The Washington University Assembly Series will have an unusual start to its fall schedule with a talk by Cardinals’ manager, Tony La Russa at 11 a.m. Sept. 7 in Graham Chapel. The rest of the series features speakers on a wide range of topics including politics, economics, writing, history, religion, medicine, literature, evolution, space exploration, social justice and the Holocaust.
All Assembly Series lectures are held at 11 a.m. Wednesdays in Graham Chapel, unless otherwise noted. They are free and open to the public; however, due to the popularity of some speakers, there may be limited seating available for the public. Please check the Assembly Series Web site for the most current information: http://assemblyseries.wustl.edu/, or call 314-935-5285.
By any measure, La Russa is one of baseball’s greatest coaches. At this writing, he ranks third on the all-time managerial wins list. Now in his tenth season at the Cardinals’ helm, he has taken the St. Louis team to five postseason appearances including last year’s World Series. He is the career leader in wins among active managers and ranks third all-time on the Cardinals managerial wins list. In 2002 he was named National League Manager of the Year.
La Russa began his managing career in 1978 with Knoxville in the Class – AA Southern League before taking his first major league managing job in 1979 with the Chicago White Sox. In 1983 he led Chicago to the American League West title and finished with the best record in the major leagues that year. He has also received honors from the Sporting News, the Associated Press and the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
In 1980 he begin managing the Oakland Athletics, and guided them to their fourth World Championship. While with the As, he earned another Manager of the Year award.
Before he began his management career, La Russa played the game, first as an infielder with the Kansas City Athletics in 1962, then with the Oakland As. He concluded his big-league playing career with stints in Atlanta and the Chicago Cubs.
La Russa received a bachelor’s degree in industrial management from the University of South Florida in Tampa, and a law degree from Florida State University. He is the founder and chair of Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) and is active in the Cardinal’s community foundation, Cardinals Care.
Considered by many to be the shrewdest mind in the game today, La Russa’s intellectual, strategically adept style of managing shines through in the current bestseller, Three Nights in August: Strategy, Heartbreak, and Joy Inside the Mind of a Manager, which takes readers into the minds and hearts of La Russa and his team during a three-game series between the Cards and the Cubs.
A booksigning will be held at the Campus Bookstore before the lecture, beginning at 9:45 a.m.
On Sept. 14, the Assembly Series will present political commentator and critic David Horowitz, with a talk on “Academic Freedom and the War on Terror.” Author of the “Academic Bill of Rights,” Horowitz is calling for colleges to voluntarily encourage a diversity of political and religious viewpoints. Among his books is Left Illusions: An Intellectual Odyssey, which charts his evolution from a liberal to a conservative.
On Mon., Sept. 19, the dedication ceremony for the Richard A. Gephardt Institute for Public Service will include a lecture by global economic guru Hernando de Soto, at 4 p.m. in Graham Chapel. De Soto’s ideas for creating wealth in developing countries have made him a favorite consultant to many struggling nations. He is the president of the world-renowned Institute for Liberty and Democracy. Former Congressman Richard Gephardt will open the program, and a reception will follow in Holmes Lounge.
Bestselling novelist Lorenzo Carcaterra has several crime thrillers under his belt; he also writes for television and the big screen. In a conversation with Film and Media Studies Professor Jeff Smith, he will talk about his craft and the difference between writing a novel like Sleepers and writing for the television series “Law and Order.” The talk will be held on Sept. 21.
Deeply embedded in American history is the question of religion and the role it has played and continues to play in our modern democracy. Jon Butler is a distinguished professor of American studies, history and religion at Yale University who has published several books, including Religion in American Life: A Short History, Becoming America: The Revolution before 1776, and Awash in a Sea of Faith: Christianizing the American People. On Sept. 28 Butler will present a lecture on “The Miracle of Religion in Modern American Life.”
UCLA medical professor and internist Pamela Nagami has seen the worst assaults on the human body by infections. In The Woman with a Worm in her Head and Maneater, she brings readers into her world of deadly bites and stings. Nagami’s talk, “Science Is Important but It Isn’t Everything,” will be held on Oct. 5.
Arguably the leading figure of contemporary Latin American literature, Carlos Fuentes has explored an entire continent through his novels and nonfiction. Fuentes’ novels, which number more than 15, explore the identity of Latin America, and especially Mexico, its internal conflicts with its complex heritage, and its contentious relationship with the U.S. On Oct. 12 Fuentes will give a talk titled, “Celebrating Cervantes and Don Quixote.”
Richard Burkhardt will deliver the Thomas Hall Lecture at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 25 in Rebstock Hall. Burkhardt specializes in the study of the history of biology, with an emphasis on evolutionary theory and the biological study of behavior. The title of his talk is “Konrad Lorenz and Niko Tinbergen: The Science and Politics of the Founding of Ethology, 1930-1973.”
Mae Jemison made history when she boarded the space shuttle Endeavor in 1992, becoming the first African-American female astronaut in space. Her story is an inspiring one that underscores the importance of science education and the advancement of women and minorities in science and technology. Jemison’s talk, “Exploring the Frontiers of Science and Human Potential, ” will be held on Oct. 26.
As head of the Southern Center for Human Rights, Stephen Bright has dedicated his career to advocating an end to the death penalty in America and to defending the poor and neglected on death row. On Nov. 2 at 4 p.m. in Anheuser-Busch’s Moot Courtroom, he will deliver a talk on “Crime, Prison and the Death Penalty: The Influence of Race and Poverty.”
Christopher Browning, considered by many to be the preeminent scholar on the Holocaust, will give this year’s Holocaust Memorial Lecture on Nov. 9. His talk, “Holocaust Denial in the Courtroom: The Historian as Expert Witness,” will touch on his experiences as an expert witness in recent famous court cases involving Holocaust deniers. Browning’s address will conclude the fall Assembly Series schedule, which will resume on January 25, 2006.