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Southeast Missouri State University

The Department of Communication's speech area proudly hosts two endowed lecture series, each presented on an annual basis. Each lecture allows us to bring in top scholars from the field of communication to discuss their research and its benefits. Each presenter adapts her/his remarks to the general public.

The Emil C. Weis Lecture is presented every fall.

The Joseph H. Low Lecture is presented in the spring.

For more information, go to: http://cstl-cla.semo.edu/williams/lectures.htm

The Weis Lecture: In Honor of Emil C. Weis, Professor & Reverend

Emil C. Weis, a professor of speechand English, earned his bachelor of science degree from the Cape Girardeau Normal School (now Southeast Missouri State University) in 1918. He completed his graduate work at the University of Missouri.

As a young man, Emil Weis declined overtures from the New York Yankees for what he deemed to be other, more important work. Instead of a career in baseball, he chose to teach sohe might nurture the speaking and writing abilities of students and clergy. He believed in the power of the word and he appreciated, full well, Aristotle's observation that we need to study public communication for four essential reasons. (1) Skilled speakers are needed to promote the natural tendency of true and just causes to prevail over their opposites. (2) Skill in speaking is needed to convey knowledge. (3) Skilled, open debate allows us to more clearly see what the facts are. (4) It is important that we be able to defend ourselves with speech and reason because "the use of rational speech is more distinctive of a human being than combat"*

Professor Weis spent most of his academic career at St. Paul's College inConcordia, Mo. He required his studentswrite and speak often and well. His son, Earl, recalls how Professor Weis would comb through each student's work.

"He sat up till the wee hours and read every paper and corrected every mistake."

His careful nurturing yielded good results. Students he coached in debate, for example, won contests throughout Missouri. In addition, his students won state and national championships in American Legion Oratorical Contests.

Professor Weis touched the lives of many and his influence continues. At Concordia College, the Weis Memorial Gymnasium bears testimony to his dedication as a professor as well as one who coached various athletic programs and even served as athletic director. At Southeast, he endowed this lectureship to provide an opportunity for students, faculty and "all interested individuals throughout the region," to interact with a guest speaker who could further an understanding and appreciation of rhetoric and public address.

*See Book I, Chapter I, of Aristotle's Rhetoric

The Weis Series

The Weis Series, to date:

1995: "Ronald Reagan: The Great Communicator"
-Kurt Ritter, Texas A&M University

1996: "Union of Words: A History of Presidential Eloquence"
-Wayne Fields, Washington University

1997: "American Leadership in the 90's: Lost in a Communication Maze"
-Edwin Yohnka, Special Presidential Assistant, ABA

1998: "Why Isocrates Would Have Liked Ike: Moral Character & Political Appeal in the Eisenhower Era"
-Martin J. Medhurst, Texas A&M University

1999: "Selling Conspiracy Theories"
-Charles Stewart, Purdue University

2000: "Looking for Justice in All the Wrong Places: An Applied Communication Approach to Social Issues"
-Lawrence R. Frey, The University of Memphis

2001: "Civic Engagement and the Rhetorical Tradition"
-J. Michael Hogan, The Pennsylvania State University

2002: "The Contested Rhetorics of Women's History: Public Memory & Political Lessons at Seneca Falls"
-Mary L. Kahl, State University of New York, New Paltz

2003: "A World We Make: Rhetoric and Reality in America"
-James R. Andrews, Professor Emeritus, Indiana University

2004: "Leadership in the 21st Century:
- Chief David W. Popp, Command Chief Master Sergeant Pacific Air Forces, Hickman Air Force Base,Hawaii

2005: "Theory and Practice in Health Communication: Unique Oportunities and Future Directions"
__ Dr. Rajiv Rimal, Professor of Communication at John Hopkins University

For more information, contact Glen Williams at gwilliams@semo.edu

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