Dillard Announces Brain Food Lecture Series: “A Conversation about Hazing with Michael J. Morton

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Dillard’s 2015 Brain Food Lecture Series opens with Michael J. Morton’s 

“A Conversation about Hazing: The Trials and Truth”

NEW ORLEANS— Dillard University’s 2015 Brain Food Lecture Series starts with Michael J. Morton, an ex-convict, turned corporate and civic leader, whose life was forever changed in college. On September 24, at 7 p.m., during “A Conversation about Hazing: The Trials and Truth,” Morton will share the pivotal moments of his experience and where it has led him to today. The event will be held in Lawless Memorial Chapel on Dillard’s campus. Morton’s talk coincides with National Hazing Prevention Week, September 21-25. Locally, Dillard students, including athletes, Greek organizations and support groups, will visit area schools and the university will host several workshops leading up to the lecture and Q&A session with Morton.

In 2006, Morton was an honors student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Florida A&M University. He served as president of the Student Body Senate and two consecutive terms as president, of the Alpha Xi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. The course of his life was altered after he and four of his fraternity brothers were charged with hazing. In a nationally publicized trial, he was convicted of hazing and received a two-year prison sentence. The judge in the case said she wanted to send a message with the state’s first prosecution under a felony hazing law.

After serving his sentence, Morton went on to finish his bachelor’s degree at Florida A&M and earn a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Rutgers University. Morton was recently appointed to the Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering advisory council for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.

Morton believes in “paying it forward” and has a strong desire to help those in most need. He serves on the Board of Directors for Pentorship, an educational products company that provides skills-based training to incarcerated persons. He actively volunteers with Junior Achievement, the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating young people about business, economics and free enterprise. Morton is also a member and former Secretary of the New Jersey INROADS alumni association, an organization whose mission is to develop talented underserved youth and connect them with opportunities in business and industry, while preparing them for corporate and community leadership.

Now, Morton comes to Dillard University to deliver a candid, personal and empowering talk about his journey and the realities of hazing.

The remaining Brain Food lineup continues with diverse and powerful speakers. All lectures are free and open to the public. For more information please call (504) 816-4800 or visit www.dillard.edu/brainfood.

Upcoming lectures:

September 24-Michael J. Morton

“A Conversation about Hazing: The Trials and Truth”

Hazing Prevention Week Event

Lawless Chapel, 7 p.m.

October 21-Karrine Steffans

New York Times Best Selling Author

“Vindicated: Confessions of a Video Vixen 10 Years Later”

Georges Auditorium, 7 p.m.

November 20-Dance Theater of Harlem

Cook Auditorium, TBD

http://www.dancetheatreofharlem.org/

The Revius O. Oritque Jr. Lecture on Law and Society

November 23

Bryan Stevenson

Attorney, human rights activist, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, and author of “Just Mercy”

Georges Auditorium, 7 p.m.

http://www.prhspeakers.com/speaker/bryan-stevenson/

A Brief History of the Dillard Presidential Lecture Series

Beginning with the university’s first official president, William Stuart Nelson in the 1930s, public intellectual discourse has been a part of Dillard’s heritage. In the 1950s, Albert Dent organized the Edwin R. Embree Memorial Lecture Series whose guests included Eleanor Roosevelt, Thurgood Marshall, Mary McLeod Bethune, Martin Luther King Jr., and Jackie Robinson. Subsequently, Dillard presidents have assembled lectures that reflected their sensibilities. During Samuel DuBois Cook’s tenure, 1974 to 1997, he established a lyceum series and also built a fine arts center to provide a new venue for lectures, theater and music. Walter M. Kimbrough launched Brain Food in 2013, and has continued the tradition with speakers such as Iyanla Vanzant, Misty Copeland, Benjamin Crump and Michael Steele.

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