Pulitzer Prize Author Highlights Medart Series


Maryville University’s excellence in academic opportunities will be featured in the University’s 2008 Medart Lecture Series. The series is held annually and features speakers in various disciplines.

Speakers for the upcoming series include university professor and conductor Dr. Beverly Taylor, architectural photographer Sam Fentress, and Pulitzer Prize winner Lucinda Franks.

Taylor, director of choral activities and professor of choral conducting at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is also the associate conductor of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and director of the Madison Symphony Chorus. Her lecture will begin 7:15 p.m., February 21, in the Maryville Auditorium.

“Taylor is an unusual gifted person, especially in the world of music,” said Germaine Murray, associate professor and director of the Medart Lecture Series.

Fentress will follow Taylor in the Series. He is a St. Louis architectural photographer who recently published his book of documentary photography titled, Bible Road: Signs of Faith in the American Landscape. Fentress took the photographs over a 25-year period in which he drove across 49 states looking for roadside religious signs. He will speak at 7:15 p.m., March 13 in the Auditorium.

“He has a lot of really interesting things to say about religion and American culture,” said Murray.

Franks will be the last speaker on April 6. Her appearance will double as a fundraiser for Magnolia, Maryville’s literary magazine. A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and writer, Franks just published one of this year’s most notable books, My Father’s Secret War: A Memoir. She also has been voted a finalist for the Borders Original Voices award.

Prior to her lecture, from 1-3 p.m. in the Donius University Center, Franks will participate in a book-signing program.

Murray says Franks “does a twofold thing; the book is a marvelous blend of the rapprochement of father and daughter, but also it’s a great insight into World War II.” Murray also will use Franks’ book in her War in Film and Literature class next during the spring semester.

For more information on the 2008 Medart Lecture Series, contact Murray at gmurray@maryville.edu.