Jan Term 2016 Speaker Series

 Welcome to the Jan Term 2015 Speaker Series listings! Enrich your learning during this unique semester with the following campus lectures, screenings, and performances. All events are free and open to the public - bring your friends!

Speaker Series Schedule:

“Before I Die…” A Discussion on Death and Dying
1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, Hagerty Lounge, De La Salle Hall
Presented by Saint Mary’s Professors Emily Hause and Grete Stenersen

Description: eadership Professor Grete Stenersen and Psychology Professor Emily Hause

This special afternoon Jan Term presentation is an extension of the popular Jan Term course Death and Dying, taught for the past seven years by Hause and Stenersen. In this mini-course, the professors employ insights from the “Before I Die” public artwork installation by artist Candy Chang. The extraordinary work, which invites passers-by to share their life’s wishes on a public wall, has grown from Chang’s initial transformation of an abandoned New Orleans building into a global phenomenon. “Before I Die” walls have been installed in 62 countries around the world. The presentation includes a Chang TED Talk, that’s received more than 4 million views, and another popular TED feature by Matthew O’Reilly, a veteran New York EMT who routinely grapples with victims facing death. Audience members and Saint Mary’s community members will be invited to leave their personal bucket lists and life wishes on a temporary “Before I Die” installation in the College’s Dryden Hall.


Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou: After Ferguson: The Dream for Justice
7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, Soda Center


A minister and social justice activist, Sekou gained national prominence as a leader within the Black Lives Matter protests in Ferguson, Mo., following the Aug. 9, 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown. He co-led trainings for more than 800 people in nonviolent civil disobedience and was arrested twice during demonstrations. Sekou grew up in the St. Louis area and began his ministry at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church, where Brown's funeral was held. Sekou was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s Martin Luther King Education and Research Institute at the time of Brown’s killing. Considered one of the foremost religious leaders of his generation, his collection of writings includes Gods, Gays, and Guns: Essays on Religion and the Future of Democracy.


Roland Merullo
7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016, Soda Center

Description: oland Merullo

Merullo is the author of 20 books, including the trilogy Breakfast with Buddha, Lunch with Buddha and Dinner with Buddha. Because of its engaging exploration of faith and enlightenment, his 2007 book Breakfast with Buddha, described by Publishers Weekly as a “comic but winningly spiritual road trip novel,” was selected as the common reading text for all Saint Mary’s fall 2015 first-year-students. Merullo has been recognized for his literary work with many accolades, including a Dublin IMPAC International Literary Award nomination, an L.L. Winship/PEN New England Prize finalist and a Massachusetts Book Award for Non-Fiction. His books are widely read around the globe and have been translated into German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Korean. During his visit to the College, Merullo will visit classes and discuss his approach to writing with students and community members.


Cost: Free and open to the public

Where: Saint Mary's College of California, 1928 St. Mary's Road, Moraga, Calif. 94575
(See event details for event locations)

Background: The Jan Term Speaker Series is an annual staple of the College’s intense month-long academic term where students are encouraged to step out of their comfort zones, explore new intellectual territory, and take classes that often embody the Lasallian tradition of social action. The innovative session is one of the reasons Saint Mary's was recognized in the prestigious higher-ed guidebook Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. The publication is widely recognized as essential reading for college-bound students, and by discerning parents, to identify colleges that offer life-transforming educational experiences. Saint Mary's is the only Catholic college, the only California college, and the only Division I institution of higher education in the history of the 40-school list. 

For more information, contact the Jan Term office by phone at (925) 631-4771 or by email at janterm@stmarys-ca.edu.