Heard on Campus: Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, Alice Walker and Claudia A. Limbert

March 22, 2005

University Park, Pa. -- The University Park campus was host to three distinguished speakers on Monday, March 21: Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, poet and assistant professor of English at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, who spoke at the Penn State Forum; Alice Walker, renowned author, who spoke as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series; and Claudia A. Limbert, president of Mississippi University for Women, who spoke at the Commission for Women banquet. Highlights of the speakers' talks included reflections on each woman's experiences and life lessons for the Penn State community and beyond.

"War is a terrifying thing. In order to survive sometimes, we forget. We have to block out the war from our memory. And many of us are still trying to survive the war."

-- Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, a poet, assistant professor of English at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and native of Liberia, commenting today (March 21) on the war in Liberia during a speech titled “War, Devastation, and the Reality of Survival: A Woman’s Account of the Liberian Civil War,” at the Penn State Forum, a speakers series sponsored by the Faculty Staff Club at the University Park campus. The final two Forum lunches of the semester are Kurt M. Landgraf, president and chief executive officer of the Educational Testing Service (ETS), who will deliver the Penn State Forum lecture at noon Monday, April 11, at The Nittany Lion Inn; and Juan Williams, national political correspondent and author, who will deliver the Penn State Forum lecture at noon Wednesday, April 27, at The Bryce Jordan Center.

"When I lived in Mississippi, the (Ku Klux) Klan was very active, and it was a time of great oppression and apprehension. What kept us going was poetry. When we read poetry, it is like kissing the bruise."

-- Alice Walker, poet, novelist, short-story writer, essayist and biographer, during her Distinguished Speaker Series (DSS) presentation Monday (March 21) on the University Park campus. For more information about the DSS, visit http://www.sa.psu.edu/usa/dss/

"My personal opinion is that you do not need to either wear ugly clothes that make you look like a man, nor do you need to dress in red and sit at the head of the table to be the leader ... To me a leader can be wearing a ball gown or a potato sack and sit anywhere at the table. Being a leader comes from within."

-- Claudia A. Limbert, president, Mississippi University for Women, at the Commission for Women banquet. Limbert, former campus executive officer at Penn State DuBois and winner of the Commission for Women's Rosemary Schraer Mentor Award in 2000, spoke about the qualities that make a good leader.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009