Renowned author, liberal arts proponent to deliver annual Lester Lectures

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Headshot of Dr. Mary Dana Hinton
Dr. Mary Dana Hinton

MACON — The Phi Beta Kappa Society’s Zeta Chapter of Georgia at Mercer University will host the sixth annual Malcolm Lester Phi Beta Kappa Lectures on Liberal Arts and Public Life March 21-22 in the Presidents Dining Room on the Macon campus.

Dr. Mary Dana Hinton, president of Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, and President Emerita of the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota, will present three lectures on the theme “Discovering Where Love Leads.” Her lectures will make a case for liberal arts as a foundation for leadership based on love for self and others, said Dr. David A. Davis, president of Mercer’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and editor of the Lester Lecture Series.

“President Hinton is a powerful moral voice in contemporary higher education,” he said. “She believes in the importance of the liberal arts as a means to empower and enrich human lives, and she is a forceful advocate for accessibility as a means of both personal growth and development for individuals and as a means for improving communities and civil society.”

An active and respected proponent of the liberal arts and inclusion, President Hilton’s most recent book Leading from the Margins is based on her TedX Talk of the same name. Dr. Davis said the lecture series will expand from President Hinton’s story of development in Leading from the Margins to establish her leadership philosophy and examine the crucial role of a liberal arts foundation in a life of leadership and service.

The lectures are free and open to the public.

Lecture Schedule:
“Leading from the Margins”
Thursday, March 21, at 11 a.m.
President Hinton will share her journey of becoming a college president, a journey marked by marginalization, and how and why being from the margins has supported and encouraged her leadership and what it can do for yours.

“From the Margins to the Heart”
Thursday, March 21, at 6 p.m., followed by a book signing of Leading from the Margins
Learn about President Hinton’s evolution from leading from the margins with transformational inclusion as the center point to leading from the heart.

“Where Love Leads”
Friday, March 22, at 11:15 a.m.
Explore why and how love can be an effective leadership strategy and how to apply that strategy in your daily life.

President Hinton is also the author of The Commercial Church: Black Churches and The New Religious Marketplace in America and a frequent op-ed contributor across higher education publications. She is a member of the board of directors for InterFaith America, Mount Saint Mary’s University, The Teagle Foundation and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, where she is the vice chair. She is a Commissioner on the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) Council on Higher Education as a Strategic Asset and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.