Faculty note: Ganyard presents eighth annual Koplas Memorial Lecture

Associate Provost Clifton Ganyard presented the eighth annual John and Diane Koplas Memorial Lecture at the Lockport Public Library in Lockport, NY, June 26, 2017. John Koplas was a life-long educator and taught English for nearly 30 years at Lockport Senior High School, where he influenced numerous students, including Ganyard. Koplas continued to teach, even in retirement, and upon his death in 2008, the Koplas family established a lecture series in his memory. Ganyard graduated from LSHS in 1987, the same year Koplas retired from teaching, and noted that Mr. Koplas was his most influential teacher. Ganyard’s lecture, entitled “The Proper Study of Mankind… is Man,” examined the value of the arts, humanities and social sciences in the contemporary world. Ranging from ancient Greece to the philosophes, from the Founding Fathers to Adolf Hitler, from economists to technological entrepreneurs, from Harry Potter to Wonder Woman, Ganyard’s lecture argued that not only do the humanities teach students invaluable skills, they are intrinsically valuable for their beauty, and they are an essential component in the maintenance of democratic society. Lockport’s Union Sun and Journal published a review of the event. Ganyard said that the invitation to present the lecture this year, the 30th anniversary of his graduation from LSHS, was a great honor and that he enjoyed the opportunity to talk about the values Mr. Koplas instilled in him. The full lecture may be viewed:

Part 1 (The Humanities, Creativity, and Innovation)
Part 2 (The Humanities, Beauty, and Democracy)