Duane Bonifer  |   Published September 27, 2016

New lecture series

Made possible by Robeson ’60, series will bring agriculture awareness
  • This tractor was among the pieces of equipment seen on a biology class trip to the farm of Paul Ricky ’76. The establishment of the Wiswell-Robeson Lecture will help to remind audiences of Monmouth’s deep-rooted tied to agriculture.
Monmouth College will begin a new endowed lecture that will focus on the state of agriculture in the Midwest.

The Wiswell-Robeson Lecture will annually feature a speaker from the agriculture community who will explore issues, challenges and innovations in the industry.

The inaugural speaker will be announced later this fall.

“The Wiswell-Robeson Lecture will join a distinguished series of lectures at the College, and it will enhance Monmouth’s status as a place where important conversations take place,” said Monmouth President Dr. Clarence R. Wyatt.

The Wiswell-Robeson Lecture was made possible by a gift from 1960 Monmouth graduate Jeanne Gittings Robeson of Monmouth. She and her late husband, Don Robeson, who was a 1954 Monmouth graduate, operated their farm in Warren County.

“I’ve always lived in a farming community,” said Robeson, who grew up on a family farm in Cameron that was started in 1853, the same year Monmouth College was founded. “The changes I’ve seen in agriculture are just incredible, and I hope the speakers featured in this lecture will discuss changes taking place in the industry.”

Robeson said the endowed lecture will also attract speakers who remind audiences about “the importance of farming in our community, region and world.”

“I hope it leads to more agricultural-related conversations at the College and an interest in the career opportunities available,” she said.

Robeson said that a national liberal arts college such as Monmouth is an ideal setting for an annual lecture about agriculture.

“To be successful in farming, you need a well-rounded liberal arts education,” she said. “Today’s farmers must be knowledgeable in so many areas, including business, marketing, biology, chemistry and communication. I want people to understand and appreciate the resourcefulness of farmers.”

Wyatt said that the Wiswell-Robeson Lecture is a complement to the College’s heritage.

“Such a lecture is particularly fitting at Monmouth College, for the legacy of agriculture at Monmouth runs as deep and rich as the soil of the farms that surround the College,” Wyatt said. “That legacy is constantly renewed through such innovations as our multidisciplinary Global Food Security Triad and our status as a founding member of Presidents United to Solve Hunger (PUSH).”

Monmouth’s innovative Global Food Security Triad allows students to explore issues in agriculture and food security by studying anthropology, biology and economics.

Monmouth was the only liberal arts college among the charter signatories of PUSH, a United Nations-sponsored initiative to bring the energy of colleges and universities from around the world to address hunger.
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