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.

This Year's Schedule
October 2, 2016 - 7:30 PM

Steven Tejada is an educator, actor, writer, and speaker. Written, directed, and performed by Steven, his one-man show Boogie Down Journeys, focuses on the powerful experiences of people of color combining comedy, drama, and real emotions to discover stories of struggle, survival, love, and laughter.



Climbing PoeTree is the combined force of two boundary-breaking women who interweave spoken word, hiphop, and award-winning multimedia theater to expose injustice, channel hope into vision, and make a better future visible, immediate, and irresistible. Together, they tell powerful stories.


Under the direction of Isaburoh Hanayagi, father of Haruki Koyama ‘04, these talented young performers return to Westtown for a dynamic performance as part of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Philadelphia. This celebration of traditional Taiko drumming and ceremonial dance is always a crowd favorite!

The Shoemaker Visiting Lecturer Series is made possible by the generosity of the Class of 1930, the Shoemaker family, and others who have donated to this endowed fund, which brings distinguished visitors to Westtown.


Gabriele Betancourt-Martinez '06, is a Ph.D. candidate in astrophysics at the University of Maryland, College Park. Gabriele will discuss some supermassive black holes as well as her trajectory from Westtown to the field of rocket science.



Celina Tio '88, Iron Chef, Chef Magazine's Chef of the Year, and the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef: Midwest, will join us to tell her story. Bring your appetite for inspiration as she shares stories from her days at to Westtown to her latest achievements.

Past Shoemaker Visitors
  • Writers: poets Robert Frost and Sonia Sanchez, Junot Diaz, Anne Tyler, Lorene Cary
  • Scientists: 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
  • Other Performers: Philadanco, Tamagawa University Taiko Drummers, First State Ballet, National Theater for the Deaf, Folk Arts Rajasthan
  • Other Artists: Mural Arts director Jane Golden, filmmakers Nathaniel Kahn and Kavery Kaul, ambigram artist John Langdon
Calendar List
    • SatMay27 Ramadan Begins
    • SunMay28 Meeting for Worship 10:00 AM to 11:30 AMMeeting House
    • MonMay29 Memorial Day - No LS/MS/US Classes
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