April 1, 1999
Vol. 18 No. 13

current issue
archive / search

    [david bevington] by jason smithDavid Bevington will deliver the 25th annual Ryerson Lecture scheduled for Thursday, April 15.

    Ryerson Lecture reaches 25th year as celebration of shared intellect, research

    By Theresa Carson
    News Office

    David Bevington, the Phyllis Fay Horton Professor in the Humanities and one of the country’s foremost Shakespearean scholars, will join the illustrious ranks of previous Ryerson lecturers in delivering this year’s Nora and Edward Ryerson Lecture.

    In celebration of the 25th anniversary of this tradition, the Board of Trustees has invited the faculty to hear the lecture at a dinner at the Chicago Hilton and Towers on April 15.

    “The Ryerson Lecture is a hallmark of the University because of its rich tradition in celebrating the work of our faculty,” President Sonnenschein said. “This event is an occasion during which faculty members from across the University come together as a community.”

    This year’s lecture will be given following the conclusion of the April meeting of the Board of Trustees. George Ranney Sr., a Life Trustee, said, “I’m looking forward with anticipation to the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Ryerson Lecture at a dinner given by the Board of Trustees for our faculty.

    “The trustees have always enjoyed their dinner with and for the faculty as a way of showing their respect and gratitude and renewing old friendships.”

    Explaining the origin of the lecture, Ranney said, “I had no part in its beginnings, but I’ve missed only one lecture in 25 years. The lectureship grew out of a modest bequest to the University by Edward L. Ryerson, a former Chairman of the Board who was my father-in-law. The lectureship was really created, structured and put into its important place by Edward Levi, President of the University. It is given annually by a member of the faculty, chosen by a faculty committee. That changing committee has been wise in its selections.”

    During the address, titled “Shakespeare Faces Retirement,” Bevington, who has written or edited more than 30 volumes on Shakespeare and his contemporaries, will paint a picture of the bard at the end of his career. “I am deeply honored, especially since this is the 25th anniversary of the Ryerson Lecture,” said Bevington, who has been a faculty member since 1967.

    Richard Strier, Professor in English Language & Literature, was chairman of the cross-disciplinary committee that selected Bevington. “I hope that it will be an occasion where the faculty has a shared intellectual experience,” said Strier.

    “Where else is the community going to show itself as an academic community, an intellectual community?” Strier rhetorically asked. “This is ideal, which is why you have to look for someone who is eminent, so everyone in the community can agree that this is someone whom we respect and take as a representative of who we are.”

    Strier, who praised Bevington for both the quantity and quality of his work, said, “David is a one-man industry.”

    Ranney added, “Every speaker tells us of the character of his or her work, and what it was that led the speaker down that path––in short, the why of the lecturer’s scholarship and teaching. Each presentation has been unique and lasting.

    “Taken together, these interdisciplinary lectures have had a remarkable effect, leaving their listeners with a sense of the wonders and the values of this University, which make it the special place that it is today.”