So far, the five luminaries who have visited Stanford University as Rathbun Fellows are the Dalai Lama, Sandra Day O’Connor, former U.S. Secretary of State George Schultz, Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman and cartoonist Garry Trudeau. To that honor roll you can now add Oprah:
Oprah Winfrey, a global media leader, philanthropist, producer and actress, will offer her personal reflections on life when she delivers “Harry’s Last Lecture on a Meaningful Life” at 7 p.m. Monday, April 20, in Stanford Memorial Church.
The lecture honors the late Stanford Law School professor Harry Rathbun, who delivered his renowned “Last Lecture” annually from the 1930s through the 1950s.
The fellowship and centerpiece lecture series launched in 2010. They continue a tradition set in motion by the school’s newspaper:
Rathbun was reading the school paper one day and was struck by a letter written by a graduating student. The student wrote that he feared venturing into a world he didn’t quite understand. Professor Rathbun later recalled, “I had to tell those kids that the meaning of life was up to them, that no teacher and no school and nobody else could hand it to them like a diploma.