• Jonathan Haidt

One of Southwestern’s most anticipated campus events is The Roy and Margaret Shilling Lecture Series. Drawing approximately 700 attendees to each event, the Shilling Lecture was originally established in 1999 by The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston, to honor Southwestern’s 13th president, Roy B. Shilling Jr., and his wife, Margaret. This now-biennial event provides an important forum in which the greater Southwestern University community has the opportunity to engage with ideas from multiple perspectives, hear insightful discussions, and interact on campus with experts and influential figures. This year’s speaker is renowned social psychologist Jonathan Haidt,one of the world’s leading experts on theintuitive foundations of morality.

Southwestern continuously strives to open the dialogue on important topics facing our world today and this year is no exception. Jonathan Haidt presentation entitled, The Age of Outrage, and What It’s Doing to Our Universities and Our Country, addresses the effects of an ever increasing polarized society.

The Shilling Lecture provides an important avenue for us to bring in renowned speakers and experts to our campus. Students have the opportunity to view ideas from multiple perspectives, engage in discussions, and interact with influential figures.

“The Brown Foundation has been a long-standing supporter of Southwestern,” says Paul Secord, Vice President for University Relations. The Brown family’s ties to the University date back to the early 1900s, when Margarett Root and Alice Pratt, wives of Herman Brown and George Brown, graduated from Southwestern. “Together, the Brown family and The Brown Foundation, Inc., have set an unparalleled standard of support for Southwestern.” In addition to the Shilling Lecture Series, The Brown Foundation made possible what is now known as The Brown Symposium, a biennual event that brings to campus internationally known scholars, artists, authors and scientists. The Brown Symposium and The Shilling Lecture Series alternate years.

“The end of learning is serving. Knowledge without compassion and perspective fails to achieve its full potential and is misdirected in its goals.” - Roy Shilling

Past Shilling Speakers

Past speakers of the Shilling Lecture include Scott Simon, Jane Goodall, Thomas Friedman, Blake Mycoskie, Bill Foege, Wangari Maathai, Bill Bradley, James Baker III, Thomas Kean, Benazir Bhutto, Desmond Tutu, Karen Hughes, Bill Moyers, President Jimmy Carter, Donna Brazile, Mary Matalin, Marian Wright Edelman, William Sloane Coffin, and John McGuire.

This list includes leaders from a wide variety of backgrounds and industries. Although the speakers differ in age, sex, race, professional background and other areas, the common thread is that each one has made a huge impact on their community and the world. They use their passion to lead and inspire others.