Weil Lecture

The Institute for the Arts and Humanities has hosted UNC’s Weil Lecture on American Citizenship since 2000. Brothers Henry and Solomon Weil established the lecture in 1915 to widen discussion of the concept in the United States. The 2017 Weil Lecturer is Rev. Dr. William J. Barber. 

Presidents Taft and Carter, Eleanor Roosevelt, Senators J. William Fulbright and Nancy Kassebaum and Professor Lester Thurow are among the many distinguished Weil lecturers. Other recent speakers have been members of Congress, diplomats, political commentators and renowned scholars.

2015

Barney Frank

“Indispensability Abroad vs. Effective Democratic Governance at Home”

2012

Jon M. Huntsman

“America 2012 and Beyond: Challenges and Opportunities”

2011

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

“Unfinished Dreams: America, Religion and Citizenship”2009

2009

Senator John F. Kerry

“Global Warming and Community Action”

2007

Marcelo Suarez-Orozco

“Immigration and Education”

2005

Anna Deavere Smith

“Standing in the Shadows: Wide Awakeness Counts”

2004

Kevin Phillips

“The New Politics of Wealth and Democracy”

2000

Jonathan Kozol

“Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation”

1997

Walter Dellinger

1787 Revisited: Should we change the Constitution?

1997

Patricia Shroeder

Citizenship in America: An Evening with Pat Schroeder

1995

James G. Martin

Citizenship and the Political Contract

1993

Cornel West

Education and Citizenship

1992

Kevin Phillips

The Politics of Rich and Poor in Campaign ’92

1991

Paul Wellstone

The Challenge of Social Justice in America Today

1989

Anthony Lewis

The Press and American Citizenship

1988

Peter John Gomes

The Pursuit of Civic Virtue

1985

Nancy Landon Kassenbaum

Citizenship in the Information Age

1984

Jimmy Carter

American Citizenship

1984

Lester Thurow

The Economic Dimensions of American Citizenship

1983

Vann Woodward

America as a Figure of Speech

1981

Alexander Heard

Choosing Our President: Needs, Anomalies, and Limits

1980

Michael Walzer

Distributive Justice: The Problem of Membership

1979

Julian Bond

A View of American Citizenship

1978

Daniel Schorr

The Public’s Right to Know

1977

Juanita M. Kreps

Private Rights and Public Responsibility

1976

Eugene D. Genovese

Slavery in Modern World Politics

1975

Michael Harrington

Crisis in American Capitalism

1974

Edwin O. Reischauer

The Future of American-Japanese Foreign Policy

1972

Roy Wilkins

Citizenship Obligations in the Civil Rights Cause

1971

Kingman Brewster

The Student Vote — Challenge to Riskless Politics

1968

Vermont Royster

Liberty and Responsibility: A Delicate Balance

1966

General James M. Gavin

The American Responsibility of Citizenship

1964

Charles Malik

The Signs of the Times

1963

Mark Van Doren

The Position of Classical Education in the Development of Citizenship

1962

James Phinney Baxter III

Citizenship in the Atomic Age

1961

Christian A. Herter

The New Dimension in American Citizenship

1960

Barnaby C. Keeney

A Literal Interpretation of the Constitution

1959

Denis W. Brogan

Responsibilities of Citizenship

1958

Benjamin Fine

Education and the Citizen

1957

George E. G. Catlin

On Political Goals

1955

Carlos P. Romulo

The Meaning of Bandung

1954

Galo Plaza

Problems of Democracy in Latin America

1953

Zechariah Chafee, Jr.

Freedom in Special Situations

1952

Robert A. Taft

1951

Edwin G. Nourse

1950

Eleanor Roosevelt

1949

Robert M. MacIver

1948

Richard Henry Tawney

1947

Walton Harrison

The Return to Political Economy

1945

William Fullbright

America and World Organization

1943

Clarence Dykstra

The Dynamic Tradition in American Democracy

1942

Thomas V. Smith

Discipline for Democracy

1941

Herbert Agar

Our Duty to the War and to the Coming Peace

1939

Dorothy Thompson

A Modern Conservative View of Modern Revolutionary World

1937

Henry Agard Wallace

Technology, Corporations, and General Welfare

1936

Felix Frankfurter

The Commerce Clause Under Marshall, Taney and Waite

1935

George Soule, Jr.

Liberty in the Modern World

1934

George Norlin

Fascism and Citizenship

1933

Charles A. Beard

American Citizenship

1931

Harold Joseph Laski

Democracy in Crisis

1930

Will W. Alexander

What is the South?

1928

William H. Kilpatrick

Our Educational Task, As Illustrated in the Changing South

1926

H.N. MacCracken John the Common Weal

1925

W.A. White

Some Cycles of Cathay

1924

E.A. Ross

The Roads to Social Peace

1923

Fabian Franklin

The Rule of the People

1922

John Huston

Finely National and Planetary Consciousness

1921

W.B. Munro

The Personality in Politics

1920

Robert Goodwyn Rhett

The Progress of American Ideals

1919

Jacob Harry Hollander

American Citizenship and Economic Welfare

1917

James A. McDonald

The North American Idea

1916

George B. McClennan

American Citizenship

1915

William Howard Taft

The Presidency: Powers, Duties, Obligations and Responsibilities


Weil Family Contributions
The Weil lecture is one of many contributions to the university by the Weil family.
Brothers Henry, Solomon and Herman Weil arrived in the small eastern North Carolina town of Goldsboro from their home in Germany sometime prior to 1859, the year their names first appear in Census records.They began business as “wagon peddlers,” selling from farm to farm. On May 4, 1865, 45 days after Sherman’s army occupied Goldsboro, they opened their permanent store on Center Street. Herman, the oldest of the three brothers, was 16 when he arrived. He served in the Confederate Army before joining his brothers in opening the store. Since their arrival in the area, the Weils have been involved in the affairs of their religion, community and nation. Each succeeding generation of Weil descendants continues a tradition of philanthropy and community involvement. Weils have been elected officials, UNC trustees and early leaders in women’s suffrage, civil rights and historic preservation. Weils have donated funds and land to create Herman Park, Mina Weil Park and Cliffs of the Neuse State Park. Family members donated a building and helped establish the Wayne County Library, the Oheb Sholom Temple for the Jewish Community and the Paramount Theater for the Performing Arts. They were involved in building the Wayne County Hospital. Five family members have served as hospital trustees. Weils have invented and patented improvements for farming operations. Weil women were instrumental in establishing the North Carolina Association of Jewish Women, the Goldsboro Women’s Club and the Junior Women’s Club. Family members have built dormitories for their favorite colleges and universities and have supported the medical, information and library science, and business schools at UNC-Chapel Hill over the years. Weils have been and continue to serve as club and board members of a wide variety of organizations and businesses. Family members are musicians, artists, poets and writers as well as business leaders and dedicated community servants.

 

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