Kirkland/Spizuoco Memorial Science Lecture: Dr. Alan Lightman Intro

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Bill Ruud and I have the honor to be president of this wonderful university. I'm pleased to welcome you to tonight's Kirkland/Spizuoco Memorial Science Lecture.

Before I introduce our speaker, I want to tell you a little about the two men who we remember tonight at this program. Dr. Gordon L. Kirkland Jr. and Dr. Joseph Spizuoco both loved teaching, both loved their respective fields of biology and physics, and both epitomized the Shippensburg family spirit. Dr. Kirkland spent his entire teaching career, nearly 30 years, at Shippensburg and Dr. Spizuoco taught at Shippensburg for nearly 11 years. Both died in 1999 but their passion for learning lives on in this annual program. I regret I did not have the honor to work with them.

Each year, we alternate between the fields of biology and physics and tonight we are happy to have with us a theoretical physicist who is well known not only in classrooms and laboratories, but as a writer on the best-seller lists.

Dr. Alan Lightman has served on the faculties of Harvard and MIT, where he was one of the first people to receive a dual faculty appointment, in science and in the humanities. He has been recognized for his writings by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, where he is a Fellow, and has twice been a juror for The Pulitzer Prize, in the fiction and non-fiction categories.

He is the author of the international bestseller, Einstein's Dreams, one of the most widely read books on college and university campuses. He is also widely considered one of the great scientific interpreters of his generation.

Tonight, he will talk about one of the most well-known theories of all time, Einstein's 1905 theory of relativity. And he promises that even non-physicists -- like me -- will leave tonight with a better understanding of the theory and learn some of the examples that confirm Einstein is right.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome: