Beck kicks off convocation series

Beth McHenry

President Beck delivered the year’s first convocation speech yesterday in Memorial Chapel. The 2005-2006 convocation series will offer four more renowned speakers from a wide variety of backgrounds. As one of the most respected traditions at Lawrence, convocation provides an opportunity each year for students to experience the opinions, talents, and beliefs of a diverse group of speakers.
The next convocation, scheduled for Tuesday, October 4, will feature Christopher Stone, environmental ethicist and author. Stone, the J. Thomas McCarthy Trustee Professor of Law at the University of Southern California, has written in several areas of law and environmental ethics including U.S. alternate energy policy, biodiversity, ocean policy, and legal philosophy. He has served a number of committees, editorial boards, and government agencies in regards to the environment and law. His speech, “Mending the Earth: Ethical Issues in Healing the Global Environment” will be held in the chapel at the traditional convocation time of 11:10 a.m.
Lisa Randall is the next scheduled convocation speaker. A professor of physics at Harvard University, Randall is one of the leading contemporary theoretical physicists. She has developed groundbreaking high-energy physics theories addressing the possibility of extra dimensions, such as a hidden fifth dimension that is both infinite and invisible. Randall was a professor at MIT and Princeton University before joining the staff at Harvard and is currently working on a new book on theoretical physics targeted towards a general audience. Randall will speak in the chapel on January 26.
“A Morning with Salman Rushdie” is scheduled for April 20. The Indian-born Rushdie is a highly successful and highly controversial novelist whose novels have earned both critical acclaim and widespread commercial popularity. His novels include “Midnight’s Children,” “The Moor’s Last Sight,” “The Satanic Verses,” and “The Ground Beneath Her Feet,” as well as his most recent book, “Step Across This Line: Collected Non-Fiction, 1992-2002,” a collection of articles. Rushdie is the winner of numerous international awards and prizes for literature and is currently working on a new novel, “Shalimar the Clown.”
This year’s honors convocation, scheduled for May 25, features Lawrence alumnus D. Michael Lynn, a United States Bankruptcy Court Judge appointed in September of 2001. Before his appointment, Judge Lynn practiced corporate reorganization and bankruptcy law in Dallas, Tex. for almost 30 years after receiving his J.D. degree from the Columbia Law School in 1971. An elected member of the American Law institute, he has been recognized for work on behalf of the homeless and for his participation on the faculty of numerous legal education programs. Lynn serves as a professor of law at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law and has contributed more than 30 chapters to the leading treatise on bankruptcy law.