A native Texan, Debbie spent 30 years in public education. She graduated from Texas Tech University and later earned Master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of North Texas. She was an English teacher and administrator in the Garland Independent School District and retired in 2004 as the district’s director of secondary schools. Before her death in 2005, Debbie and her husband, Will, created and funded this program to promote better understanding of topics such as sociology, economics, art, music and theology.
Past speakers include:
March 2020 – Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot was our guest for ‘Recalibrating the Scales of Justice‘ discussing the challenges faced by his team, innovative ways they are addressing those challenges and misperceptions about crime, it’s causes and difficult solutions.
April 2019 – the topic was ‘Poverty is OUR Problem – How Can We Make a Difference?’. We invited Larry James from CitySquare, Tracy Eubanks from Metrocrest Services, and Judy Rorrie from North Dallas Shared Ministries to participate in the discussion on the reality of poverty in Dallas and what we can do about it.
April 2018 – this panel discussion on ‘Immigration – Understanding the Problems and Opportunities‘ featured Dr. Caroline Brettell, Professor of Anthropology at SMU, Francisco de la Torre Galindo, Consul General of Mexico and Chris Salcedo, broadcaster, author and political analyst.
October 2017 – celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation this weekend of events included author Daniel D. Maurer of St. Paul, Minnesota discussing ‘Faith: Does it Matter‘ related to personal transformation and how to cope. The festival also featured a replica Gutenberg printing press, German dancers, storytelling and plenty of food.
April 2014 – David Gaschen, vocalist and Broadway star of the Phantom of the Opera, having performed the role of the Phantom over 1,300 times, shared selections from many popular Broadway shows and discussed his experiences over his long career.
February 2012 – Dr. Steve Murdock Professor of Sociology at Rice University and a former Texas state demographer and Director of the U.S. Census Bureau presented on The Projected Demographics for Texas and the Impact on Mainline Churches discussing ways the changing demographics, particularly in Texas, would affect churches, schools and the work force.
March 2011 – Dr. Walter Brueggemann Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary presented Living a Real Life in a Real World. Sunday morning, Dr. Brueggemann spoke on “Giving in Without Giving Up” and on Sunday evening he shared “A Rest from the Rat Race”, a lecture on how to cope with our busy lives. Monday morning, Dr. Brueggemann delivered “Giving in Without Giving Up” for ministers and others on ways to deal with our hostile culture.
September 2005 – Dr. Martin Marty, retired Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago and well known theologian, presented to multiple audiences over the weekend.