Saint Mary's Welcomes Jacqueline Woodson
Each year, the Humanistic Studies department at Saint Mary’s College presents the Christian Culture Lecture, an event open to students and the public that features prominent figures in the Humanities field. In 1956, Professor Bruno Schlesinger created what is now known as the Humanistic Studies major here at Saint Mary’s College. At the time it was known as the Program for Christian Culture. The Program for Christain Culture explored how Christianity influenced the development and formation of the world. One year after he created the major, Dr. Schlesinger founded the Christian Culture Lecture. The purpose of the lecture was to bring distinguished speakers from around the world to Saint Mary’s campus. This lecture series continued for twenty years before it died out. In 2006 the Christian Culture Lecture was revived due to the generosity of the first graduate of the Humanistic Studies program, Dr. Susan Fitzgerald Rice (61’), who wanted to see the program thrive in the same way that it had back in 1957. The lecture has an impressive history of presenters including authors Margaret Atwood and Doris Kearns Goodwin, along with religious scholar Reza Aslan.
Laura Ambrose is the director of the Humanistic Studies program at Saint Mary’s College. In her words, the Christian Culture Lecture’s purpose is to “highlight prominent figures in the humanities to not only the college campus but also the community.” The Christian Culture Lecture allows students to meet with nationally and internationally recognized authors, theologians, lawyers, and others who have experience in the Humanities field. Humanistic Studies students also have an opportunity to network with the speakers and connect with others in the humanities field to gain real-world insight.The lecture is a tremendous opportunity to experience the amazing people that are brought to Saint Mary’s campus.
Jacqueline Woodson, the 2021 Christian Culture Lecture speaker, is an American author. Her books appeal to a wide variety of ages, ranging from story books to adult novels. She is a Macaurthur Fellow, National Book Award Winner, and Four time Newbery Honor Winner. Growing up, Woodson knew that writing was her passion. She was recognized for her writing at a young age, and continues to receive recognition, creating an impressive list of accomplishments. Woodson describes the goal of her work as to “encourage young people to think about the moment we’re living in, the power they possess, and the impact reading can have on showing them ways in which they can create the hope and the change they want to see in the world.” With this message in mind, Woodson comes to Saint Mary’s for the Christian Culture Lecture on September 28, 2021.
Maria Dyro '24 is an Accounting major from Jacksonville, FL.