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O'Connor Lecture

The Annual Daniel Patrick O'Connor Memorial Lecture exists to promote the principles of scholarship, research, and volunteerism in the service for social justice. The Daniel Patrick O'Connor Memorial Lectureship Endowed Fund is made possible through generous contributions from Margaret O'Connor, Michael and Kathie O'Connor, and their friends.



2014-15 O'Connor Lecture 

Gary Snyder

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 at 7:00 p.m

Richard F. Celeste Theatre, Cornerstone Arts Center, Colorado College

Photo courtesy of San Simeon Films

GARY SNYDER was born in San Francisco on May 8, 1930. His first book, Riprap, published in 1959, has become a classic in American poetry, and he's gone on to publish more than a dozen collections of poetry and prose. Practice of the Wild is one of the most influential books about the environment of the last fifty years. His recently completed long poem, Mountains and Rivers Without End, is broadly recognized as one of the greatest long poems in American literature, and his last book of poems, Danger on Peaks, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He was awarded the Bollingen Prize for poetry in 1997 and the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1975.

Past O'Connor Lectures

2013 -- Roberto Gonzales
2012 -- Josh Fox
2011 -- Reza Aslan
2010 -- Jessica Jackley
2009 -- Alan Weisman
2008 -- Naomi Klein
2007 -- Bill McKibben
2006 -- Jim Wallis
2005 -- Thomas Frank
2004 -- Amy Goodman
2003 -- Nancy Folbre
2002 -- Nancy Fraser
2001 -- Kevin Danaher
2000 -- Jay MacLeod
1999 -- Randall Kennedy
1998 -- Jody Kretzmann
1997 -- William Julius Wilson
1996 -- Gary Snyder
1994 -- Vandana Shiva
1993 -- Richard Moore
1992 -- Robert Bullard

Daniel Patrick O'Connor

Dan O'Connor was a student at Colorado College in the fall of 1990 and winter of 1991. A committed social activist, he participated in student campus organizations concerned with environmental issues in ethnic communities as well as other social justice struggles. He participated in the student protests against Battle Mountain Gold's strip mine and cyanide leach mill in the foothills above the Chicano land grant community of San Luis. He also participated in the "alternative spring break" program of the College's Center for Community Service in the San Luis Valley. Dan was committed to workplace democracy, environmental justice, cultural diversity, and social equality.

"I knew that I wanted to change the world at least a little bit.... I didn't believe that any political system could create a good society. 'Change has to come through the heart, not through the mind,' I would say. I wanted to affect people's hearts. I began to paint more and tried to raise my own life to an art form. By this, I mean simply to be as just as possible in my relationships with other people.... I now believe that change can only come through a synthesis of the heart and the mind. I continue to feel an ethical code is necessary to live by, but now I include in this code, political activity.... I am compelled to hit the streets and make my voice heard."

--Daniel Patrick O'Connor, 1991