Trinity University hosts more than a dozen regular campus lecture series, such as the Distinguished Lecture Series, the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Lecture, the DeCoursey Lecture Series, and the Flora Cameron Lecture on Politics and Public Affairs.
Through these conversations, Tigers make meaningful connections each year with renowned scientists, world leaders, Nobel Prize winners, and best-selling authors.
"These leaders meet with groups of students providing them with the opportunity to ask direct questions of individuals who've experienced first hand, and often wrestled with, some of the modern world's most challenging questions," says Trinity University President Danny Anderson.
Distinguished Lecture Series
This series is made possible through the generosity of the Walter F. Brown Family of San Antonio. This series brings some of the most influential leaders, pioneers, and thinkers of our time to Trinity to share their personal journeys and to provide insight into their life’s work.
In September 1999, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa discussed the choices faced in confronting the problem of reconciliation and justice in South Africa following the end of apartheid. "Whenever another's humanity is enhanced, we will all have our humanity enhanced," he said. Offering a universal message, Tutu said, "My humanity is caught up in your humanity. I am because you are."
The DeCoursey Lecture Series is made possible by a gift from the late General Elbert DeCoursey and Mrs. Esther DeCoursey of San Antonio. The series features internationally celebrated scientists and humanists.
In September 2015, primatologist, author and adventurer Jane Goodall spoke of her life and inspiration to study primates, her experiences as both a scientist and activist, and current issues such as pollution and climate change.
“Human beings are extremely intelligent creatures,” Goodall reminded the audience. However, it is inconceivable that their active destruction of the environment is still continuing. "How is it possible that the creature with the most highly developed intellect that's ever walked the planet is destroying its only home?" Goodall asked.
Flora Cameron Lecture
The Flora Cameron Lecture on Politics and Public Affairs is made possible by an endowment gift from the late Mrs. Flora C. Crichton of San Antonio and is held during the spring semester. This lecture brings world leaders, heads of state, and politicians to Trinity to discuss their careers, historic events, and the modern political climate.
In April 2006, George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, spoke of his life after the White House during the 16th annual Flora Cameron Lecture on Politics and Public Affairs.
Aside from politics, Bush talked about his joint nonprofit advocacy with former president Bill Clinton. Bush used his comments as a platform for encouraging cross-party participation in civil service.
"When Clinton and I came together at the request of [president George W. Bush] ... we both felt that we were doing something bigger than ourselves [and] something bigger than politics to try to help other people," Bush said.
In March 2011, retired U.S. Gen. Colin Powell used wit and humor to entertain his audience while discussing important issues in the United States. Powell opened the lecture by saying it was a pleasure to be at Trinity, but that at this point in his career, it's a pleasure to be anywhere. "One day, you're the number one diplomat of the free world, and the next day, you ain't," Powell said.
Powell also good-naturedly bemoaned having to move through airport security like everyone else. There was an irony to this fate, not lost on Powell, who established many of the TSA protocols. Because of this Powell said people might think that security would just let him through.
"An honor graduate of TSA school pats me down to show that there are no exceptions," Powell said. "He says, 'How are you doing today, General Powell?' I reply, `If you know that I'm Colin Powell, then why are you patting me down? Why aren't you over there looking for Osama Bin Laden?’”
In February 2017, former United Kingdom prime minister David Cameron delivered this lecture. Cameron won two elections to serve as Prime Minister between the years 2010 to 2016, but is perhaps best known for calling a referendum in 2016 on whether or not the United Kingdom would remain in the European Union. This led to the debacle commonly known as “Brexit”, which in turn prompted Cameron’s resignation after the results showed Britain would leave the Union.
"As a believer in democracy, I will never regret asking the British people to take the sovereign decision about one of the biggest questions we face as a county," Cameron said during the lecture in Laurie Auditorium.