Archive for Saturday, December 22, 2001

A gift to KU

December 22, 2001


To the editor:

A gift was made to the Lawrence and KU community this month, the Emily Taylor and Marilyn Stokstad Women's Leadership Lecture Series.

I've followed, vicariously, my hometown of Chicago through Sara Paretsky's novels and her heroine V.I. Warshawski. I thought we'd be hearing about a writer's career, a writer's experiences, and the development of her characters. Well. We did hear about development of character. But not in the way I had expected.

Sara Paretsky as the inaugural guest speaker spoke beautifully of the opportunities available to and limitations placed on women during and after the years she was a KU student. She shared her personal encounter with Emily Taylor's expectations for excellence from KU's brightest and most capable students. We learned that her view of herself, her being was forever changed by Emily Taylor.

In her introduction of the two honorees, Deanell Tacha spoke with eloquence and affection. Emily Taylor had worked her magic on Deanell Tacha in her years as a student and in the years that followed.

Then, in turn, Marilyn Stokstad and Emily Taylor addressed the audience. The strength of these two women, the vibrancy of their intellects, their humor and ready wit entertained and enthralled the audience.

What happened that evening was a tribute to two fine women by two fine women, each in her own right bright, strong, well educated, and accomplished.

This lecture series has been for years a dream of Barbara Ballard's (another of KU's most special women). Thanks to many, the lecture series is now a reality. There were estimated to have been (by the programs handed out) over 400 people in Woodruff Auditorium with me. Those of us lucky enough to have been there were truly fortunate. It was a most remarkable evening.

Barbara Millar Bishop,


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