Ambitious fall Honors Lecture Series features ‘gov...

Ambitious fall Honors Lecture Series features ‘governors,’ ‘policies that govern’

Fall 2018 Honors Lecture Series promo

One of the most ambitious University Honors College lecture series ever offered to the community is scheduled for this fall at MTSU.

With a November election determining who will guide Tennessee for the next four years, Honors College faculty and administrators selected “Governors: Principles, Programs, Politics and Policies that Govern” as the theme for the fall series.

Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra

Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor for the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, will be one of MTSU’s featured Honors Lecture Series speakers this fall. (Photo by Tony Matula/Nashville Symphony Orchestra website)

Lectures, which are free and open to the public, begin at 3 p.m. every Monday from Sept. 10 through Nov. 12. The lone exception is Oct. 15, when MTSU students and faculty are on fall break.

The lectures have been a staple each fall and spring for more than two decades, featuring topics and presenters from multiple disciplines on and off campus. To view a PDF of the schedule and a list of the presenters and their topics, visit

One major change to the schedule announced Sept. 6 by the university is the cancelation of the Sept. 20 MTSU/League of Women Voters gubernatorial forum because of scheduling conflicts.

The lecture series is held in the Simmons Amphitheatre, Room 106 of the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building. To find parking, visit Visitors should use parking meters, obtain a temporary permit from the Parking and Transportation Services office at 1403 E. Main St., or print a visitor pass at Visitor permits are $2 per day.

The series begins Monday, Sept. 10, with Davidson County historian Carol Stanford Bucy and MTSU Department of History Professor Emeritus Robert L. Taylor collaborating on the topic of “Early Tennessee Governors from Blount to Browning.”

Dr. James E.K. Hildreth

Dr. James E.K. Hildreth

Other key presenters this fall include:

• Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, president of Meharry Medical College in Nashville.
David Plazas, opinion and engagement editor at The Tennessean in Nashville.
Dr. David McCargar, retired associate professor of education, Tennessee State University.
Giancarlo Guerrero, music director for the Nashville Symphony, who’ll be interviewed by Dr. Reed Thomas, MTSU director of bands and a School of Music professor of music and conducting.
• Dr. Ron Bombardi, MTSU Department of Philosophy professor.
Keel Hunt, MTSU alumnus, writer/author and president and founder of The Strategy Group, a Nashville-based public affairs firm.

The Honors Lecture Series class also will have a one-day field trip Friday, Oct. 26, to The Legacy Museumand National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama.

Dr. Mary Evins, associate history professor and Honors College resident faculty member, developed the fall lecture series in collaboration with associate Dean Philip Phillips. Evins also coordinates MTSU’s chapter of the American Democracy Project, a national initiative to promote civic learning across academic disciplines and student engagement crucial to lifelong citizenship.

Mary Evins and Philip Phillips

Associate professor Mary Evins, left, developed the fall 2018 MTSU Honors Lecture Series on “governors” and coordinated it with Associate Dean Philip Phillips. (MTSU photo by Marsha Powers)

Evins said the field trip is the result of attorney, author and activist Bryan Stevenson‘s visit to MTSU to serve as the guest speaker at University Convocation Aug. 25. Stevenson is founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, and author of “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption,” the Summer Reading selection for new MTSU students.

“The University Honors College is very excited this fall to be focusing the lecture series on the important elections that we and our state and our students will be participating in and focusing the series on governors,” Evins said. “By that, we mean it in the most interdisciplinary and broad sense. We think every student from any college will find some subject matter that will be interesting to him or her, and it will certainly inform us as we get ready to vote this fall.”

The lecture series is a required class for upper-division Honors College students. Honors College Dean John Vile noted that the lecture series is also open to the public.

For more information, call 615-898-2152.

— Randy Weiler (