AAC&U President Dr. Lynn Pasquerella to Deliver Third Annual Malcolm Lester Phi Beta Kappa Lectures

Dr. Lynn Pasquerella

MACON – The Phi Beta Kappa Society’s Zeta Chapter of Georgia will welcome Dr. Lynn Pasquerella Sept. 14-15 to give the third annual Malcolm Lester Phi Beta Kappa Lectures on Liberal Arts and Public Life. The lectures will be presented virtually and made available through a public livestream at pbk.mercer.edu.

Dr. Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and president of Phi Beta Kappa Society, will present three lectures on the theme “What We Value.”

“Dr. Pasquerella is one of the most prominent and forceful advocates for liberal arts in the United States,” said Dr. David Davis, associate professor of English and editor of the Lester Lecture Series. “We are excited for her to give these lectures articulating why the values of a liberal arts education are crucial today.”

Dr. Pasquerella’s opening lecture, “Moral Distress and the Concept of Death as Un-American,” will take place Monday, Sept. 14, at 10 a.m., followed by “On Snowflakes, Chilly Climates, and Shouting to be Heard: Weathering Campus Storms” at 6 p.m. The series will conclude with “Educating for Democracy in a Post-Truth Era” Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 6 p.m.

A graduate of Quinebaug Valley Community College, Mount Holyoke College and Brown University, Dr. Pasquerella is a philosopher. She has spent her career ensuring access to a quality liberal education for all students and has received honorary doctorates from Elizabethtown College, Bishop’s University, the University of Hartford, the University of South Florida and the University of Rhode Island.

Dr. Pasquerella has served as provost of the University of Hartford, president of Mount Holyoke College and a member of numerous advisory boards. She has written many publications on medical ethics, metaphysics, public policy and philosophy of law. In 2019, she was named one of America’s Top 35 Women in Higher Education by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

“I am honored to present the Malcolm Lester Lectures,” said Dr. Pasquerella. “Dean Lester recognized the critical role that liberal education plays in preserving democracy and the extent to which colleges and universities represent powerful institutional forces in catalyzing individual and societal transformation.”

The Malcolm Lester Phi Beta Kappa Lectures are supported by a bequest from the late Dr. Malcolm Lester, a 1945 graduate of Mercer and former dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

In 2007, Dr. Lester made a gift for a lecture series on the liberal arts at Mercer once the University sheltered a chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society, which it did in 2016. Additionally, the lectures will be published by the University of Virginia Press, as requested by Dr. Lester, who earned his Ph.D. from U.Va.