If your days were numbered, and you had only one chance left to speak your mind, what would you say? The Last Lecture Series gives speakers a forum to give their final thoughts on the subject of their choice, according to Leigh Ann Schroeder, Last Lecture Series chair. “We thought it was a cool idea to give people the opportunity to express their ideas,” Betty Mulkey, Student Life director, said. Dr. James Votruba, Northern Kentucky University president, gave the inaugural speech in the Otto Budig Theater on Oct. 23. His speech was entitled “What Constitutes the Good Life.” Votruba admitted that preparing for the lecture was not easy for him, because it was a little sobering. “The good life is a journey that is forever circling back for a deeper meaning,” Votruba said. “Life is about being as well as doing well. Who you are is as important as what you are.”
Preparing for the lecture caused him to think about his grandparents. “What part of them runs through me?” Votruba asked. “We all stand on the shoulders of those who have preceded us.”
Security from prejudice and poverty, was one aspect Votruba discussed. Votruba also included values as part of a good life. “Values contribute to the authenticity of life,” he said. “They have to be important to us and right for us, no one else.”
Votruba’s used his final point to emphasize the ability of every person to impact life. We are all teachers,” he said. “Each of us impacts the world just because we’re in it.
Votruba also included love, freedom, and the ability to dream and question in his definition of the good life.
Mulkey brought the idea of the series to Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society, to revitalize the organization. “ODK was chartered in 1996 [at NKU],” Vaught said, “but died off when the seniors graduated.”
ODK presented the series.