Lecture Scene

The following speakers represent only a small selection of the broad range of nationally acclaimed artists, authors and lecturers who visited campus and interacted with Whitman students this fall. 

Bill Way ’80 Feb. 5

After graduating from Whitman in 1980, Trustee Bill Way went on to become C.O.O. of MicroCredit Enterprises, a company that has funded more than 126,000 micro-entrepreneurs in 20 different countries. In this Sava and Danica Andjelkovic endowed lecture, Way shared his expertise on entrepreneurship with a younger generation of Whitties. He told impactful stories about business around the world that have utilized asset building strategies to share new ideas and products with their communities, and he encouraged students to share their interests and talents by engaging professionally with mission-based organizations. 

Stephen McCluskey Feb. 7

In a lecture titled “Astronomy, Space and Time in Medieval Churches,” Stephen McCluskey, professor emeritus of history at West Virginia University, examined the ways in which the orientation of churches and the depictions of the signs of the zodiac and the corresponding labors of the months complemented religious imagery by teaching medieval people the basic astronomical relations of space and time. McCluskey has been the co-editor of Archaeoastronomy: The Journal of Astronomy in Culture since 1998, and his recent publications include “Astronomies and Cosmologies in the Latin West.”

Spencer Wells Feb. 19

Spencer Wells is both an explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society and director of The Genographic Project. For this year’s Arthur G. Rempel Lecture, Wells shared how his project is using DNA from indigenous peoples to document and create the first-ever map of human migration, which will show how humans came to populate the planet after leaving the cradle of Africa 60,000 years ago. National Geographic has called The Genographic Project the most ambitious research project the society has embarked upon in its 125-year history. 

Cheri Honkala Feb. 27

Green Party 2012 Vice Presidential Nominee and founder of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union Cheri Honkala has organized hundreds of demonstrations against poverty. In 2011, she was the first woman to run for sheriff of Philadelphia on a “zero foreclosure” platform. Having experienced poverty herself, Honkala shared insightful and personal stories about striving to aid other families in poverty and about ultimately leading a poor people’s social movement. She also discussed practical strategies with the audience, so that they could help create social change.