Second Presidential Lecture & Performance Series Opens Events, Minds This Fall

Multi-faceted events provide entertainment and education for all.

After last year’s lineup played to sold-out audiences and standing-room-only crowds, organizers of the 2007 Presidential Lecture & Performance Series hope this year’s fall season will not only build upon last year’s success, but also expand the series’ appeal to campus and community alike.

This fall, programs ranging from the science of plants to fine arts and literature will bring leading scholars and artists to mingle with Texas Tech’s own distinguished faculty, students and staff to exchange expertise, research and talents.

"In the second year, we’ve continued to seek programs with a broad appeal," said Mary Jane Hurst, performance series organizer and faculty assistant to the president. "We’re going to continue to get all parts of the campus involved by seeking events with specific academic connections. That is how the series is different from just an entertainment venue."

Hurst said the series seeks to enrich the lives of Texas Tech University students, faculty, staff and citizens of the Lubbock community. For more information, visit

The events are:

• Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar – 7:30 p.m., Sept. 20, room 169 of the Human Sciences Building on Texas Tech Campus. Pamela Soltis, a Phi Beta Kappa visiting scholar for 2007-2008 will visit Texas Tech University Sept. 19-21. In her lecture, Soltis will describe how human activities continue to endanger Earth’s living beings. However, scientists are discovering new ways to use DNA to assess plant divergence in habitats and come up with new management methods for reintroducing extinct species back into their native habitats. Soltis is curator of the Laboratory of Molecular Systematics and Evolutionary Genetics at the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida. Her research interests include the evolution of the flower and conservation genetics of rare plant species. A public reception will follow. Free and open to the public.

• A Night of Music with the Emerson String Quartet – 8 p.m., Oct. 9, Hemmle Recital Hall in the Music Building on Texas Tech Campus. After 30 years of playing together, highly acclaimed musicians Eugene Drucker, Philip Setzer, Lawrence Dutton and David Finckel have been called one of the best quartets in the world. Reserved tickets are $17. Texas Tech students can get one free ticket upon presentation of a student ID at the Student Union Building ticket booth. A public reception will follow the performance. For reservations, call Select-A-Seat at (806) 770-2000.

• Presidential Book Award Winner’s Panel – 3:30 p.m., Oct. 30, Merket Alumni Center on Texas Tech campus. The three most recent recipients of the Presidential Book Award will talk about their work and about their award-winning books in a panel discussion. Panelists are first-place winner Gary Forsythe, author of "A Critical History of Early Rome;" Hafid Gafaiti, author of "The Diasporization of Postcolonial Literature;" and Stephen Graham Jones, author of "Bleed Into Me: A Book of Stories." Gafaiti and Jones tied for second place. Both the panel and the reception to follow are free and open to the public.

• Paul Taylor Dance Company –7:30 p.m., Jan. 11-12, Allen Theatre of the Student Union Building on Texas Tech Campus. Following a sold-out performance of the Taylor 2 dancers in Sept. 2006, the larger Taylor Dance Company returns for two nights of dance choreographed by visionary Paul Taylor. Each performance will feature different dances. These performances are made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpiece: Dance Initiative, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts. Additional support provided by the Mid-American Arts Alliance. Reserved tickets, which go on sale Sept. 5, are $10 each. Texas Tech students with valid ID can get two free tickets at the Student Union Building ticket booth. For reservations, call Select-A-Seat at (806) 770-2000.

CONTACT: Mary Jane Hurst, faculty assistant to the president, Texas Tech University, (806)742-2121 or