The Director of the Program for Leadership and Character, Dr. Michael Lamb, recently gave two invited talks at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. His first presentation focused on Wendell Berry’s virtue of hope and its relevance for environmentalism. Taken partly from a rare personal interview at Berry’s Kentucky farm, Lamb explored Berry’s account of hope as a virtue that resists both presumption and despair and equips diverse citizens to find common ground on issues of ecological concern.

Dr. Lamb also gave a talk entitled “How Can Universities Educate Character?”, which explored the role of the universities in supporting character development. He focused in particular on his first-year seminar entitled “Commencing Character: How Should We Live?” Pairing Aristotle’s ancient ethics of character with contemporary commencement speeches focused on virtue, the course follows Aristotle in helping students not only to “know what virtue is, but to become good.”