Two Big Speakers This Week

One of the best perks of being a college student at a top university is having the ability to hear from national and international speakers of note.  Tonight, your students have the chance to hear Christine Todd Whitman, the former EPA head and New Jersey’s first female governor.  She is on campus to discuss the environment, sustainability and politics.  She will be speaking tonight at 7 p.m. in the Porter B. Byrum Welcome Center (aka the Admissions Building).  Details about the event are online.

Her talk, “Bi-Partisan Leadership in Today’s Environment: Substance or Sound Bite,” is co-sponsored by the Wake Forest Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability, the School of Law, and the Schools of Business.  Sustainability and green issues are very much on the mind of today’s students – and if your student isn’t aware of this lecture, please make sure to pass this on.

There is a second major speaking event this week, coming Tuesday, September 20th at 7 p.m. in Brendle Recital Hall.  Dr. Stephen Prothero, Professor of Religion at Boston University, will speak on “The Perils of Religious Ignorance: Religious Literacy for the 21st Century.”  Despite the lack of basic knowledge about major world religions or even the Bible itself, politicians and pundits continue to root public policy arguments in religious rhetoric whose meanings are missed-or misinterpreted-by the vast majority of Americans. Dr. Prothero has authored six books, including the bestseller Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know-and Doesn’t.

This is part of our Voices of Our Time speaker series.  Voices of Our Time exposes students, the Wake Forest community and the general public to some of the world’s leading thinkers — including scholars, scientists, writers, business and public policy leaders, activists and religious leaders — for discussions on the important national and international issues of our time. It was established in 2006 by Wake Forest President Hatch.

I often hear seniors say they wish they had taken better advantage of these sorts of speakers, lectures, and artistic events.  It’s easy – especially during your first two years of college – to focus so hard on studies that you feel like you can’t take time away from those for ‘extra’ events.  Help remind your students that learning comes in all forms – in the classroom as well as out – and encourage them to hear from as many voices and viewpoints as they can.

And for you, Deac families, these events are free and open to the public – so if you are within a reasonable commute to campus, we’d love to have you join us.

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