Friday, November 06, 2009

Third annual Dr. Matthew Holden, Jr. Symposium Lecture held at Jackson State University

University of Illinois Springfield Professor of Political Science Dr. Matthew Holden, Jr. was recently honored during the annual symposium and lecture that bears his name. The event was held on Thursday, November 5, 2009 at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi.

Dr. Holden is the first Wepner Distinguished Professor in Political Science at UIS and is a nationally recognized expert on public administration, politics and law, urban politics and racial and ethnic relations.

"I had never expected to have a lecture named for me, and at first would not agree. But it has happened and frankly is wonderful. It is greatly encouraging that others perceive one’s own work as an example to be cited. The lecture is an effort to disseminate knowledge on a broad basis, not merely inside the classroom but to a public and community outside," said Dr. Holden.

The Symposium Lecture was given by Dr. Glenn Loury, Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences and Economics at Brown University. The title of the lecture was “Barack Obama and the Future of the Black Prophetic Tradition”.

“The first three lecturers—Ira Katznelson, Theda Sokocpol, and now Glenn Loury ---are all persons of such caliber that they outrank oneself by a long mile,” said Dr. Holden. “Next year’s invited lecturer, Dianne Pinderhughes, will equally enrich the list. Her work on African American participation, and the Voting Rights Act, will also be relevant to the course I am going to offer on “The Changing Regime".

Dr. Holden was not able to attend this year’s lecture, due to teaching commitments at UIS, but his wife, Dorothy, was able to represent them both at the symposium.

In 2004, Dr. and Mrs. Holden donated their personal library of more than 4,000 volumes to the Jackson State University Center for University Scholars. The Center facilitates faculty research productivity and encourages academic discourse. It hosts an annual symposium for recipients of summer research grants. In recognition of Professor Holden’s accomplishments and his generous donation to JSU, the Center has named a reading room and this lecture in his honor.

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