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Honors College

University Forum History

University Forum LogoThe University Forum began in September of 1974 as the Man, Science, and Society Lecture Series. This series was inspired by Kenneth Clark’s Civilization Series and has been associated with the Honors College from the start. The name was changed to The University Forum in fall 1978 but the mission has remained the same since the program’s inception; Forum has always sought to bring noteworthy, interesting, and inspirational individuals to the Southern Miss campus. Forum has always been dedicated to providing speakers who address the current issues of the day and provide valuable insight to those who join us for these inspiring talks. Forum has featured notable lecturers such as Gloria Steinem, Kurt Vonnegut, Bryan Stevenson, Russell Means, Lilly Ledbetter, Susan Sontag, Gordon G. Liddy, Antonin Scalia, Stan Lee, Carl Bernstein, and many more.

This list of Forum guests has been compiled using archived documents from the Honors College, The Student Printz, and the Southerner. Some details are incomplete, and we would love to know more about these gaps in our history. If you have any information, please feel free to contact us!

1974-75  1975-76  1976-77





Old Populism: Panel of USM History & Political Science Professors

September 12, 1974

Ray Skates was a professor history at USM and served as the chairman of the history department at the time of his talk. His special interest was in Mississippi history and 20th century US history.

Fred HarrisNew Populism
September 19, 1979

Fred Harris, a retired senator and former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was a candidate for the democratic nomination for President in 1972.



Panel Discussion – Industrialization in Mississippi: How Much is Enough?
September 26, 1974

Student Printz, Vol. 58, issue 5. Expressed the position of business, labor, and environmentalists on the problem of balancing the economic needs of Mississippi’s relatively unspoiled climate.

Melvin KranzbergAre We Running Out of Time?
October 3, 1974

Melvin Kranzberg was an American historian best known for his laws of technology.



Bill BromeryThe Mineral Search
October 10, 1974

R.W. Bromery was the Chancellor and a professor of Geophysics at the University of Massachusetts.



Puritanism to Existentialism
October 17, 1974

Spoke about changing definition of the deity from puritanism to existentialism.


Science and Human Values
October 24, 1974

Editha Neumann was a USM professor who discussed the problematic relationship between man’s will to know what is and man’s moral sense of what out to be as it presents itself from ancient times to the atomic age.


October 31, 1974

George Pessoney was a USM professor who served as the Research Coordinator of the College of Science and Technology. His special interests included algae, cryptogamic botany, and ecology.


November 7, 1974

Ruth Moorman was a USM professor of foreign language whose special interests included Latin and Greek and Old French literature.

Wallace Kay was the Curriculum Director of the Honors Program whose special interest was comparative literature.


Loren EiseleyEvolution
November 14, 1974

Loren Eisley was an anthropologist and historian of science.




WINTER 1974-75

 No information available.



Turner CatledgeThe Responsibility of the Press
March 13, 1975

Turner Catledge was the former editor of the New York Times.




John SawhillThe Energy Crisis: Some Solutions
March 20, 1975

John Sawhill was the former director of the Federal Energy Administration under President Nixon.



April 3, 1975

Nicholas von HoffmanWhere Are the Political Reformers When We Need them?
April 10, 1975 

Nicholas von Hoffman was a journalist and author who was a columnist for the Washington Post and served as a CBS Commentator.


George GilderSexual SuicideSexual Suicide
April 17, 1975

George Gilder is an author who wrote the novel “Sexual Suicide and the Plight of the Unmarrieds.”







Martha GriffithsThe Rights of Women
April 24, 1975

Martha Griffiths was a Congresswoman from Michigan and sponsor of the ERA.




The Middle East and the Politics of Oil
May 1, 1975

Bob Evans served as a Middle Eastern correspondent and Moscow bureau chief for CBS.


May 8, 1975

The US and the People’s Republic of China
May 15, 1975





Russell KirkAmericaThe Conservative Mind
September 18, 1975

Russell Kirk was a conservative author who wrote and spoke about political thought, educational theory, literary criticism, foreign affairs, moral questions, and other themes. He had a syndicated column, To the Point, as well as a book titled The Conservative Mind.




General Douglas McArthur
October 2, 1975

Clayton James was, at the time of his lecture, a professor of history at Mississippi State University and served as a consultant to the BBC.


LaDonna HarrisThe History of the American Indian Movement
October 9, 1975

LaDonna Harris is a member of the Comanche tribe and a social activist. She served as the President of the Americans for Indian Opportunity and was appointed by President Johnson to the National Council on Indian Opportunity. She served as a Chairwoman of the Women’s National Advisory Council on Poverty and has long been an advocate for minority rights.

Bell Irwin WileyThe Common Soldier in the Civil WarThe Life of Johnny Reb
October 16, 1975

Bell Wiley, a former USM professor, was a historian, educator, and an author. Wiley wrote about the Civil War and was Chairman of the advisory board of the National Historical Society. Wiley also served as a member of the editorial board for the Jefferson Davis Association for publishing Davis’ papers.




Eugene GenoveseSlave Experience in America
October 23, 1975

Eugene Genovese was a historian who wrote about the American South and slavery. Genovese served as the chairman of the history department at Rochester University and wrote The Political Economy of Slavery.



Thomas Harry WilliamsHuey LongHuey Long Biography
October 30, 1975

T. Harry Williams was a historian who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1969 for his biography of Huey Long. He was an authority on the Civil War and served as president of the Southern Historical Association.



Merle MillerHarry Truman: The Man and the President
November 6, 1975

Merle Miller was an author who is best remembered for his biography of Harry S. Truman.



William ManchesterAmerican Perspectives
November 13, 1975

William Manchester was an author, historian, and biographer who came to speak about his novel, The Arms of Krupp.


WINTER 1975-76

The Energy Crisis, Real or Imagined
December 11, 1975

Stewart Udall was a politician who served as the Secretary of the Interior under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.

The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence
December 18, 1975

Victor Marchetti was a special assistant to the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He resigned in 1969 and wrote a book, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, about his experience. The book underwent court-approved censorship was later re-published with empty space marking the CIA ordered deletions.

Wall Street Week
January 8, 1976

Louis Rukeyser was a financial journalist and economic commentator who hosted Wall Street Week and spoke on economic conditions with emphasis on recovery. Rukeyser was network TV’s first economic editor in the early 1970s.

New Journalist
January 15, 1976

Tom Wolfe was an author and journalist best known for his association with New Journalism, a style that emerged in the 60s and 70s and featured literary techniques.

Nuclear Power
January 22, 1976

Ralph Nader is a political activist and author, best known at the time of this appearance for his position as a leader in the antinuclear movement.

Riddles of Education
January 29, 1976

Max Rafferty was a writer and educator who served as the California State Superintendent for two terms from 1963-1971.

February 5, 1976

John Anderson was a Republican congressman from Illinois who spoke about unions and labor legislation. At the time of his lecture, he was Chairman of the House Republican Conference.

Debate About Race*
February 12, 1976

William Shockley was the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1956 but spoke about “blacks and statistical measurements”. He was, essentially, a physicist turned eugenicist. It was stated that Shockley “will argue that statistics indicate blacks have inferior intelligence as a consequence of their genetic inheritance.” 

Richard Goldsby was a professor at the University of Maryland at the time of his lecture. He was a proponent of the view that race is biological as opposed to a social construct.

*There was significant backlash from students and faculty over Shockley. Richard Goldsby was rescheduled from Spring Quarter to debate Shockley.

February 19, 1976

Les Whitten was an investigative journalist who worked with noted columnist Jack Anderson. He wrote about financial corruption on the part of senators and congressmen as well as giant corporations and political committees. He was arrested by the FBI for allegedly possessing secret government documents related to the Bureau of Indian Affairs that started a debate about the United States government’s suppression of news. 


spring 1976

March 18, 1976

E.L. Doctorow was a writer was best known for his works of historic fiction. His lecture was about his novel, Ragtime, which was later adapted into a film. He taught at Sarah Lawrence.


How Congress Really Works
March 25, 1976

Martha Griffiths was a former congresswoman and a sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment. This was her second visit to USM.

The Piano in America: A Love Affair
April 1, 1976

At the time of this lecture, David Duvall was the music director of WNCN as well as a writer., and Stanley Waldoff was a professor of music at USM. This Forum was the first musical performance featured in the Forum series.


The Future of Blacks in Mississippi Politics
April 22, 1976

At the time of his lecture, Charles Evers was the mayor of Fayette as well as a leader of the NAACP. He was known for leading boycotts against white merchants in 1965 in Natchez and Fayette.

April 29, 1976

W.D. Snodgrass was a poet who won the 1960 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

The New Majority
May 6, 1976

Pat Buchanan is a conservative political commentator who served as a speechwriter and political assistant for President Nixon. Buchanan also worked for Presidents Ford and Reagan.

The Next 200 Years
May 13, 1976

Kenneth Boulding, at the time of his lecture, was an economist on the staff of the League of Nations and served as the Director of the Center for Research in Conflict Resolution.




Fall 1976

A Democrat Views the 76 Elections
September 16, 1976

Frank Church unsuccessfully campaigned for the democratic nomination for President in 1976. He was a former Idaho senator as well as the chairman of the Senate investigation of the CIA and other intelligence agencies.

An Independent Candidate for President Speaks on the Issues
September 23, 1976

At the time of his lecture, Eugene McCarthy was an independent presidential candidate and former senator of Minnesota. He was a member of the Agriculture Committee as well as the Ways and Means Committee and the founder of the Democratic Study Group.

A Republican Views the 76 Election
September 30, 1976

Strom Thurmond ran as the National States’ Rights Party’s candidate for president in 1948, served as a senator and was the first person ever elected to a major office in a write-in campaign.

Black Politics
October 7, 1976

At the time of his lecture, John Conyers was a member of the House Judiciary Committee and was a liberal voice in Congress on civil rights who openly opposed Vietnam. He introduced an article of impeachment in 1974 for the secret war in Cambodia.

A Political Forum
October 14, 1976

This Forum featured a debate between republican incumbent Trent Lott and Gerald Blessey, his democratic opponent who served in the Mississippi Legislature and was president of the Biloxi Bar Association.

The Presidency and the Threshold of the Last Quarter of the Century
October 21, 1976

Henry J. Abrams was, at the time of his lecture, a professor at the University of Virginia who wrote about the government and the judicial system. He served as a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Advanced Studies at UV and was a consultant to the US Senate Subcommittee on Separation of Powers.

Are We A Second-Rate Power?
October 28, 1976

William Westmoreland was a United States Army general, former Army Chief of Staff and Commander of the US Military Forces in Vietnam. He was highly decorated and retired after 36 years in the military as Chief of Staff, the highest position in the Army. Following his time in the Army, he became chairman of South Carolina’s Governor’s Task Force for Economic Growth.

Better Ways to Spend Tax Dollars
November 3, 1976

William Proxmire was elected to the Senate to fill the slot opened by the death of Joseph McCarthy and became the first person in US Senate history to cast 3,000 straight roll call votes without missing one. He was a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and chairman of its subcommittee on housing and urban development-space-science as well as a member of the subcommittee on labor-health, education and welfare, and related agencies.

The Presidency: The Next Four Years
November 11, 1976

Hugh Sidey was a journalist who wrote about important national and international events such as President Nixon’s trip to China in 1972 and the Kennedy Assassination.


winter 1976-77

A Southern Senator in the New South
December 9, 1976

At the time of his lecture, Dale Bumpers was a senator from Arkansas who was elected in 1974 after unseating William Fulbright. He served a term as governor of Arkansas prior to that.

The New South
December 16, 1976

At the time of his lecture, Maynard Jackson was the mayor of Atlanta. He was the first black mayor of Atlanta and the youngest person ever (at the time) to hold Atlanta’s highest executive office.

The Role of the South in the Presidential Election
January 6, 1977

Gil Carmichael was a Mississippi businessman who was the Mississippi Republican Party’s nominee for the US Senate in 1972 and nominee for governor in 1975.

The Journalist and the New South
January 13, 1977

Hodding Carter is a journalist who was the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs under President Jimmy Carter.

January 20, 1977

At the time of his lecture, Normal Goldstein was a nationally known member of the Teamsters Union and was the assistant director of organizing for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

The South and Transition
January 27, 1977

Douglas Kiker was a Washington Correspondent for NBC and a Washington editor for the Today Show.

The South as a Counter-Culture
January 27, 1977

At the time of his lecture, Dr. Sheldon Hackney was the president of Tulane as well as the president of the Council of Southern Universities.

The Direction of the New South
February 10, 1977

At the time of his lecture, Michael Cody was an attorney and former Memphis city council member.

Design and Popular Values: Will the New South Be Southern
February 17, 1977

At the time of his lecture, Jay Rodney Little was a historian from Florida State University who worked as a historic preservationist for the Florida Department of State.

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