Honors Program Visiting Speakers
Honors program Visiting Speakers are typically speakers who have been invited to campus because they have some area of expertise that dovetails with a subject currently being covered in an Honors seminar. Honors professors are encouraged to work with the director of the program to match course topics with visiting speakers that will be of interest to students. Recent visiting speakers have included former White House staffer Daniel Benjamin, historian Patricia Heberer of the United States Holocaust Museum, Harvard Musicologist Thomas Forrest Kelly, the biographer and activist Rajmohan Gandhi and filmmaker Paul Babin, who met with Richard Badenhausen's film and fiction Honors seminar to discuss filmmaking technique and then hosted an evening screening of his movie K-PAX.
Thomas Forrest Kelly
Harvard University musicologist Tom Kelly visited Westminster College to give a public lecture about Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Earlier in the day, he met with students in the Honors "Arts in Performance" seminar to lead a wide ranging discussion of Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique. Kelly, who has published half a dozen books, is especially known for his famous class at Harvard on the "First Nights" of prominent musical pieces and for his two books on that topic. In this picture, Kelly discusses Berlioz's handwritten list of expenses associated with the premier of his symphony, costs that came out of Berlioz's own pocket.
A former foreign policy speech writer in the White House and National Security Council staffer, Dan Benjamin had lunch with Honors students in spring 2006 to talk about what life is like in Washington. Mr. Benjamin is the co-author of two highly acclaimed books on terrorism and has been since 2001 a senior fellow in the international security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he pursues studies on terrorism, American foreign policy, the Middle East, Europe, and South Asia. He began his career as a journalist, writing for Time magazine and then acting as Berlin bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal.
Prof. Rajmohan Gandhi is an eminent biographer, scholar, journalist, and historian, who has lectured and written on a wide range of topics relating to human rights, terrorism, globalization, religion, and Indian independence. A former member of the upper house of the Indian Parliament, Gandhi has published six books to date. He led the Indian delegation to the UN Human Rights Commission in 1990 and is a jury member for the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award. He is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. He met with a select group of Honors students during lunch to talk about the current world situation.
In 2004, brain researcher William Calvin gave a guest lecture in the Honors Social Sciences seminar, whose members spent the semester examining the brain. Calvin talked about some of the ideas in his recent book A Brain for All Season: Human Evolution and Abrupt Climate Change (Univ. of Chicago Press), which won the 2002 Phi Beta Kappa Award for Science, and then answered questions from the audience.