President's Lecture Series

The President’s Lecture Series at Assumption College is a public forum in which important ethical, spiritual and human issues are illuminated and examined within the Catholic intellectual tradition.

The heart of a classical liberal arts education is an ongoing conversation across disciplines. By ensuring that the sharpest minds, representing diverse viewpoints and areas of study, are a part of this dialogue Assumption reaffirms –and bolsters– its commitment to providing students with an education that goes beyond the mere memorization of facts and acquisition of skills and empowers them to continue the discussion.

All lectures in the series are open to the Assumption College community and the general public at no charge.

Upcoming 2016-2017 Lecture Series Speaker



Monday, April 24, 2017
7 p.m.
Salon, La Maison Français

Peter Raven, Ph.D.

Peter Raven, Ph.D.
President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden,
George Engelmann Professor of Botany Emeritus at Washington University in St. Louis
Member, Pontifical Academy of Sciences

“Laudato Si: Saving Creation, Saving Ourselves”

In 2014, Pope Francis called the world’s attention to the enormous challenge of global climate change through his powerful Encyclical Laudato si’. The world had changed profoundly during the Christian Era, with a rapidly increasing 7.4 billion of us, sharply divided between rich and poor, consuming far more potentially sustainable resources than the world holds.  With a billion people in 1815 or so, we were already cultivating or grazing about a third of the world’s surface, our numbers growing rapidly to 3.5 billion in 1970 and more than doubling since then. 

By the 19th century, the accentuation of social inequality prompted much concern among thinking people with Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 Encyclical Rerum novarum signaling serious concern many on the part of the Church.  By the time Pope Francis gave us his Encyclical, climate change had been increasingly obvious for a half century, but our historical greed – for ourselves, our families, our tribe, and our nation – was seriously limiting chances of dealing with it before it ruins the prospects for any but the most limited and damaged life on earth.  He carried on in the spirit of his environmentally-conscious predecessors, emphasizing the relationship between our immoral neglect of the relationship between global warming and the plight of the poor and bringing into play the projected extinction of a major proportion of life on earth during the present century. 

Whether we are up to the challenges that Pope Francis expresses so well remains to be seen, but his moral leadership certainly enhances our chances of attaining at least partial success. 


RSVPs are encouraged due to limited space. Please call 508-767-7322 or email


Amoris Laetita Panel Discussion Moderated by EWTN's Raymond Arroyo

President's Lecture Series: "Amoris Laetitia" - October 27, 2016 from Assumption College on Vimeo.