WT Distinguished Lecture Series to Feature Five Nationally Known Speakers in the Fall

1910 PR Sep 11, 2023
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WT Distinguished Lecture Series to Feature Five Nationally Known Speakers in the Fall

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CANYON, Texas — West Texas A&M University’s Distinguished Lecture Series will host five nationally known speakers during the fall, including two renowned poets, a Western historian, a major corporate leader and an innovator in dyslexia research.

DLS events are free and open to the public.

Up first is poet Aaron A. Abeyta, who’ll offer a reading at 6 p.m. Monday in Legacy Hall in the Jack B. Kelley Student Center on the WT campus.

Abeyta is hosted by the Office for Engaged Citizenship and co-sponsored by the Distinguished Lecture Series; the Department of English, Philosophy and Modern Languages; and the Center for the Study of the American West.

Then, Microsoft executive Sandra Lopez, who has been named a top woman in media and technology, will speak about “Career Empowerment and Leadership through Diversity, Respect and Inclusion.”

Lopez’s speech will begin at noon Oct. 4 in the Alumni Banquet Hall. Lunch is provided. The main sponsors for this event include the Distinguished Lecture Series, the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business, and the Association of Latino Professionals for America. Women in Business, Buff Analytics, College Assistance Migrant Program, and the Hispanic Student Association will cosponsor the event. 

Up next is the 11th annual Helen Piehl Distinguished Lecture, featuring dyslexia expert Dr. Jack M. Fletcher on “The Reading Brain: Understanding the Science of Dyslexia.” The speech and workshop will run from 8:30 a.m. to noon Oct. 5 in Legacy Hall and will have a virtual option. Major sponsors of this event are Helen Piehl, the WT Distinguished Lecture Series, and the Terry B. Rogers College of Education and Social Sciences. Registration is required.

This year’s installment of the Dorothy Patterson Poetry Series will follow, featuring poet Chad Abushanab.

The poet, teacher and electronic musician will read his work at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 in the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex Recital Hall.

The final DLS event of the semester will feature Dan Flores as the headliner of the Garry L. Nall Lecture in Western Studies.

Flores, the A.B Hammond Professor Emeritus of Western History at the University of Montana, will speak at 7 p.m. Nov. 2 in Legacy Hall. The event is co-hosted by the Center for the Study of the American West and the Distinguished Lecture Series.

“On behalf of the Distinguished Lecture Series, I am honored to welcome and support these five speakers to WT this semester,” said Dr. Emily Kinsky, Jenny Lind Porter Professor of Communication and chair of the DLS committee. “The Distinguished Lecture Series is an absolute gem for WT and the Canyon and Amarillo community, and I hope people in the area take advantage of the opportunity to hear these impressive speakers as they visit our campus.”

For information about these events, visit the Distinguished Lecture Series website.

Offering students educational experiences outside the classroom is a key component of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021— has raised more than $125 million and will continue through 2025. 


About WT’s Distinguished Lecture Series

The Distinguished Lecture Series was created to enhance education in the classroom by inviting people of national prominence to speak to WT students and the community about important issues. For information, visit


About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 59 undergraduate degree programs and more than 40 graduate degrees, including two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.