Shoemaker Visiting Lecturer Series

Westtown’s Shoemaker Visiting Lecturer Series schedules a succession of distinguished visitors each year who move our students toward self-education and self-knowledge. Programs are open to the entire Westtown community and, frequently, to the public as well.

A legacy since the 1960s of the Shoemaker and Flaccus families, the Shoemaker Series brings to campus talented men and women from a variety of fields. An important part of the Shoemaker visits includes opportunities for Westtown students to interact with these individuals.

2019 - 2020 Schedule:

Thursday, September 26th - 7:30pm

Rebecca Kamen

As a sculptor and lecturer on the intersections of art and science, Rebecca Kamen's artwork is informed by her research into cosmology, history and philosophy. She has exhibited and lectured nationally and internationally and is the recipient of various fellowships and grants. Rebecca received her MFA in Sculpture from  Rhode Island School of Design, is a professor emeritus of art at Northern Virginia Community College, and is a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences. Her work is represented in many private and public collections.

Thursday, December 5th - 7:30pm

Signe Wilkinson  

Signe Wilkinson has been drawing editorial cartoons for the Philadelphia Daily News since 1985. Born and raised in a Quaker family, she studied art at The Academy of Fine Arts after college and worked in journalism prior to landing her first position as a cartoonist in 1982. Signe is the first female cartoonist to win the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning. She has published two collections of her cartoons, described as having a "unique style and famous irreverence," and still draws five cartoons a week. An active member of the Religious Society of Friends, Signe gave the 2012 William Penn Lecture, “Putting the Cheer into Walking Cheerfully.” Signe is a member of Chestnut Hill Monthly Meeting. 

Tuesday, January 21st - 7:30pm

Naomi Andre

After graduating from Westtown in 1985, Naomi André received a BA in music from Barnard College, as well as an MA and PhD in musicology from Harvard University. She currently serves as associate professor in Women’s Studies in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, and the Associate Director for Faculty at the Residential College at the University of Michigan. This past spring, Naomi Andre was appointed the inaugural Scholar in Residence at the Seattle Opera, where they see her “deep knowledge of the art form and social perspective will help [them] broaden [their] storytelling and create an inclusive space for diverse communities at the opera.” Naomi's research focuses on opera and issues surrounding race, gender, and identity. Her books include Voicing Gender: Castrati, Travesti, and the Second Woman in Early-Nineteenth-Century Italian Opera (2006), Blackness in Opera (2012, edited collection) and Black Opera: History, Power, Engagement (2018).

Tuesday, April 7, 2020 - 7:30 pm

Marysol Castro '92 

Marysol Castro '92 is the first female public address announcer for the New York Mets and the first Latina public address announcer in Major League Baseball. After graduating from Westtown, Marysol earned her Bachelor’s degree from Weslyan University, and a Master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. During her two-decade career, Marysol has worked in local TV news, was the national network weather anchor on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and the “The Early Show” at CBS, and was a reporter for ESPN.

Past Shoemaker Visitors
  • Activists: Educator and activist Steven Tejada,  poet and activist Climbing Poetree, activist and Quaker comedian Peter Toscano

  • Entrepreneurs: Tiffanie Stanard, Daryl Shore 99

  • Scientists: Physicist and neuroscientist at Penn Danielle Bassett, astrophysicist Gabriel Betancourt Martinez ‘06, forensic anthropologist Doug Owsley, paleontologist Peter Dodson, geneticist and physician D. Holmes Morton

  • Humanitarians: Coretta Scott King, Bayard Rustin, Elie Wiesel, economist and food activist Raj Patel, Project H.O.M.E.’s Sister Mary Scullion, Kevin Jennings of GLSEN

  • Journalists: Juan Williams, author of Eyes on the Prize; NPR’s Susan Stamberg, Living on Earth’s Steve Curwood ‘65, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Tony Auth

  • Musicians: Pete Seeger, African Children’s Choir, Habana Sax, Philadelphia Virtuosi Orchestra, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All-Stars, Jon Alston and Chester Children’s Choir,

  • Other Artists: Mural Arts director Jane Golden, filmmakers Andrew Renzi ‘03,Nathaniel Kahn and Kavery Kaul,  ambigram artist John Langdon
    Other Performers: Climbing Poetree, poet activists, STOMP Keith Middleton ‘89,Philadanco, Tamagawa University Taiko Drummers, First State Ballet, National Theater for the Deaf, Folk Arts Rajasthan

  • Scientists: Physicist and neuroscientist at Penn Danielle Bassett, astrophysicist Gabriel Betancourt Martinez ‘06, forensic anthropologist Doug Owsley, paleontologist Peter Dodson, geneticist and physician D. Holmes Morton

  • Writers: Poets Robert Frost and Sonia Sanchez, Junot Diaz, Anne Tyler, Lorene Cary

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