University Forum


For more than forty years, the University Forum has been the premier lecture series at the University of Southern Mississippi. Sponsored by the Southern Miss Honors College with support from the Office of the President, since its founding in 1974, University Forum has brought some of the most respected and innovative cultural, scientific, and artistic voices in the world to Southern Miss.  Under the auspices of Forum, such speakers as Stephen J. Gould, Gloria Steinem, Russell Means, Susan Sontag, Kurt Vonnegut, E.O. Wilson, Art Spiegelman, and Carl Bernstein have visited Southern Miss.


2015-2016 Season

Roberta A. Kaplan was the lead attorney before the Supreme Court in a landmark case that challenged the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Kaplan successfully argued that a key provision of DOMA violated equal protection principles of the Unites States Constitution and her client Edith Windsor’s Constitutional rights. The consequences of the decision have been both rapid and profound. When the Windsor case was filed in 2010, only 5 states permitted gay couples to marry; in June 2015, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

Roberta Kaplan has been named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the United States, was awarded “Litigator of the Year” by The American Lawyer in 2013 and is scheduled to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York Law Journal  this year. Kaplan will close the first half of the 2015-2016 University Forum season on November 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Thad Cochran Center Ballrooms at Southern Miss. 


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