With the 2019-2020 academic year just around the corner, the University will celebrate the 37th season of the Wittenberg Series. Offering the campus, Springfield community, and greater region a diverse selection of guest lecturers and world-renowned performers, this year’s series will begin with the traditional Opening Convocation featuring a keynote address by Michelle Mattson, Wittenberg’s new provost, at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27, in historic Weaver Chapel.
The Wittenberg Series was created in 1982 during President William A. Kinnison’s tenure. Since its inception, Nobel Laureates, scientists, significant literary figures, most of America’s foremost modern dance companies, as well as hundreds of prominent psychologists, educators, economists, writers, theologians, urban planners, and historians, have visited campus to participate.
A wide range of lecturers will share their expertise with audiences during this year’s Series, including Renu Malhotra, planetary scientist at the University of Arizona; Gilbert Meilaender, author and senior research professor of theology at Valparaiso University; Charles M. Blow, journalist, commentator, and New York Times op-ed columnist; Freeman A. Hrabowski III, educator, advocate, mathematician, and president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Eric H. Cline, author, historian, and professor of classics, history, and anthropology at George Washington University; and The Rev. Dr. William O. Gafkjen, Bishop of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. The series will also include the holiday favorite Lessons and Carols for Advent and Christmas, a dance concert by Step Afrika!, and a performance by The Second City, an improvisational comedy enterprise and theatre troupe.
All events of The Wittenberg Series are open to the public free of charge. Doors open 30 minutes prior to the beginning of each lecture or performance. Below are further details related to this year’s Series.
2019-2020 Wittenberg Series Events:
- Tuesday, Aug. 27: Opening Convocation, 11:45 a.m., Weaver Chapel, featuring Michelle Mattson, provost, Wittenberg University.
- Thursday, Sept. 26: IBM Endowed Lecture in the Sciences, 7:30 p.m., Bayley Auditorium, featuring Renu Malhotra, planetary scientist at the University of Arizona. Colloquium, 4:30 p.m., Bayley Auditorium.
- Friday, Oct. 4: Kenneth H. Sauer Luther Symposium, 7:30 p.m., Bayley Auditorium, featuring Gilbert Meilaender, author and senior research professor of theology at Valparaiso University. Q&A, 3:30 p.m., Weaver Chapel.
- Monday, Oct. 21: Dance concert featuring Step Afrika!, 7:30 p.m., Pam Evans Smith Arena in the Health, Wellness, and Athletics Complex.
- Sunday, Oct. 27: Festival Choral Eucharist for Reformation Service, 7:30 p.m. in Weaver Chapel (music begins at 7 p.m.), featuring The Rev. Dr. William O. Gafkjen, Bishop of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
- Friday, Dec. 6: Lessons and Carols for Advent and Christmas, 7:30 p.m. (pre-service music begins at 7 p.m.), Weaver Chapel.
- Monday, Jan. 20, 2020: Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation, 11:15 a.m., Weaver Chapel, featuring Freeman A. Hrabowski III, educator, advocate, mathematician, and president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Q & A, 2:45 p.m., 105 Joseph C. Shouvlin Center for Lifelong Learning.
- Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020: Comedy and improv show featuring The Second City, 7:30 p.m., John Legend Theater at The Dome, 700 South Limestone Street. For mature audiences.
- Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020: Allen J. Koppenhaver Literary Lecture, 7:30 p.m., Weaver Chapel, featuring Charles M. Blow, journalist, commentator, and New York Times op-ed columnist. Q & A, 4:30 p.m., Bayley Auditorium.
For more information on the Wittenberg Series, click here. To make special arrangements, request a Series poster, or become a friend of the Wittenberg Series, contact Lisa Watson by phone at (937) 327-7363 or at WatsonL4@wittenberg.edu.