The Moral Mission of Higher Ed

Friday March 2 2012


Harry R. Lewis, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at Harvard University, will discuss the "The Moral Mission of Higher Education," at 8 p.m. March 12 in Sydnor Performance Hall, Schewel Hall.

The talk is sponsored by the annual John M. Turner Lecture in the Humanities and is free and open to the public.

Dr. Lewis graduated from Harvard College in 1968, and after a three-year hiatus of national service and international travel, returned to start his PhD program in 1971. A member of the Harvard faculty since 1974, Dr. Lewis says he wonders what it says about his teaching that he taught both Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg shortly before they dropped out of Harvard.

Dr. Lewis' recent books include Excellence Without a Soul, on the history and future of American higher education; Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion (with Hal Abelson and Ken Ledeen), on the digital revolutionand What is College For? (co-edited with Ellen Condliffe Lagemann, former dean of the Harvard School of Education).

He continues to write on the moral and civic mission of higher education and on the social and legal consequences of the digital information explosion. He also has an interest in the role of sports in American society, and recently authored Baseball as a Second Language, a guide for visitors from abroad to the game and its uses in American culture.

From 1995-2003, Dr. Lewis served as dean of Harvard College. In this capacity he oversaw the undergraduate experience, including residential life, career services, public service, academic and personal advising, athletic policy, and intercultural and race relations. He is a longtime member of the college's Admissions Committee. 

The Turner Lecture was established in 1992 by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and contributions from alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of Lynchburg College in honor of John Mills Turner '29, English professor, dean of the College, vice president for academic affairs, and one of the most beloved and respected members of the Lynchburg College community for forty-one years (1933-74).