Avila Now

October 3, 2018

2018 Harry S. Truman Distinguished Lecture: “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” Author William Kamkwamba Brings His Sustainability Story to Avila University

Truman Lecture Series Flyer 2018

(October 3, 2018) KANSAS CITY, MO – New York Times bestselling author and inventor, William Kamkwamba will deliver the 2018 Harry S. Truman Distinguished Lecture on October 24, 2018, on the campus of Avila University. Kamkwamba will speak on his inspired autobiography “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” which tells the story of human inventiveness and its power to overcome crippling adversity.

Born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled, and modern science was a mystery, Kamkwamba grew up in a land of drought and hunger where hope and opportunity were hard to find. Then Kamkwamba discovered a book about windmills. He dreamed big. Kamkwamba was going to build a windmill that would bring electricity and water to his village and change his family’s life forever. Mocked him and called “crazy,” by members of his village, Kamkwamba shows them, and all of us, what grit and ingenuity and hope could do. 

Kamkwamba will speak in Avila University’s Goppert Theatre on the Bill and Jean Buchanan Stage at 5:30 p.m. and the public is invited. Following the lecture, Kamkwamba will be available to sign copies of his book. Avila University is located at 11901 Wornall Road, Kansas City, Missouri. Prior to the lecture, there will be a panel on environmental sustainability at 3:30 p.m. and community reception. For event information and to RSVP for this free event, please visit the Harry S. Truman Distinguished Lecture page.

In 1971, former President Harry S. Truman gave his stamp of approval for Avila University (then Avila College) to offer a lecture series in his name. Later that year, the first Truman lecture was delivered by David E. Bell, vice president of the Ford Foundation and Truman’s first administrative assistant. The 2017 Truman Lecture featured by Reyna Grande, author of “The Distance Between Us.”

Avila University, a Catholic University founded and inspired by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, is a values-based community of learning providing liberal arts, professional, undergraduate and graduate education to prepare students for responsible, lifelong contributions to the global community.

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