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About the 
Berger Lecture Series

History of Speakers

About the Berger Lecture Series

Every year the College of Liberal Arts remembers and honors Sydney Berger. He was one of Evansville's most respected attorneys.

After graduating from Columbia Law School and serving in the army during WWII, he began his law practice in Evansville in 1947. He had been asked to come to Evansville by the United Electrical Workers union to provide legal assistance at a time when labor-management relations were severely strained. The union was in critical need of fine legal representation. Over the years, Sydney Berger would represent many unions, civil rights organizations, and anti-poverty groups.

He was admitted to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals, and Indiana state and federal courts. He was a founding member of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union and president of the Indiana Bar Association. He played an active role in his synagogue, and supported many educational and artistic programs in Evansville.

This extraordinary man was an adjunct professor of constitutional law here at USI for almost 20 years. When he died in 1988, the editor of the Evansville Courier noted that no one in Evansville had done as much for:

Liberal Arts now celebrates the values he cherished by having a speaker each year speak on the theme of civil rights or civil liberties.

Check back later for the next Berger Lecture in Fall 2012

History of speakers

2011-2012 Dr. Carolyn Calloway-Thomas, professor and director of the Preparing Future Faculty Program at Indiana University
2010-2011 Marilyn Ruth Signe Skoglund, Associate Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court
2009-2010 Dr. Cynthia Duarte, Fellow in the Institute of Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame
2008-2009 Dr. Leslie Ashburn-Nardo, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

Joan Callahan, Professor of Philosophy, and Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Kentucky

2006-2007: Dr. Michael Hoeflich, the John H. and John M. Kane Professor of Law at the University of Kansas
2005-2006: Judge Patricia Walker FitzGerald of the Jefferson Circuit Court Family Division in Louisville, Kentucky
2004-2005: Robert Corn-Revere, a partner in the Washington D.C. office of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
2003-2004: Gene Policinski, deputy directory of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN
2002-2003: Charles Nelms, vice president for Student Development and Diversity at Indiana University Bloomington
2001-2002: Dr. Scott Christianson, visiting associate professor of social studies at Bard College and an acclaimed author, activist, journalist, and scholar
2000-2001: Dr. F. Robert Hunter, chair of Indiana State University’s Department of History and president of the Midwest Association of Middle East and Islamic Studies
1999-2000: Leslie Roberts, associate professor of French;
Patricia Aakhus, instructor in English;
Douglas Hubbell, associate professor of communications;
Amanda Grube, USI student;
James VanLear;
Michael Waitman, associate professor of English
1998-1999: Bruce Pearl, men's varsity basketball coach;
John H. Gottcent, professor of English;
Daniel R. Craig, assistant professor of music;
Robert L. York, instructor in English;
Scott N. LaFeber, director of theatre;
Elliot H. Wasserman, associate professor of theatre;
Dr. Betty L. Hart, professor of English;
Eric L. vonFuhrmann, assistant professor of English;
Kathy Dooley, USI student
1997-1998: Patrick A. Shoulders, member of the law firm of Ziemer, Stayman, Weitzel & Shoulders in Evansville
John R. Price, heads John R. Price and Associates in Indianapolis
John Dobken, news anchor at Channel 44 in Evansville