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Astronaut Lovell to launch Chautauqua series at SWT

Date of release: 02/04/99

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — Astronaut James Lovell, commander of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, will launch a lecture series at Southwsest Texas State University designed to look toward the future while commemorating the university‘s 100-year history.

Lovell will speak at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at Evans Auditorium on the SWT campus. The free lecture is titled A Successful Failure: The Flight of Apollo 13.

Lovell’s address will be the keynote lecture in the first of SWT‘s Chautauqua Series being held this spring on the university’s campus. The four-part lecture series is part of the university‘s Centennial Celebration.

It is named for the Chautauqua movement popular in the late 1800s. Chautauquas featured lectures, literary readings, concerts and other educational activities aimed at stimulating discussion among a local population. SWT‘s landmark building, Old Main, is built on Chautauqua Hill, the site of many San Marcos Chautauquas before the university was founded in 1899.

Lovell will be the keynoter among four lecturers speaking at SWT Feb. 18 on the general topic The Future of the Planet. Other speakers that day will include:

  • Hans Mark, director of defense research and engineering for the U.S. Department of Defense, at 9:30 a.m. in the LBJ Student Center Teaching Theater on the topic Henry the Navigator: Technology and Exploration.
  • Ronald Abler, executive director of the Association of American Geographers, at 11 a.m. in the LBJ Student Center Teaching Theater on the topic of Global Change, Local Places and Global Geography.
  • Sylvia Earle, oceanographer, marine biologist and National Geographic explorer-in-residence, at 2 p.m. in the LBJ Student Center Teaching Theater on the topic of Sea Change, the Future of the Oceans.

Lovell has traveled farther than any other living astronaut, logging more than 600 hours and 7 million miles flying through space. Lovell‘s most famous space flight was as commander of Apollo 13, popularized by the movie of the same name starring Tom Hanks as Lovell.

The craft was enroute to a lunar landing in 1970 when oxygen tanks exploded, threatening the lives of Lovell and his crew, and forcing their early return to Earth.

Following The Future of the Planet, SWT will host three more Chautaquas this spring. Dates, topics and keynoters will be:

    • March 4 -- The Future of Media and Communication, with keynote by political communicators James Carville and Mary Matalin at 7:30 p.m. in Strahan Coliseum.
    • March 10 -- The Future of Education, with keynote by educational researcher Geoffrey Caine, at 2 p.m. in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom.
    • March 23 -- The Future of Technology, with keynote by historian James Burke, host of the popular PBS Connections series, at 7:30 p.m. in Evans Auditorium.