The Paul Lamont Thompson Memorial Lecture

The Paul Lamont Thompson Memorial Lecture was established by a gift from the sons and daughters-in-law of Paul Lamont and Ruth Peel Thompson. A committee of alumni and friends of the College worked diligently to build the fund with gifts from those many students whose lives were enriched by Dr. Thompson’s leadership. Paul Lamont Thompson was President of Kalamazoo College from 1938 to 1949. He played a crucial role in the development of the College during the difficult days of the Depression and World War II. He emphasized high academic standards and selectivity in the student body, and enhanced the reputations of the College as a quality institution of the liberal arts. Dr. Thompson founded the Annual Fund at Kalamazoo College and the College’s pension plan, helping to ensure the future financial integrity of the College. Several buildings were added to the campus during his tenure, among them Harmon Hall, Stowe Stadium, Angell Field, and Welles Dinning Hall. He served as President of the Association of Church Related Colleges. Dr. Thompson was an excellent speaker whose wit, wisdom, and gentle manner nurtured generations of Kalamazoo College students. His spirit and legacy continue through the endowment of the Paul Lamont Thompson lecture, which strives to bring speakers to this campus who enrich our ethical understanding of our position in the larger society, beyond the halls and walls of Kalamazoo College.

The 2022 Thompson Lecture

The 2022 Thompson Lecture will be held on Tuesday, May 10 with guest speaker, Dr. Kristin Kobes Du Mez,
Professor of History and Gender Studies at Calvin University, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Kristin Kobes Du Mez

Jesus and John Wayne and the White Evangelical Reckoning.

Countering assertions that white evangelicals have betrayed their values in the political arena in recent years, a study of evangelical popular culture reveals how conservative evangelical support for Donald Trump should be seen not as a betrayal, but rather as the fulfillment of white evangelicals’ deeply held values: Christian nationalism, white patriarchy, and authoritarian rule. This talk will explore the recent history of evangelicalism and politics and examine current divisions within the evangelical movement, reflecting on what all of this means for our nation’s future.

Kristin Kobes Du Mez is a New York Times bestselling author and Professor of History and Gender Studies at Calvin University. She holds a PhD from the University of Notre Dame and her research focuses on the intersection of gender, religion, and politics. She has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, NBC News, Religion News Service, and Christianity Today, and has been interviewed on NPR, CBS, and the BBC, among other outlets. Her most recent book is Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation.

The lecture will be held at 7:00pm, Tuesday, May 10th
Olmsted Room, Mandelle Hall
Kalamazoo College

The lecture is free and open to the public

Past Guest Speakers

2019, October 22: Dr. Heather White
2017, May 4: Dr. Jeremy Sabella and Dr. Gary Dorrien
2016, February 16:  Jessica Martinez
2015, March 2:  Rabbi Rachel Mikva
2014, March 6: Dr. Amina Wadud.
2012, October 16:  Dr. Vijay Prashad
2011, October 27:  Dr. Janet Jakobsen
2010, April 01:  Dr. Whitney Sanford
2008, April 03:  Dr. Anna L. Peterson
2008, October 14:  Dr. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela
2007, April 4-5:  Dr. Jeanette Rodriquez
2006, October 10-11:  Dr. Linda Barnes