Presidential Seminar Hosts Speaker Series

Marlboro College is partnering with Windham World Affairs Council (WWAC) to offer the local community a speaker series based on a Marlboro College seminar course designed by President Kevin Quigley.

Given the critical and turbulent times in which we live, President Quigley has designed a seminar course for the college entitled “Engaging the World.” The course draws on the skills of leading experts and explores various strategies that individuals and organizations—public, private, as well as governments—can use to engage in the world in response to a particular issue or to promote a specific interest.

In collaboration with WWAC, the college is coordinating a matching speaker series for the community, giving local residents the opportunity to hear the same expert speakers as the students. WWAC will host the five informal Wednesday evening lectures in Brattleboro. These lectures will explore issues at the crossroads of international affairs and religion, transparency and corruption, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, ethics, and the U.S. Congress. They will be free and open to the public. Each evening starts at 7pm, with light snacks and coffee/tea, followed by the talk at 7:30. 

The series launch will be on Wednesday, February 13. Michael Gilligan, president of the Henry Luce Foundation will speak on “Understanding Religion(s) in International Affairs: One Foundation’s Experience.” The Henry Luce Foundation is an organization that supports higher education, American art, Asian studies, theology, and women in science and engineering. During his presidency, the foundation has developed a series of new initiatives, including a study of Religion in International Affairs and the establishment of the Luce Fund for Theological Education. Before serving as president, Michael directed the Luce Foundation’s Theology Program, and also served in accrediting and leadership education for the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. Michael received a B.A. from Duke University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia.  

The second talk in the series, titled “Transparency and Corruption,” will take place the following week on Wednesday, February 20. The speaker will be Kirk Talbott, senior adviser on governance for The World Bank’s PASET initiative (Partnership for Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology) in Africa. He is also a past president and CEO of World Affairs Councils of America, supports the Omidyar Network on property rights, and is a scholar in residence at the Environmental Law Institute. Kirk has worked on governance for over 30 years, with a focus on the nexus of international development, human rights, and environment, holding leadership positions in organizations from First Voice International to World Resources Institute. He has a J.D. and Masters from Georgetown University and a B.A. from Yale.

Both of these lectures will be held at Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main Street in Brattleboro. Three additional lectures will take place in April. The topics will be “Changing Course in the U.S. Response to the HIV/AIDs Pandemic” on April 3, “Ethics and International Affairs” on April 10 and “Congress and Engaging the World” on a date to be confirmed.

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