Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series

ECU Announces 2014-15 Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series

GREENVILLE, N.C. (Aug. 14, 2014) — Dr. William M. Downs, dean of East Carolina University’s Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, is pleased to announce the 2014-15 season of the Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series. The series advances the spirit of exploration and discovery that is the hallmark of the liberal arts, and since its inception in 2007, has featured speakers of international renown and wide public interest.

“ECU’s College of Arts and Sciences is proud to host this speaker series, and we invite our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community friends to attend. One mark of a great university is how well it promotes discussion of important issues. The Voyages of Discovery Series annually ensures that East Carolina University is ‘the’ venue for such discussions,” said Downs.

Leading figures from a variety of fields will visit ECU to address topics ranging from underwater exploration and the evolution of music that broke color barriers, to near-death experiences and Elizabethan poetry composed during the age of Thomas Harriot, English Renaissance scholar for whom the College of Arts and Sciences is named.

“This, our eighth season, offers a superior slate of intellectual leaders whose multifaceted, even provocative presentations, will surely stimulate, with meaning and passion, our campus and community,” said Dr. John A. Tucker, director of the series.

The series opens on Oct. 1, with the Premier Lecture featuring Jean-Michel Cousteau, an internationally renowned underwater explorer, environmentalist, educator and film producer. Cousteau will discuss “The Great Ocean Adventure,” which will be accompanied by original film clips to visually illustrate his remarks.

On Nov. 18, ECU will welcome Julian Bond, a historian and leading figure in the Civil Rights Movement, whose lecture last January was rescheduled due to adverse winter weather conditions. This fall, for the Lawrence F. Brewster Lecture in History, Bond will discuss “Crossing the Color Line: From Rhythm ‘N Blues to Rock ‘N Roll.”

Two lectures will follow in spring 2015. The Jarvis Lecture on Religion and Culture on Feb. 24, 2015, will feature Dr. Raymond Moody, emeritus professor of consciousness studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Moody will discuss “Life After Life: The Meaning of Near-Death Experiences.”

Rounding out the series on March 24, 2015, the Thomas Harriot Lecture will feature Dr. Ilona Bell, Samuel Fressenden Clarke Professor of English at Williams College. A leading authority on the metaphysical poetry of John Donne, Bell will discuss “Sex and Seduction in John Donne’s Poetry.”

The Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series is made possible through contributions from Harriot College’s Dean’s Advancement Council, various university organizations, and many friends and supporters. To make a contribution to the series, contact Major Gifts Officer Jennifer Tripp at 252-737-4201 or For more information about the series and its speakers, contact the director, Dr. John A. Tucker at 252-328-1028, or via email at Additional information also is available on the series’ website at

All lectures are open to the public and begin at 7 p.m. in Wright Auditorium on the campus of ECU, unless otherwise noted. Tickets for the Jean-Michel Cousteau lecture and Julian Bond lecture are $10. One complimentary ticket is available to ECU students with a valid ECU ID. All other lectures for the 2014-15 series are free to all attendees. For advance tickets, call the ECU Central Ticket Office at 252-328-4788 or 1-800-ECU-ARTS.

Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the event.