Saint Martin’s religious studies faculty member Ian Werrett will present “Last Lecture” April 6

March 24, 2011

LACEY, WASHINGTON — Ian Werrett, Ph.D., associate professor of religious studies and director of the Spiritual Life Institute at Saint Martin’s University, will present the University’s 2011 “Last Lecture.” Werrett, whose topic will be “Engaging the Other: The Power of Active Listening,” will deliver his presentation Wednesday, April 6 at the University’s Trautman Student Union Building. The evening begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by the lecture at 6 p.m. The event is free and the public is welcome.

The Last Lecture series, inaugurated at the University last year, features a faculty member chosen by Saint Martin’s students to reflect on his or her personal and professional life. The faculty member prepares a talk centered on the question, “If this were the last lecture you ever gave, what would you share with students?” The event is sponsored by Saint Martin’s Faculty-in-Residence Program and the Associated Students of Saint Martin’s University.

Using stories from his life, Werrett will discuss moving beyond merely hearing to consciously focusing on listening, and using what is heard to reach goals and solve problems. He also will talk about the importance of engaging with and listening to others in our increasingly globalized world.

Werrett, who has studied, spoken and written widely on the Dead Sea Scrolls, also is a researcher in several other areas, including Second Temple Judaism, ritual purity, Jewish and Biblical law, Christian art, art theory and religion in sports. He is a member of the West Coast Dead Sea Scrolls Study Group and the International Organization for Qumran Studies.

A 1996 graduate of Saint Martin’s, Werrett earned his doctorate in Biblical studies and Second Temple Judaism at the University of Saint Andrews, Scotland. His master’s degree in Biblical studies is from Trinity Western University in British Columbia. He returned to Saint Martin’s as a faculty member in 2005.

Associate Professor Sharon Taylor, Ph.D., faculty advisor for the series, says the Last Lecture’s objective is to connect the University’s students and faculty in an informal setting that encourages reflection on everyday convictions, actions and challenges.

The Saint Martin’s series is modeled on that of Carnegie Mellon University, which became nationally recognized in 2007 when Randy Pausch, a young computer science professor, was selected to give his lecture. His lecture, shaped by his battle with terminal cancer, has been viewed by millions online and is part of school curricula worldwide.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, Catholic, coeducational university located on a 380-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 18 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Everett College, Centralia College, and Tacoma Community College.

For further information:

Sharon Taylor

Jennifer Fellinger
Vice President, Marketing and Communications
Saint Martin’s University