Ignatian Values Lecture


The title of the 2022 Ignatian Values Lecture: “On Juneteenth” by Annette Gordon-Reed.   In this lecture Ms. Gordon-Reed will discuss her work in the contet of the school's Jesuit mission.  The date is October 12, 2022 at 7:30pm in the Byron Center. 

The purpose of the Ignatian Values in Action Lecture is to introduce students and the larger community to the mission and core values of the University. Initiated in the fall of 2012 under the leadership of Dr. Brian Conniff, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the lecture has brought men and women of international prominence to the University to speak about meaningful service to the world, particularly as understood within the tradition inspired by Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. 

Each Ignatian Values in Action Lecture is twinned with a book called the “Royal Read.”  Usually the speaker is the author of the book—although this is not a necessity.  The lecture and the book work with common themes, ones that provide interesting points of discussion for the FYS.  All incoming Students should purchase and read the book before arriving on campus in August.  It should be still fresh on their minds at the time of the Ignatian Values in Action Lecture.  

The Ignatian Values in Action Lecture is a large event that invites the entire University community together for an enlivening discussion of what following the Christian call to action and service in the world can bring about if it is fully heeded.  Jesuit education aspires to form “men and women with and for others”; the Ignatian Values in Action Lecture is an important occasion at the beginning of the academic year for this vision of education to be considered and reaffirmed.  The lecture is held in the Byron Center to accommodate the more than 2000 attendees who come each year. 

First Year Seminar students are required to attend the Ignatian Values in Action lecture.  Stations are set up at the door so students can “swipe in” with their ID.  The lecture and the “first year read” associated with it is discussed in FYS classes. Students are also encouraged to attend other smaller events associated with the lecture where the speaker and his or her guests are able to share their story more intimately and informally. 


Previous Ignatian Values in Action Speakers

  • 2012 - Fr. Gregory Boyle, S.J. – Fr. Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries, a widely recognized gang intervention program located in Los Angeles, California. In his lecture he related stories of his experiences working with “homies” (gang members) in LA.  He brought with him two former homies to share their stories of how their lives had been changed.   
  • 2013 - Kevin Ryan and Tina Kelley Kevin Ryan is the President of Covenant House International, a ministry that provides shelter and care for homeless youth in major population centers throughout the USA and the world.  With Tina Kelley, a former Pulitzer Prize winning writer for New York Times, Ryan related a number of personal stories concerning troubled teens who have found hope through Covenant Homes.
  • 2014 – Jay Sullivan - As a young man, Jay Sullivan taught English in Kingston, Jamaica and lived with orphaned boys in a large group home run by nuns in the midst of poverty. He spoke of the impact the experience continues to have on him many years later. Mr. Sullivan brought several guests, including Desmond, who was raised in the group home, and Dr. Check who visits from the USA to care for the boys’ teeth.
  • 2015 - Sister Helen Prejean Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the U.S. by Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J. Sister Prejean visited campus Sept. 21 as the keynote speaker for the University’s annual Ignatian Values in Action lecture. “Dead Man Walking is a meditation on love, criminal violence and capital punishment. In a larger sense, it is about life and death itself,” she said. “Are we here to persecute our brothers or bring compassion into a world which is cruel without reason?
  • 2016 - Mark Ravizza, S.J. presented The University of Scranton’s Ignatian Values in Action Lecture as part of its 2016 Royal Reads Program for first year students. The lecture was held recently in the University’s Byron Recreation Complex.
  • 2017- Rev. James Martin, S.J. -The University of Scranton held its annual Ignatian Values in Action Lecture for members of its incoming class of 2021 in September. “The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything” by Rev. James Martin, S.J. H’17, was the selected book for this year’s incoming class, who were required to read the book and attend the lecture. 
  • 2018 - James O'Connell, M.D. -An author and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical school spoke about his work with the homeless at The University of Scranton’s Ignatian Values in Action Lecture.  James O’Connell M.D., is the founding physician of the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program and author of “Stories from the Shadows: Reflections of a Street Doctor.” The book follows his experiences taking care of the homeless on the streets in Boston, Massachusetts. He began his work with the homeless after transferring from an intensive care unit to a homeless shelter clinic in Boston.
  • 2019- Stephanie Saldaña - The author of The Bread of Angels: A Journey to Love and Faith, and A Country Between: Making a Home Where Both Sides of Jerusalem Collide, spoke at The University of Scranton’s 8th annual Ignatian Values in Action Lecture in September.  Saldaña’s memoir, The Bread of Angels, was the Royal Read’s book for the University’s class of 2023.
  • 2020 - Greg BoyleEach year, the University invites a speaker whose life’s work exemplifies the Ignatian Values. Usually, the lecture is held live and in-person to about 2000 members of the University and local community. This year, because of restrictions, Michelle Maldonado, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, spoke one-on-one with Father Boyle in an honest and heartfelt discussion about “the original program” – showing unconditional love, awe, and understanding for all of God’s children, regardless of their circumstances. Father Boyle is the author of the 2010 New York Times bestseller "Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion." His new book, Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship, was published in 2017.
  • 2021-Yohuru Williams, Ph.D. -Author and University of Scranton alumnus Yohuru Williams, Ph.D. ’93 G’93,  presented “The Fire This Time: Racial Justice, Catholic Social Teaching, and the Promise of Jesuit Education in the Age of Black Lives Matter,” at The University of Scranton’s Values In Action Lecture on Oct. 4 in reference to the Royal Read book selected for members of Scranton’s Class of 2025 by James Baldwin’ titled The Fire Next Time, the 1963 national bestseller that delves into the grave consequences of racial injustice and calls readers to recognize the importance of advocating for racial equality.

For more about the Ignatian Values Lectures and the Royal Reads, visit : academics/provost/ival/royal-reads


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