The Associated Students Academic Affairs Board will feature Assistant Dean of Students Don Lubach in the second installment of the Last Lecture Series tonight at 8 p.m. in the Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall.
The Last Lecture Series hosts student-nominated professors to contemplate death and the important matters in life given a scenario in which they have a very limited amount of time left to live. The concept arose from Professor Randy Pausch’s famous lecture at Carnegie Mellon University, which he gave after being diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.
According to Lubach, the speech’s sobering theme forced him to go back into his past to determine the most valuable lessons he could impart to students.
“The challenge of being asked to deliver something as profound as a last lecture on earth has really rocked my world and it has been a tremendous process,” Lubach said. “The invitation has had me crawling into the attic of our town home looking at old photos and reading passages of my favorite books, and reconnecting with old friends I have not talked with for a long time.”
Second-year political science major Scott O’Halloran said he established the series in the hopes of making it an annual tradition and to create a connection between faculty and students beyond the classroom.
“It is to help bridge the gap between students and professors, and to remind us all to take time out of studying and work for introspection, to really think about the life we are living, and to help reduce some of that study stress and listen to an inspiring mentor,” O’Halloran said.
Lubach said the audience will be encouraged to participate in confronting the concept of mortality during his lecture.
“I am going to make the group work pretty hard,” Lubach said. “I have some exercises so that everyone there thinks about their own life.”
Last quarter, psychology professor Alan J. Fridlund’s lecture drew a crowd of over 600 and forced a move from Embarcadero Hall to I.V. Theater, where it still exceeded capacity.
Fridlund’s hour-long speech addressed everything from the death of his parents to his life as a graduate student and onto his current roles as a father and an educator.
Though preparing the speech proved emotionally taxing, Fridlund said his contribution reached a broad audience of appreciative Gauchos.
“It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, but it was also one of the most painful experiences of my life,” Fridlund said. “I had to remember both my parents’ deaths and I had to confront my own mortality. The response of the students was tremendously rewarding. People have written me all over saying it made them think about their lives and the meaning of their lives.”
The lecture is free and open to everyone. Free coffee will be served and attendees are advised to arrive when the doors open at 7:40 p.m. to find seating.