Office of the Provost

Provost Lecture Series

March 2017

The Liberating Love of the Decolonize Movement In and Out of the Church

Monday March 13th, 3-5:30pm
Anderson University Center, Room 133

What is the Decolonize Movement? How can it guide and shape activism in our institutions of church and education as well as in the world beyond our walls? Join Rev. Tuhina Rasche (#Decolonize Agitator) and Rev. Priscilla Paris-Austin  (#Decolonize Adaptor) for a conversation about the Decolonize movement and how it compels us to varied and unique activities in the quest for justice. Participants will learn some common vocabulary, hear & share stories, and listen together as we search for our individual and collective callings to be part of a journey toward liberation through love.

Students, Faculty and Staff are all invited to participate.  Thank you to Student Life for sponsoring!

For questions contact Jen Rude, PLU University Pastor, x7465

The Forty-Third Annual Walter C. Schnackenberg Memorial Lecture

               Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 7:00 p.m.
Xavier Hall, Room 201, Pacific Lutheran University

Professor Gordon’s lecture for March 22nd is entitled “In Her Mother’s Footsteps: The Lives of Mary Shelley and her mother Mary Wollstonecraft.”  Professor Gordon’s lecture will be accessible to wide ranging audiences, including undergraduates and the general public. The lecture will be followed by a question-and-answer period and a reception of light food and drinks.  The lecture and reception are free and open to the public.

Charlotte Gordon is an award-winning author whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Slate, Harvard Magazine, and The Cambridge Companion to American Poetry, among other publications. Her latest book, Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley (Random House) won the National Book Critics Circle award. She has also published Mistress Bradstreet: The Untold Story of America’s First Poet (Little, Brown) and The Woman Who Named God: Abraham’s Dilemma and the Birth of Three Faiths (Little, Brown). An Associate Professor in the School of Arts & Sciences at Endicott College, she has been a frequent guest on NPR and the CBC. Professor Gordon received her A.B. from Harvard College and her Ph.D. from Boston University. From 1999-2002 she was Elie Wiesel’s teaching assistant at Boston University.  For further information on Gordon’s books, see

We hope that you will be able to attend this year.  Please email or contact Ms. Brenda Murray at (253) 535-7595 if you have questions concerning this event.
Additional information available at:

Jewish Studies Lecture

Lilith: From Mesopotamian Demon to Feminist Icon

March 22, 2017 at 7:30pm
Temple Beth El
5975 South 12th Street, Tacoma WA 98465

The history of Adam’s first wife, Lilith. How did an ancient demon become a modern feminist icon? This talk will explain this remarkable transition.

 The Garden of Earthly Delights: The Song of Songs in the Early Synagogue
Laura Lieber, PhD
Professor of Religious Studies at Duke University

March 23, 2017 at 7:30pm
Scandinavian Cultural Center

While most modern scholars read the biblical Song of Songs (also known as the Song of Solomon) as a collection of secular love poems, in antiquity, both the rabbis and the Church Fathers understood it to be an encoded account of God’s love for God’s chosen people. In this talk, we’ll consider how the Song of Songs was taught and understood in the synagogues of the Galilee in the 4th-6th centuries CE – not just as “Scripture” but as prayer – and we will see how the Song’s exuberant earthiness enriched and enlivened bold theological thinking not just among scholarly elites but at the popular level.

Visit the site for additional information:

For more information: Cynthia Givens at 253-535-7228 or

April 2017

Annual Raphael Lemkin Lecture and Award Ceremony

 On Luther, Jews and Lutherans in Nazi Germany
Tuesday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m.
Scandinavian Cultural Center, Anderson University Center

Robert P. Ericksen, and alumnus and Kurt Mayer Chair in Holocaust Studies Emeritus, joined PLU’s history faculty in 1999. He helped found the Holocaust and Genocide Studies programs at PLU, as well as the Powell-Heller Conference for Holocaust Education.

Off campus, Ericksen is a published author and editor of several scholarly journals, as well as chair of the Committee on Ethics, Religion and the Holocaust at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Free and open to the public. Reception to follow.
Additional information available at:

Visiting Writer Series 2016-2017

 Jenny Johnson
Wednesday, April 5

4:00 The Writers Story, Ness Family Chapel, Karen Hille Phillips Center
7:00 Reading, Scandinavian Cultural Center, Anderson University Center

Jenny Johnson is the author of In Full Velvet, published by Sarabande Books in 2017. Her many honors include a 2015 Whiting Award and a 2016-17 Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University. She has also received awards and scholarships from the Blue Mountain Center, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She received her MFA from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Her poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry 2012, New England Review, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, and elsewhere. She teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and at the Rainier Writing Workshop, Pacific Lutheran University’s low-residency MFA program.

For more information, please contact the Department of English at (253) 535-7321 or visit

Spring 2017 Johan Mehlum Lecture and Executive Leadership Series

 Thursday, April 13
from 6-7 p.m.
Leraas Hall, Rieke Science Center

Jim Morrell
CEO, Peninsula Community Federal Credit Union

Jim Morrell has served members of credit unions for nearly twenty-five years. He is currently CEO at Peninsula Community Federal Credit Union serving the Olympic Peninsula. Peninsula Credit Union is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) dedicated to promoting community development by assisting those with moderate income, unbanked or underbanked individuals.

Jim has a passion for service to his community and industry. His belief is that to best lead you must have a breadth of awareness about the communities you serve. He is a certified Credit Union Development Educator for both the United States and Africa. Jim has learned to interactively share cooperative operating principles in order to help individuals build financial capability and help communities inspire economic development.

To educate himself for his vocation, Jim pursues a wide array of interests. These include serving on national, regional and local boards related to innovation, electronic payments, and supporting students’ efforts in the areas of graduation, poverty and philanthropy.

Additional information available at:

Sponsored by Pyramid Staging & Events.

2017 Earth Day Lecture

Connecting Science and Policy: One Lute’s Journey from Biologist to Climate Negotiator
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Scandinavian Cultural Center, Anderson University Center

Amanda McCarty (PLU Biology ’04) is an environmental scientist and policy maker with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). She’s returning to PLU to deliver our 2017 Earth Day Lecture. She’ll speak about discovering her vocation while providing leadership to international climate adaptation programs and  serving as the United States negotiator to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

For additional information, visit the event webpage:

Hitler's Pink Victims

 Robert Oelbermann and the Persecution of Homosexuals in Nazi Germany

Presented by Dr. Samuel Torvend, PLU Chair in Lutheran Studies

Wednesday, April 19
Reception at 7:00pm followed by Lecture at 7:30pm

Scandinavian Cultural Center