July 4, 2020

UMW’s Great Lives Lecture Series Announces 17th Season

Professor Emeritus William Crawley, founder and director of Great Lives, announces the 17th season of the biographical lecture series to a packed reception at the Jepson Alumni Executive Center. Photo by Karen Pearlman.

Professor Emeritus William Crawley, founder and director of Great Lives, announces the 17th season of the biographical lecture series to a packed reception at the Jepson Alumni Executive Center. Photo by Karen Pearlman.

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass, Hollywood actress-turned-inventor Hedy Lamarr and children’s author Theodor Geisel – better known as Dr. Seuss – are among the prominent individuals to be featured in this year’s William B. Crawley Great Lives lecture series.

Now in its 17th year, the stellar season was revealed to a packed reception Wednesday evening at the Jepson Alumni Executive Center. Lectures will take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, from Jan. 21 to April 14, at the University of Mary Washington’s Dodd Auditorium on the Fredericksburg campus. They are free and open to the public without admission tickets.

Bestselling biographers – many of whom are distinguished historians and award-winning journalists – have spent countless hours chronicling the fascinating lives of their iconic subjects. At UMW, they’ll showcase these celebrated historical figures – notorious, in some cases – and provide illuminating insight into their lives and loves, successes and failures, strengths and struggles.

“I always say this, but this season is probably the most impressive lineup ever,” said Professor Emeritus William Crawley, Great Lives founder and director, who added he is confident that audiences will find multiple topics of interest. Read more. 

C-SPAN to Broadcast Great Lives Lecture, April 7

Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt.

If you missed the March 19 Great Lives lecture on the Rocket Girls, you’ll still have a chance to watch it when C-SPAN airs it on Sunday, April 7 at 9 p.m. ET on C-SPAN3. The segment will also be available to view online at https://www.c-span.org/video/?458921-1/women-jet-propulsion-laboratory. The lecture was presented by science writer Nathalia Holt, author of the book Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us from Missiles to the Moon to Mars.

The spring 2019 Great Lives lectures conclude soon with Helen Rappaport, an expert on Russian history and author of The Race to Save the Romanovs, on Thursday, April 4. Heath Hardage Lee, historian and author of The League of Wives: The Untold Story of the Women Who Took on the U.S. Government to Bring Their Husbands Home from Vietnam, tells the story of POW wives on Tuesday, April 9.

This series is open to the public free of charge and no admission tickets are required. Programs begin at 7:30 p.m. in Dodd Auditorium in George Washington Hall.  Each lecture concludes with an audience Q&A session with the speaker and a book-signing.

Crawley Appears on WFVA Radio

William B. Crawley, professor of history emeritus and director of the William B. Crawley Great Lives lecture series appeared recently on WFVA’s Town Talk to talk about the 2019 season that began earlier this week. Listen to his interview at https://www.newstalk1230.net/episode/town-talk-jan-14-2/.