Pillay to deliver Birkett Williams lecture at Ouachita on Nov. 15

Ouachita Baptist University will host Dr. Gerald John Pillay, vice chancellor and rector of Liverpool Hope University in the United Kingdom, as part of its endowed Birkett Williams Lecture Series on Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. The lecture, which will address the status of and challenges facing global higher education, will be held in Mabee Fine Art Center’s McBeth Recital Hall on Ouachita’s campus. Pillay will also speak during chapel that morning at 10 a.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

“We are excited to have an educator with Professor Pillay’s extensive international experience on our campus to share his insights with the campus community,” said Ian Cosh, Ouachita’s vice president for community and international engagement.

Cosh noted that Pillay’s visit is especially timely since Ouachita and Liverpool Hope have recently entered into an international education partnership. The lecture also will be part of Ouachita’s 125th anniversary celebration.

“In an increasingly interconnected world, such a visit highlights the fact that an OBU education in the 21st century has to produce globally aware and engaged students,” Cosh added.

Pillay, a citizen of New Zealand and the UK, was named LHU’s first vice chancellor and rector when the school earned full university status in 2005. He previously had served as rector there since 2003.

Pillay earned his Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Divinity and Doctor of Theology degrees from the University of Durban in South Africa as well as his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Rhodes University in South Africa.

After lecturing at the University of Durban-Westville, Pillay was named professor of ecclesiastical history at the University of South Africa. He was also a guest professor at Northwestern University and Rhodes University as well as a research fellow at Princeton University.

Pillay has published extensively, served on editorial boards of two international journals, presented papers at numerous international conferences and served on various public and educational boards. He also was elected a life fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce.

Ouachita’s Birkett Williams Lecture Series was established in 1977 through a gift from the late Birkett L. Williams, a 1910 Ouachita graduate. His generous endowment established the lectures as an opportunity to extend the concepts of a liberal arts education beyond the classroom by bringing outstanding scholars and public figures to Ouachita’s campus.

For more information, contact Ian Cosh at coshi@obu.edu or (870) 245-5320.

By Lacey Brooks

Comments are closed.