Associate Professor ready for her shot at Last Lecture Series

When she first sat down to write her “last lecture,” Dr. Suzanne Walker said the task was almost too daunting.


“There are so many ideas, truths, and stories to share. I’ve been influenced by good books, wonderful mentors, supportive friends and family and perhaps most importantly my faith,” she said. “How do you condense all of this into one presentation and hope to share even a bit of the wisdom and joy that makes up the best of life? If the audience walks out with nothing else, my goal for them is to find at least one connection with my experience that reminds them just how precious each day is.”

The Associate Professor of Communication will be the third faculty member to participate in the “Last Lecture Series,” which began in 2009. Walker will talk about Lessons from Life: The Three Fs — Faith, Family and Friends, at 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 2, in the Alma McDonough Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.


“My mother always says, ‘This too shall pass.’ And she’s right, but when we are in the midst of ‘this’ how do we cope with the difficulties of life?” Walker said. “When life is great and we are on those mountain tops, how do we keep ourselves grounded and appreciate those moments? And what about most days, the every days of our lives — how do make the most of those so that we don’t someday find ourselves asking where did the time go? The answer for me has been the Three Fs — Faith, Family, and Friends.”


The event is co-sponsored by Alpha Xi Delta sorority and Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, who started the series in 2009 after receiving a $600 from the College 175th Anniversary mini-grant committee.


They got the idea after watching former Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch gain national attention when he gave an upbeat lecture on Sept. 18, 2007. The lecture became a popular YouTube video and led to many more media opportunities. He also co-authored a book called “The Last Lecture.” He died of complications from pancreatic cancer, which was diagnosed in September 2006, on July 25, 2008.