University Forum


University Forum is an exciting one-hour course designed to engage students with the widest range of cultural and artistic experiences in Hattiesburg and its environs. Students hear stimulating lectures from some of the best-known authors and thinkers in the country and attend a plethora of cultural events, from concerts to plays to films to exhibit openings. The class is an eye-opening experience, one that Forum veterans recall fondly years after graduation. In what other college course do students hear from Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Cat Cora or Rick Bragg?

Students earn one hour of course credit in either HON321 (fall semester) or HON322 (spring semester). All Honors College freshmen are required to take the course, but any university student is welcome in the class, which can be repeated for up to eight hours.

University Forum is directed by Dr. Ellen Weinauer and Stacey Ready, with technical support from the Honors College staff. Contact us at if you have questions about the course.

Spring 2015 Schedule

  • Justin Barrett, PhD--Director of the Thrive Center of Human Development, Fuller Graduate School of Psychology
    Topic: "Is Religious Belief Natural? The Relevance of Cognitive Science to Faith"
    January 27th at 6:30pm in the Thad Cochran Center, Ballroom I 

  • Jill Taylor, PhD--Director of the Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health
    Topic: "Guarding our present and future: The public health laboratory network in America"
    February 3rd at 6:30pm in the Trent Lott Center, 103 A-D 

  • The Armstrong Branch Distinguished Lecture
    Charlayne Hunter-Gault
    -- Journalist and former foreign correspondent for NPR and PBS
    Topic: "From Close Doors to Open Roads: A Journalist's Journey" 
    February 10th at 7:00pm in Bennett Auditorium 

  • Jennifer Stollman, PhD--Academic Director at the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, University of Mississppi
    Topic: "Endangering Equity through Perceived Equality: Women's History and Its Crucial Role in Conmporary Fights for Justice"
    March 3rd at 6:30pm in the Thad Cochran Center, Ballroom II

  • Ulrike Anton (flutist) and Russell Ryan (pianist)
    Topic: "'...If only she were a man...' Women Composers from the 18th to the 21st Centuries
    March 24th at 6:30pm in Bennett Auditorium 
  • Robert McCauley, PhD--Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture; Emory University
    Topic: "Why Religion is Natural and Science is not"
    March 31st at 6:30 in Bennett Auditorium
  • Ben Burkett--National Family Farm Coality President; James Beard Foundation Leadership Honoree; State Coordinator, Federation of Southern Cooperatives
    Topic: "Sustainability in the New World Economy
    April 21st at 6:30 pm in the Thad Cochran Center, Ballroom I