Orange Alert

Kashi and Kameshwar C. Wali Lecture in Science and Humanities: Bringing communities together by launching new open call for proposals

a presenter at the Wali lecture series

Posted on: Dec. 6, 2023

On October 5, 2023, we were honored to receive Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell G’73, G’82, H’21 to present her talk ‘Towards a Model of Equity in Graduate Education’ as the keynote speaker for the annual Kashi and Kameshwar C. Wali Lecture on Science and Humanities. In addition to presenting her talk, during her visit, Dr Campbell visited the Syracuse University Arts Museum and met with faculty and students. She also met with A&S college and university leadership.

Dr. Campbell is a distinguished academic leader who started her career as a curator at art museums. She is the immediate past President of Spelman College. Among her many honors, she was named an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Syracuse in 2021. She received her Ph.D. at Syracuse University, and she and her husband Dr. George Campbell, who is also a Syracuse University alum, had a warm relationship with Kamesh and Kashi Wali during their time at Syracuse: “When George was studying for his Ph.D. in the department of physics at Syracuse University, Dr. Wali, his advisor, was the department’s chair, during part of his graduate years. Dr. Wali often hosted dinners in his home, after the department’s weekly physics colloquia, a tradition in the department that featured distinguished physicists for the benefit of faculty and students alike. The dinners that followed offered student and faculty members of the department an opportunity to socialize with the guest and each other. What I remember of those dinners is a lively intellectual environment in which Kamesh and Kashi made everyone feel welcome, including our young son, when we couldn’t get a babysitter! Their three daughters were young at the time, but always gracious to everyone as well. Years later, looking back, I realize how much that warmth and hospitality engendered a feeling of belonging for the young Black couple that we were in those days. And how much that sense of belonging contributed to our academic assurance and success.”

The Kashi and Kameshwar C. Wali lecture series is moving to a new phase. The committee wants to expand participation in the lecture series by creating a transparent and equitable call for proposals from all areas of campus and the university community. Our goal is to inspire, motivate, and support learning by bringing diverse and exciting topics for future lectures.