Elmhurst University's spring speaker series explores 'The Legacy We Leave'

"The Legacy We Leave: Doing Well, Doing Good, Investing in the Future" is the theme for Elmhurst University's spring speaker series.

The series is open to the public. Reservations are encouraged at

• On Tuesday, April 11, author and historian Devery Anderson will discuss "The Boy Who Never Died: The Emmett Till Saga, Then and Now" at 4:30 p.m. in the Founders Lounge. Admission is free.

His 2015 book, "Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement," drew on public archives and collections to tell the story of the abduction and murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955 and its continuing impact.

The book became the basis for a six-episode ABC-TV series, "Women of the Movement," which premiered in January of 2022 and currently is available to stream on Hulu.

A book signing will follow the talk. Anderson also is the editor or co-editor of four books related to Mormons and the West, two of which won the Steven F. Christensen Award for Best Documentary from the Mormon History Association in 2006. His latest book, "A Slow, Calculated Lynching: The Story of Clyde Kennard," was published earlier this month by the University Press of Mississippi.

• Also on Tuesday, April 11, as part of the university's Religious Literacy Project, the Rev. John C. Dorhauer, general minister and president of the United Church of Christ, will reflect on the challenge of faithfulness in the face of Christian nationalism, and the need for religious leaders and people of faith to openly discuss and confront it.

The lecture, "Christian Nationalism: A Threat to Both Democracy and Christianity," will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel.

Dorhauer is the author of "Beyond Resistance: The Institutional Church Meets the Postmodern World" (2015). He is the former conference minister of the Southwest Conference of the UCC and former associate conference minister in the Missouri Mid-South Conference. He also has served local churches in rural Missouri. He has a Master of Divinity degree from Eden Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary.

• On Sunday, April 16, Daniel Greene, the Newberry Library president, will present "Americans and the Holocaust," this year's Holocaust Lecture.

The Holocaust Service of Remembrance will begin at 7 p.m., followed by the lecture at 7 p.m. in the Founders Lounge.

Before joining the Newberry, Greene curated "Americans and the Holocaust," an exhibition for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

The exhibition, which opened in 2018, led to a book coedited by Greene and Edward Phillips, "Americans and the Holocaust: A Reader" (2022), which drew from newspaper and magazine articles, popular culture materials, government records and other primary sources to show how Americans debated their role in responding to Nazism.

Greene, who is also a Northwestern University history professor, will discuss the questions explored in that exhibition. What did the American people and the U.S. government know about the threats posed by Nazi Germany, and what could have been done to stop the rise of Nazism in Germany and the assault on Europe's Jews?

• On Thursday, April 20, former Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger will be joined by Politico reporter Shia Kapos for the 2023 Rudolf G. Schade Lecture on History, Ethics and Law.

"Where Do We Go From Here?" will begin at 7 p.m. in the Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel.

Kinzinger witnessed firsthand the deeply entrenched political divide that he believes is threatening American democracy as never before. After leaving office earlier this year and joining CNN as a senior commentator, Kinzinger is essentially without a political home, yet still a believer in the political system - and a way forward.

For Kinzinger, service to country has been a guiding force throughout his life and career, first as a McLean County (Ill.) board member and U.S. Air Force pilot who served three tours in Iraq, and later as a lawmaker in the halls of Congress. From 2011-2022, Kinzinger served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he represented Illinois' 11th and 16th Congressional districts.

Kapos is a government and politics reporter for Politico, and also writes the popular Illinois Playbook.

Tickets are $15 or free for Elmhurst University students, faculty, staff and alumni.

• On Monday, May 1, the inaugural Festival of Lights will bring together the campus and community for an interfaith candlelight gathering featuring music, song and text from the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith traditions. It will begin at 7 p.m. in the Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel.

Devery Anderson
Daniel Greene
The Rev. John C. Dorhauer
Former U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger
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