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Mandela, Tutu take the stage tonight

09.28.2015 | By:
Ndaba Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela, and Naomi Tutu, daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, will be the speakers at this year’s Willson Lectureship at Texas Wesleyan University.

Ndaba Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela, and Naomi Tutu, daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, will be the speakers at tonight's Willson Lectureship.

This is the first time the two human rights activists, whose forefathers ended apartheid, have presented together.

"Mandela and Tutu, together on stage for the first time, is going to be a historic occasion," President Frederick G. Slabach, said. "We are delighted to present this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to our students and entire University community."

Ndaba Mandela and Naomi Tutu are global leaders who carry the legacy and message of their forefathers by advocating for inter-religious and inter-race reconciliation and justice in South Africa and across the globe. 

The lecture, titled Continuing to Strive for Truth and Reconciliation, will begin at 7 p.m. in Martin Hall. Mandela and Tutu will each deliver a 30-minute speech, followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience. The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

"Now is an important time in the history of our nation and the history of humankind to revisit the lessons of our forefathers," Mark Hanshaw, Ph.D., associate dean of the School of Arts and Letters and associate professor of religious studies, said.

"Compassion, forgiveness and reconciliation, as illustrated through the legacies of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, are crucial to developing inter-faith and inter-race understanding across the globe."

Texas-sized reputation

Texas Wesleyan is celebrating its 125th Anniversary during the 2015-16 academic year. As part of the ongoing celebrations, the University is Texas-sizing many of its traditional events.

"We wanted to make this year’s Willson Lectureship one of our most impactful ever, as a tribute to our students and to our 125th anniversary," Slabach said.

The Willson Lectureship

The Willson Lectureship is an endowed speaker series that was established in 1946 by Mr. J.M. Willson and Mrs. D.M. Willson, and family. The lecture takes place during the fall semester.

Former notable speakers at Texas Wesleyan include Arun Gandhi and Michael Dowd, author of Thank God for Evolution.