What constitutes a “Great” life?
It is perhaps the most common misconception that “great” equates to “good” or “admirable” in selecting subjects for the Series. The key criteria is not virtue, but rather influence on history or culture in a significant way—for good or (sometimes) ill. (This explains why the Series has occasionally included some fictional characters.)
How are subjects chosen?
A number of factors are taken into account. The guiding principle is diversity of subject matter—not just in terms of race or gender, but other areas of diversity as well, particularly fields of accomplishment. Thus topics include persons who have gained significant recognition in the areas of politics, military, literature, science, visual arts, music, theatre, sports, and popular culture. An effort is also made to incorporate lectures by the most recent scholars on various topics. As a rule, subjects are not repeated unless considerable time has elapsed between lectures or the second lecture involves a new and/or controversial approach to the topic.
How can I be added to the Great Lives mailing list?
Please call the Office of Events at (540) 654-1065 to let them know that you would like to be added. An oversized postcard of the season is sent in early December.
Subscribe to news about Great Lives
How can I help support Great Lives?
Great Lives is funded by donations. Learn more about supporting Great Lives.