Ignatian Values in Action Lecture

The Ignatian Values in Action (IVA) Lecture is the academic kick-off to the school year. Occurring in the first months of the fall semester, this lecture brings together the entire first-year class as well as other students, faculty, staff, and other members of the community. The IVA Lecture is often connected to the Royal Read.

This Year’s IVA Speaker

Past Speakers

  • 2022 - Annette Gordon-Reed - Author of "On Juneteenth". In this lecture Ms. Gordon-Reed discussed her work in the content of the school's Jesuit mission. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.   
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