Harry S. Truman Distinguished Lecture Series

Truman Lecture Series

The Harry S. Truman Distinguished Lecture Series began in 1971 when 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 executive.

2021 Truman Lecture

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Truman Lecture Series at Avila University!

Unexampled Courage book cover

The 2021 Harry S. Truman Distinguished Lecture centers around the book Unexampled Courage: The Blinding of Sgt. Woodard and the Awakening of America by Richard Gergel, this year’s First-Year Experience Common Reading. The First-Year Experience course will be focusing on civil rights, racial justice, and discrimination.

Click here for more information on the book.

Event Details

Monday, October 25, 2021

Truman Distinguished Lecturer
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Judge Richard Gergel will speak about his book Unexampled Courage in Goppert Theatre.

Woman holding a sign, "I stand with immigrants and refugees"

Interactive Workshop: “So, now what?”
4:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

Kaliyah Meriwether, coordinator for the Buchanan Initiative for Peace and Nonviolence at Avila University will lead a reflective workshop titled, “Moving Forward” in the Pavillion. You are invited to join and work with the Avila community as Kaliyah helps us take the next steps in activism.

Workshop Goal Statement: After reading Unexampled Courage, learning about the story of Isaac Woodard, and having discussions related to civil rights and social justice… how can we as a community take progressive action in the name of social responsibility while being cognizant of cultural relativism.

unrecognizable male with plate with various tacos near containers

Dinner, featuring black-owned catering
6:00 p.m.

Participants of the Truman lecture and/or interactive workshop are welcome to enjoy a free dinner from our black-owned catering partners. WEATHER CHANGE: Seating will now be set up in Whitfield Center.

2021 Event Links


Truman Distinguished Lecture Series

Sue Ellen McCalley, Ph.D., Professor
P: 816-501-2433 / E: sueellen.mccalley@avila.edu

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