CONGRESSMAN JOHN YARMUTH
Date: April 22, 2021
John Yarmuth, member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Kentucky’s Third District, will deliver this year’s University of Louisville Annual Phi Beta Kappa Lecture. Now in his eighth term, he has served as Chairman of the House Budget Committee since 2019. Yarmuth has been recognized for his work to improve education, expand access to affordable health care, and revitalize manufacturing in Louisville.
Event information: Forthcoming
MY BELOVED WORLD BY U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR
Date: January 14, 2021
The January meeting featured a book discussion of My Beloved World, the memoir of Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Growing up in the Bronx the daughter of parents who had immigrated from Puerto Rico, Justice Sotomayor earned a full scholarship to Princeton, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1976. One reviewer says “Sotomayor turns out to be a writer of depth and literary flair, a surprise to readers of her judicial prose.” Justice Sotomayor’s biography serves as our Book Award this year. Our discussion was moderated by Dr. Jeremy Wells, Associate Professor of English at Indiana University Southeast.
AN EVENING OF HARPSICHORD MUSIC BY DR. JACK ASHWORTH
Date: December 3, 2020
Our December program featured harpsichord music performed and discussed by Dr. Jack Ashworth, Professor Emeritus of Music History at the University of Louisville, where he directed the Early Music Ensemble from 1977 until his retirement in 2013. A two-term President of the Viola da Gamba Society of America, Dr. Ashworth is also an award-winning teacher and co-author of the continuo manual Running the Numbers, now in its second edition. He holds degrees from Stanford University and Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA (Washington Beta of PBK). He plays old-time fiddle in the Buzzard Rock String Band.
This program began with a toast in honor of the 244th anniversary of the founding of Phi Beta Kappa in 1776 by students at The College of William and Mary.
“FROM THE HILLS TO CITY HALL” FEATURING CASSIE CHAMBERS ARMSTRONG
Date: October 15, 2020
Cassie Chambers Armstrong–author of Hill Women and Councilperson-Elect for Louisville’s Metro Council District 8–told the story of growing up in Owlsey County, Kentucky, being raised by her grandmother and aunt with “hill women values,” then graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University and Harvard Law School, where she served as president of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. She has provided legal work with survivors of domestic violence, helping to pass Jeanette’s Law in 2018, which eliminated the requirement that domestic violence survivors pay an incarcerated spouse’s legal fees in order to get a divorce. Armstrong’s book may be purchased at Carmichaels.
“CAN THE CONSTITUTION SURVIVE THE PANDEMICS OF 2020?”
Date: September 15, 2020
Phi Beta Kappa of Kentuckiana was pleased to host a panel discussion addressing a key question of our time: can the U.S. Constitution survive the pandemics (note the plural) that currently face us? The panel featured three speakers, all of them professors who teach Constitutional Law at the University of Louisville. They are Dr. Jasmine Farrier, Professor of Political Science and Vice-President for University Advancement; Samuel A. Marcosson, Professor of Law, Brandeis School of Law; and Cedric Merlin Powell, Wyatt Tarrant and Combs Professor of Law, Brandeis School of Law. Our moderator was the Honorable Fred Cowan, former Kentucky Attorney General and current Kentucky Circuit Judge of the 30th judicial district in Louisville.
Event replay: A recording of this event is available via YouTube.
INTRODUCTION TO THE WATERFRONT BOTANICAL GARDENS
Event Date: October 15, 2019
During a presentation led by Kasey Maier, President of the Waterfront Botanical Gardens, guests learned how the was once an abandoned landfill, how the Education Center was the first building built, and how a Japanese garden will be the next feature. In addition they were taught about several of the plants being grown at the Gardens, which had opened only a few days earlier.
APOCALYPSE BREW WORKS
Event Date: September 6, 2019
Leah Dienes–owner and brewer of Apocalypse Brew Works as well as judge of national beer competitions–led a tour of the facility. A tour . . . and a tasting!
DR. FRED LAWRENCE, “PHI BETA KAPPA’S MISSION IN THE 21ST CENTURY”
Event Date: May 8, 2019
Dr. Fred Lawrence, Secretary and CEO of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, was the guest speaker at our annual event recognizing our award-winning students from local universities. He spoke about the importance of the humanities and sciences and the roles Phi Beta Kappa can play in strengthening them.
DR. NEELI BENDAPUDI, “THE LIBERAL ARTS IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY”
Event Date: March 5, 2019
Eleven months into her tenure as President of the University of Louisville, Dr. Neeli Bendapudi explained why she believes “a strong liberal arts education is the best preparation for addressing the challenges of globalization.”
DR. JOHN R. HALE, “THE TIME MACHINE AT ANTIKYTHERA”
Event Date: October 25, 2018
Dr. Hale explained how the world’s oldest analog computer was discovered on an ancient Greek shipwreck. Dr. Hale is the Director of Liberal Studies at the University of Louisville and an archaeologist with more than 30 years of fieldwork experience. He has excavated at a Romano-British town in Lincolnshire, England, and at the Roman Villa of Torre de Palma in Portugal. He is the author of Lords of the Sea: The Epic Story of the Athenian Navy and the Birth of Democracy.
TASTE HISTORY AT THE OLD FORESTER DISTILLERY
Event Date: September 7, 2018, 2018
Members were treated to a tour of the distillery on Louisville’s Whisky Row, which ended with a tasting. One member got to push the button that charred a new oak barrel–one of the essential characteristics of bourbon!
DR. JACK ASHWORTH, “COUNTRY ROADS: AN APPALACHIAN MUSICAL JOURNEY”
Event Date: May 9, 2018
Dr. Jack Ashworth, Professor of Music at the University of Louisville, was the guest speaker at our annual event recognizing our award-winning students from local universities. He shared his experiences taking students to places in Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee where they learned about traditional Appalachian music.
DR. MARTIN BRUCKNER, “THE SOCIAL LIFE OF MAPS IN AMERICA, 1750-1860”
Event Date: April 12, 2018
Dr. Martin Brückner (Professor of English, University of Delaware) told the story of how maps became so pervasive in American culture, lecturing from his recently published book, The Social Life of Maps in America, 1750-1860 (University of North Carolina Press, 2017). Event co-sponsored by the Filson Historical Society.
HONORABLE MATTHEW W. BARZUN, “OUR SEPARATE WORLDS: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? (HINT: MORE HUMANITIES)”
Event Date: February 6, 2018
Former U.S. Ambassador to Sweden and to the United Kingdom, Matthew Barzun discussed the importance of the Humanities in relation to what he perceived to be young people’s biggest fear–social division–as well as foremost source of hope–social diversity. Event co-sponsored by the University of Louisville College of Arts and Sciences. An interview with Barzun about the event is available via WFPL and Soundcloud.
MAYOR JERRY ABRAMSON, “FROM LOUISVILLE TO THE WHITE HOUSE”
Event Date: February 25, 2017
Former Mayor of Louisville Jerry Abramson told the story of his journey from local office to Frankfort (where he served as Lieutenant Governor from 2011-2014) to the White House (where he served as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs from 2014-2017). Mayor Abramson also discussed the importance of his background in the Humanities to his career. Co-sponsored by the Louisville Free Public Library.
EVAN WILLIAMS BOURBON EXPERIENCE
Event Date: September 8, 2017
DR. VICTOR WAINGEH, “A DOSE OF HERBAL MEDICINE”
Event Date: May 10, 2017
Dr. Victor Waingeh, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Indiana University Southeast, was the guest speaker at our annual event recognizing our award-winning students from local universities. He discussed his research into the forms of medicine practiced in his native Cameroon and what industrial medicine can both learn from and contribute to more traditional practices.
GUIDED TOUR OF THE SPEED MUSEUM
Event Date: February 25, 2017
Guests were treated to a tour of the newly renovated Speed Museum.
DR. JAMES SHAPIRO, “SHAKESPEARE IN AMERICA”
Event Date: November 17, 2016
Dr. James Shapiro, Professor of English at Columbia University and author/editor of two books about the influence of William Shakespeare on American culture, lectured about the ways Americans have “turned to Shakespeare, time and again, to engage the issues that have defined and divided us as a nation.”
PROFESSOR CHRIS GRAINEY, “YOU WOULD NOT HAVE STOOD WITH GALILEO”
Event Date: September 21, 2016
Professor Grainey (Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Jefferson Community and Technical College) discussed how Galileo was opposed not just religious authorities but also by fellow scientists during his day. Co-sponsored by the Louisville Free Public Library.
DR. DEBORAH FINKEL, “REVIVING THE LOUISVILLE TWIN STUDY”
Event Date: May 11, 2016
Dr. Deborah Finkel, Professor of Psychology at Indiana University Southeast, was the guest speaker at our annual event recognizing our award-winning students from local universities. She discussed the work she has done as part of the Louisville Twin Study, “nationally recognized as one of the largest and most comprehensive studies of child development related to multiple birth status.”
REV. DR. GEORGE KILCOURSE, “MERTON AND CIVIL RIGHTS”
Event Date: March 29, 2016
Bellarmine University hosted the Thomas Merton Centennial in 2015, a year-long series of events honoring the theologian, who made his career as a writer, activist, and monk at nearby Our Lady of Gethemani Abbey. Father George Kilcourse, who directed the Centennial, shared some of the ideas and information published here in the Louisville Courier-Journal.
DR. LYLE ROELOFS, “LIBERAL ARTS EDUCATION: THINK LIKE YOU MEAN IT”
Event Date: November 12, 2015
President of Berea College, Dr. Kyle Roelofs advocated for liberal arts colleges and the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities in general: “By sharing the basic elements of reasoning, intellectual history, cultural competency, communication and various literacies, liberal arts institutions prepare their students for the more flexible and nimble adaptations that modern society currently demands.’ Co-sponsored by the University of Louisville’s College of Arts and Sciences and the university’s Office of the President.
DR. KEITH MOUNTAIN, “DYNAMIC EARTH”
Event Date: October 15, 2015
DR. TRACY K’MEYER, “FROM BROWN TO MEREDITH: THE LONG STRUGGLE FOR SCHOOL DESEGREGATION IN LOUISVILLE, KY 1954-2007”
Event Date: May 6, 2015
Dr. Tracey K’Meyer, Professor of History at the University of Louisville, was the guest speaker at our annual event recognizing our award-winning students from local universities. She shared some of the insights of her book From Brown to Meredith (U. of North Carolina Press, 2016). Focusing on Louisville’s history of desegregation, the book uses “oral history narratives, newspaper accounts, and other documents” to expose “the disappointments of desegregation, draws attention to those who struggled for over five decades to bring about equality and diversity, and highlights the many benefits of school integration.”
FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN ROMANO MAZZOLI, “POLITICS À LA CARTE: A SURVEY OF ISSUES LOCAL, NATIONAL, AND INTERNATIONAL”
Event Date: March 11, 2015