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                                                         Forum Series

President W. R. Davies was the prime mover in establishing The Forum lecture series in 1942, within the first year of his administration, to express his vision of what the college might become as a cultural center. He transformed Eau Claire's after-dinner speakers club into a college-community partnership that selected an average of five speakers a year. Each Forum speaker would lecture for an hour, answer questions for half an hour, and then attend an informal reception. The Forum maintains a tradition of being one of the longest continuous programs of its kind in the United States. The series has presented many of the leading personalities in the world since its creation. 

While traditionally held in the Schofield Auditorium, many lectures have been held in Zorn Arena to accomodate large audiences. 

Dr. Arnold Toynbee

Dr. Arnold Toynbee

A Historian Looks at the World Today, 1962-1963

Dr. Toynbee was a research professor of international history at the University of London. He was most known for his work "The Rise and Fall of Civilizations", which argued that comparing societies would give rise to more questions and make history more complex than previously perceived. His research focused on finding common patterns shared between ancient societies, such as origins, growth, and challenges to thrive. The main focus of the forum series lecture was his comparative methodology.

Dr. Stringfellow Barr

Dr. Stringfellow Barr

Man in the Gray Flannel Toga

In 1937 Dr. Barr became the president of St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland. His lecture introduced a new type of curriculum that focused on the works of the 100 great books of past scholars and writers. For example, some of the authors on the list included the works of Aristotle, HomerLeo Tolstoy, Voltaire, and Edgar Allen Poe.

Sir Tyrone Guthrie

Sir Tyrone Guthrie

Of What Use Is a Serious Theatre?, 1968-1969

Sir Tyrone Guthrie was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1962 for his decades of work in the entertainment industry, both in Europe and North America. Many of his plays premiered in England, where he was the director at Old Vic in London. Later, he founded the Minnesota Theater Company in Minneapolis. Sir Tyrone Guthrie believed that great works of theatre would survive for generations to come.


"The only way a theatre can be useful is by sticking to a definite policy; by trying to present the classics in a balance of both serious and comic entertainment."

                                - Sir Tyrone Guthrie's Forum Series Lecture

Artists Series

Gregg Smith Singers, 1965-1966

The Gregg Smith Singers were an American choral ensemble that was established in 1955. The group was created at the University of California - Los Angeles when a graduate assistant assembled a group of undergraduate students from the music department to perform. The Gregg Smith Singers sang a wide range of music from as early as 15th century melodies to mid-twentieth century contemporaries. 

Singing Boys of Monterrey, 1965-1966

The Singing Boys of Monterrey was composed of about 30 young boys from Mexico. The group was founded by Father Jose Jesus de Cortes with the goal to give underprivileged children of the community the opportunity for an education in the arts.