First Lecture of 2014 Draws Record Crowd!


The 2014 Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series began its eleventh season on January 16 with a presentation by Washington D.C. attorney and author David O. Stewart on John Wilkes Booth. The lecture attracted a full house of over 1,000 persons to Dodd … [Read more...]

Preview of 2014 Series

The Series was previewed in a January 9 feature article in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, which included interviews with series director Bill Crawley and program participant Brian Jay Jones, who will speak on the subject of his recent biography, … [Read more...]

2014 Great Lives Schedule Announced!


The announcement of the 2014 Great Lives Schedule was the highlight of a donor-appreciation reception on October 16 in the Rappahannock Grand Ballroom of the Jepson Alumni Executive Center. The schedule, along with biographical sketches of the … [Read more...]

Great Lives/BIO Announce First Plutarch Award


At the annual meeting of Biographers International Organization in New York City on May 18, the first Plutarch Award, sponsored jointly by BIO and the Chappell Great Lives Series, was presented to Robert Caro for his The Passage of Power, the latest … [Read more...]

Video: Madness and Greatness

According to Dr. Ghaemi, “Most of our heroes are seen as superheroes. We don’t really know the human beings who were Lincoln and Churchill and King and Gandhi, or even Hitler. They are icons, or devils.” In this lecture, he will examine who they … [Read more...]

Video: Michelangelo

Professor Wallace’s biography has been called “the most important re-assessment of Michelangelo in more than one hundred years. Not since Irving Stone’s novel The Agony and the Ecstasy has there been such a compelling and human portrayal of this … [Read more...]

Video: Abraham Lincoln

Certainly one of the greatest of all American lives, Abraham Lincoln has been the subject of more historical inquiry than any figure in the nation’s history. Almost 150 years after his death, Americans are still drawn to him, as evidenced by the … [Read more...]

Video: Rasputin

The very name Rasputin evokes mystery – a whiff of the occult. Rasputin is famous for compelling eyes, mystical powers and a great sexual appetite. His death has become legendary. No other Russian has penetrated so deeply into urban folklore and pop … [Read more...]

Video: Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway was one of the most captivating personalities of the 20th century, not only because of his extraordinary literary achievements, but because of his headline-catching behavior. Hemingway served as an ambulance driver in World War I, … [Read more...]

Video: Bill Wilson

Born behind a hotel bar in East Dorset, Vermont in 1894, Bill Wilson grew up with a severe drinking problem. In solving it for himself, he found a way to solve it for others, and he ultimately cofounded Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935. Although his name … [Read more...]