On October 2, Noah Feldman, a professor at Harvard Law School, will speak in Convocation Hall as the first lecture of this year’s President’s Speakers Series.
Feldman, on sabbatical this year, frequently contributes to the New York Times Magazine and the Bloomberg View. He is a Rhodes Scholar and an expert on Islamic thought. He has written six books and is fluent in English, French, Arabic and Hebrew.
According to the Harvard University website, Feldman “served as senior constitutional advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, and advised members of the Iraqi Governing Council on the drafting of the Transitional Administrative Law or interim constitution.”
While Feldman will speak at Convocation Hall, the remaining speakers will likely be scheduled in smaller venues. After each presentation, there will be a question period.
The President’s Speakers Series committee is holding a contest in which all Mt. A students can participate. Students can submit a short paragraph explaining why they would like to have dinner with Noah Feldman, and then the committee will select the three winners. The dinner with Feldman will be hosted by Mt. A President Robert Campbell.
Frank Strain, a professor of economics at Mt. A, is the chair of the President’s Speakers Series committee. Strain said that the objective of the President’s Speakers Series is “to expose students to an individual who can make a huge difference.”
Over the summer, the committee proposed different names of prospective speakers. After narrowing its list, the committee contacted and invited the speakers.
“We have a pretty good lineup this year,” Strain said.
In conjunction with Mt. A’s Year of Global Engagement, the committee selected four speakers who engage in efforts to both understand and help the peoples of the world.
According to the Mt. A website, the other speakers for the Year of Global Engagement include: “human rights advocate, journalist, author Sally Armstrong; Richard Heinzl, founder of the first North American chapter of Doctors Without Borders; and Jennifer Welsh, University of Oxford professor, co-director of the Oxford Institute for Ethics.”
The committee hopes to add one more speaker to the series.
Strain said that the object of the series is to both expose Mt. A students to interesting and important speakers, and to impart inspiration.
“I think it will give [students] some global engagement and some ideas of how to engage globally. It’s a combination of the two,” Strain said.
The Year of Global Engagement is part of Mt. A’s Strategic Plan.
Last year’s speakers series theme was Public Service. There are plans to hold the Year of Culture and Creativity next school year to coincide with the opening of the Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts and Mt. A’s 175 anniversary.
The following year’s theme will be Science and Discovery.