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The Beatty Memorial Lecture is McGill’s most distinguished endowed lectureship. Established in 1952, the Beatty aims to bring internationally renowned visitors to the University to give a public lecture on a subject of their choice. This lecture series provides an opportunity for McGill graduates, present students and staff, as well as people in the wider Montreal community to further their education on topical issues. McGill has hosted many prestigious voices under the Beatty banner since the first lecture in 1954. In recent years, our speakers have been the author Margaret Atwood; John Wood, founder of the global literacy nonprofit Room to Read; and Dr. Karl Diesseroth, Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.
Responsibilities of a host unit
Every Beatty Memorial Lecturer must be hosted by a department, Faculty, or other administrative unit at McGill. Groups often choose to suggest and organize the visit of a Beatty Lecturer to coincide with a major anniversary, when graduates and their families are already visiting campus for Homecoming. According to the terms of the endowment, the only criteria are that the Beatty Memorial Lecture must be held while classes are in session, open to the public, and well advertised.
All Beatty Memorial Lectures are the result of a collaboration between Research and Innovation (RI) and the host unit. RI arranges for the lecturer’s travel and hotel, organizes a pre-lecture breakfast and the major public talk, and provides advice to the host unit as required.
The host department or Faculty is responsible for scheduling a reasonable number of additional events, targeting students, faculty, and staff, which will fill one or two days of the lecturer's time while he or she is on campus.
If your unit is interested hosting a Beatty Lecturer, we ask that you contact us via our online feedback form. Contact us now.
Expectations of Beatty Lecturers
A Beatty Memorial Lecturer is expected to deliver a major public lecture, usually lasting between 60 and 90 minutes. In addition, he or she is asked to remain on campus for one or two days to meet and interact with members of the McGill community.
During that time, the lecturer will participate in activities, such as roundtable discussions, classes, or other events that give faculty, staff, and students a chance to benefit from his or her vast experience, knowledge, and expertise.
Furthermore, a Beatty Lecturer is expected be available for media interviews, both before and during his or her visit to McGill, and to participate in social events associated with the lecture, such as a pre-lecture breakfast, dinners, receptions, or other activities often associated with Homecoming.