March 4.
As part of the Howard R. Driggs Lecture Series will be former U.S. senator Robert F. Bennett on March 25. Noted American historian, Roger Chickering, will also be on the Convocation’s set list speaking on imperial Germany April 1.
Unique to this semester, Grant and the Convocations Board will be hosting singer-songwriters from the Nashville’s famed Bluebird Café on February 4. SUU will also host the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, a Salt Lake City-based modern dance company, March 6.
The series generally runs every Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. in the Great Hall, unless otherwise noted. To see a full schedule of Convocation lectures, visit suu.edu/convocations.