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UND's Mark Kennedy to soon launch 'Eye of the Hawk' lecture series

UND president Mark Kennedy answers questions during a meeting with the Grand Forks Herald Editorial Board Thursday. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Some nationally and internationally known figures in their respective fields may soon be coming to UND's campus.

In a Thursday meeting with the Herald's editorial board, new UND President Mark Kennedy said he hopes to launch a new lecture series soon, titled "Eye of the Hawk," which aims to bring one prominent speaker a year to give a lecture to each of UND's eight specific schools.

Though just some of the funding is in place, the goal would be to bring in somebody from a specific field of study and have them speak about an important topic in that discipline, Kennedy said. These speakers could include graduates of UND or national or international figures on the topic.

For example, Kennedy said, the College of Business and Public Administration might bring in a CEO of a major bank, somebody from the Federal Reserve, a critic of the Fed or a regulator.

"There's any number things like that you could bring in," he said.

Kennedy said the series is in its beginning stages and he's in the process of reaching out to the deans about speakers they may want to have.

The role of a liberal arts education, Kennedy said, is to stretch people's thinking and have them look at things in a different way. Students should get a full spectrum education while at UND and the lecture series would be part of accomplishing that, he said.

The speeches would also provide an opportunity for the community to come together for a campus event, something Kennedy said is an important service that all universities should provide for the surrounding community.

"It'll all be under the theme of stretching people's minds and bringing in different speakers with different points of view," he said.

Kennedy, a former business executive and U.S. Congressman, took over as the 12th president of UND on July 1, succeeding Robert Kelley, who retired Jan. 14, and Ed Schafer, who served as interim president.

Before coming to UND, Kennedy was the director of the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. At George Washington, Kennedy said he hosted some of these world-class types of events.

Kennedy said if his schedule allows it, he is considering teaching a class on why and how America must lead. Teaching that class would also allow him to bring in international guest speakers he knows, Kennedy said.

Wade Rupard

Wade Rupard is a reporter for The Grand Forks Herald. Rupard is a 2014 graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and is originally from Normal, Ill. 

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