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Bishop C.C. McCabe Lecture Series




Mimi Fittig
Director of Special Events

About the Bishop McCabe Series

Bishop Charles Cardwell McCabe embodies the spirit of American University's founders. McCabe, Vice Chancellor and Chancellor of the university from 1899-1902, dreamt of an educational system unlike that of any other university of its time. He believed in building a lasting future for AU and began the first successful fundraising campaign with his call to action, "Five dollars each, from one million people," to foster the new university.

Under Bishop McCabe's leadership, American University's second building was constructed: the McKinley Memorial Building, created in honor of United States President William McKinley. McCabe himself laid the cornerstone for the building.


The Bishop C.C. McCabe Lecture Fund

The Bishop C.C. McCabe Lecture Fund was established by the Board of Trustees in 1907 in memory of the Bishop and through his generous bequest to the College of Arts and Sciences. Although these funds help to offset the costs of producing the lecture series, they do not fully support its needs.

If you are interested in making a gift in support of the Bishop C.C. McCabe Lecture Series, please the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at 202-885-5900, or make your gift online.

Bishop McCabe's legacy can still be felt today. The Bishop McCabe Fund was established in 1906 through a bequest in the Bishop's will to create a lecture series in the College of Arts and Sciences. Today, the Bishop C.C. McCabe Lecture Series features prominent faculty members, notable alumni, and distinguished scholars from all disciplines within the College.

The Half-Life of Freedom: Jelani Cobb

Jelani Cobb

Feb 23, 2017
7:30 p.m.
Abramson Family Recital Hall
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RSVP for Jelani Cobb

At the 2015 Hillman Prize ceremony, presenter and journalist Hendrik Hertzberg described the work of Jelani Cobb as combining the “rigor and depth of a professional historian with the alertness of a reporter, the liberal passion of an engaged public intellectual and the literary flair of a fine writer.” So it is with Cobb’s riveting, auspicious keynotes: up-to-the-moment meditations and breakdowns of the complex dynamics of race and racism in America. Whether speaking on Black Lives Matter and activism, the battle zones of Ferguson or Baltimore, or the legacy of a black presidency—or, more generally, on the history of civil rights, violence, and inequality in employment, housing, or incarceration in America—Cobb speaks with the surety and articulate passion of only our best journalists. His keynotes inspire us to work, tirelessly, toward achieving an ongoing dream of equity—of genuine democracy. They show us that not only are the levers of justice in our hands, but we can move them in the direction we see fit. And they remind us that the only obstacle holding us back is the comforting illusion that we’ve already achieved our goals.

THE DIVERSITY BLUES: Reframing the Diversity Agenda at HWCUs

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

Jan 19, 2017
7:00 p.m.
Abramson Family Recital Hall
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RSVP for The Diversity Blues

The Bishop C. C. McCabe Lecture Series features guest speaker Eduardo Bonilla-Silva.

Colleges across the nation are experiencing the "diversity blues." Faculty and students of color complain about the racial climate on campus, lack of efforts to recruit and retain faculty of color, and a curriculum that is not inclusive among other things. So why are colleges experiencing the diversity blues years after having implemented polices to guarantee diversity and inclusion? In this talk, Professor Bonilla-Silva will argue that our diversity efforts have been formalistic rather than substantive. Colleges did not put in place polices to alter their organizational and cultural whiteness. Thus, years after they were "integrated," they remain as HWCUs—historically white college campuses and universities. Explaining how the whiteness of HWCUs manifests itself in their history, demography, curriculum, tradition, and symbols will be the core of the presentation. At the end, Bonilla-Silva will examine the kind of policies and politics necessary to remove the W from HWCUs.