Baylor Welcomes Doris Kearns Goodwin for the Beall-Russell Lectures in the Humanities

August 22, 2023

Doris Kearns Goodwin // Photo by Annie Leibovitz

Leadership in Turbulent Times

October 2, 2023 // 3:30 p.m.
Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center

The Beall-Russell Lectures series, founded by the late Virginia Beall Ball, B.A. ’40, has for generations brought some of the leading public intellectuals in the world to the Baylor campus.

“As the series focuses on the humanities, the greater part of our speakers are those capable of relating the value of literature, the arts and philosophy to the world in which we live,” co-chair of the lecture series Alden Smith, Ph.D., said. “Kim Kellison and I, and the great chairs of the series that preceded us, feel that this lecture series is a real difference-maker at Baylor, one that challenges students, faculty and staff to think, ask questions and to look at life a little differently each time one of these great speakers honors us with their presence on our beautiful campus.”

Past lecturers have included poet Maya Angelou, journalist Bill Moyers, and Nobel Prize winner for Literature Czeslaw Milosz.

“When I think about past lecturers, Homer came alive when Robert Fagles came to share his capacity to translate that poet’s work with us,” Smith said. “Documentary filmmaking came alive when Ken Burns spoke about it to a standing-room-only audience in Waco Hall; and history came alive when Shelby Foote spoke to us about the Civil War and David McCullough spoke to us about the founding fathers.”

This year’s lecture features world-
renowned presidential historian, public speaker, Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times No. 1 best-selling author Doris Kearns Goodwin.

“We are thrilled that Doris Kearns Goodwin will be here in October,” said co-chair Kimberly Kellison, Ph.D., associate dean for humanities and social sciences. “She has written and spoken extensively about the value of the humanities in the context of leadership and the civic process, and her work transcends her historical subjects to shed light on how we can approach civic leadership today.”

Her seventh book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, was published in September 2018 to critical acclaim. The book is a culmination of Goodwin’s five-decade career of studying the American presidents. Her lecture will focus on how presidential leaders addressed societal challenges during their presidencies.

For more information about the Beall-Russell Lectures in the Humanities series and how to register for this event that is free and open to the public, visit