SAN MARCOS — Parker J. Palmer, a writer, teacher and activist who works independently on issues concerning education, leadership, spirituality and social change, will deliver three free public lectures in cooperation with Southwest Texas State University in April.
Palmer will present “Education as a Spiritual Journey” for the Price Lecture at 7:30 p.m. April 27 at the First Christian Church in San Marcos. The following day, April 28, he will present “Teaching, Learning and Living: Toward a Philosophy of Education” as part of the Teague Lecture at 10 a.m. in Centennial Hall, Room 157, at SWT, and “The Courage to Teach: Reforming Education from the Inside Out” for the LBJ Lecture at 7:30 p.m. in Evans Auditorium at SWT.
Palmer serves as senior associate of the American Association of Higher Education, senior advisor to the Fetzer Institute and is founder of the national “Teacher Formation Program” for K-12 teachers. His work has been featured by the New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, CBS-TV news, National Public Radio and The Voice of America. The Danforth Foundation, the Lilly Endowment and the Fetzer Institute have supported his work with major grants.
In 1998, “The Leadership Project” named Palmer as one of the 30 “most influential senior leaders” in higher education and one of the 10 key “agenda-setters” of the past decade. In 1993 he won the national award of the Council of Independent Colleges for “Outstanding Contributions to Higher Education.” In 2001, Carleton College awarded Palmer the “Distinguished Achievement Award” on the occasion of his 40th reunion.
Palmer’s writings have been recognized with six honorary doctorates, two “Distinguished Achievement” awards from the National Educational Press Association, and “Award of Excellence” from the Associated Church Press, “Critic’s Choice” citations from Commonweal and Christian Century magazines, selection by several book clubs and translation into several languages. His publications include 10 poems, more than 100 essays and six widely-used books.
A Chicago-area native, Palmer received a B.A. in philosophy and sociology cum laude from Carleton College, MN, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and awarded a Danforth Graduate Fellowship. After a year at Union Theological Seminary, NY, he studied sociology at the University of California at Berkeley, receiving a Ph.D. with honors.
The Price Lecture Series was established in 1984 in honor of Mr. H. Y. Price, Jr., through the Campus Christian Community, which is a cooperative ministry of the United Methodist, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, and the Christian (Disciples of Christ) churches. At Mr. Price’s request, the lecture series was established to enrich the intellectual and spiritual life of the community and area churches by bringing in speakers who exhibit clarity of expression, profundity of thought, honesty in presentation, relevance to issues, and integration of stated values into personal life.
In 1993 the Department of Philosophy established the Marvin O. Teague Lecture in Applied Jurisprudence to honor the distinguished SWT alumnus’ memory by bringing speakers to campus who would address issues in applied philosophy. Previous Teague Lecture speakers include Charles F. Baird, Justice, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals; Gary Bledsoe, NAACP President; and Byron Sage, FBI criminologist, FBI.
The annual Lyndon Baines Johnson Lecture, initiated in 1982 to honor the former president and SWT graduate, recognizes the importance of education to the continuing prosperity of the nation. Through the series, SWT works to perpetuate the former president’s high educational ideals by bringing outstanding individuals to campus to meet with students and faculty and present public lectures. Previous lecterns include former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan and Former President Gerald Ford.