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Ernest J. Walters, Jr. Lecture Series

Ernest J. Walters, Jr. Lecture Series in Political Thought 

Each year the Walters’ endowment brings a distinguished scholar onto campus to give a public lecture in the area of political thought. The aim of the series is to provide students with an opportunity to reflect in an explicit way on the moral foundations of politics. Lecturers also teach a class and are available to meet with students during their visit to the Furman campus. Inaugurated in 2001, the memorial lectureship was established by the students Jay Walters inspired and the friends and family he cherished. The series is sponsored by the Department of Political Science under the auspices of the Riley Institute.

Ernest J. Walters, Jr. joined the political science department at Furman in 1962 after completing graduate work at the University of Chicago. He chaired the department from 1979 to 1984 and retired in 1989 as professor of political science emeritus. He continued to teach in Furman’s Learning in Retirement program until his death on January 31, 1997.

Jay’s greatest commitment and enduring contribution were to the students that he attracted to the discipline he loved, political philosophy. His long hours of class preparation (often extending into the early hours of the morning) and dedication to his students were characteristic of the twenty-seven years he gave to teaching at Furman. His excellence in the classroom was recognized in 1971 when he was honored as the third recipient of the Alester G. Furman and Janie Earle Furman Award for Meritorious Teaching. In the words of one of his students: “What I remember most about Dr. Walters is that he expected a lot from his students, but he was willing to take whatever time it took to make you understand the idea or the argument. Above all, he made it clear that he really loved what he taught, and therefore invited his students to love it too. In my mind that is what real teaching is about.”

To learn more about current events as well as past events held in the Ernest J. Walters, Jr. Lecture Series, click here.