The pinnacle of the FYF's out-of-classroom activities is a spring lecture, open to the university community, in which an invited speaker explores the major themes and issues of the First-Year Forum text. When possible, the DRW engages the book's author to address students and answer their questions. Past lecturers have also included public figures whose work or writings qualify them to comment substantively on the book's themes and ramifications.
Previous Lectures (and student contributions)
- Colin Beavan, No Impact Man
- James McWilliams, In Defense of Food
- Michael Lewis, The Blind Side
- Luis Urrea, The Devil's Highway
- Lawrence Lessig, Free Culture
- Josh Rushing, Al-Jazeera and America’s Image: What’s at Stake? Introduced by Adam Avramescu, Class of 2007, Rhetoric Major and President of OxFam-UT.
- Barry Glassner, Culture of Fear
- Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation
- Andrew Sullivan, The Blogging Revolution
- Malcolm Gladwell, Tipping Points and Social Power
- Douglas Rushkoff, Breaking the Trance: The Myth of Media Manipulation
- John McPhee, Encounters with the Archdruid. Introduced in a multi-media presentation designed by students John Gonzales, Daniel M. Armediaz, Steve Briones, John Smart, Scott Fitzhugh, Raul de la Rosa, Robert Rosenbaum, Chris Tollinger, Ken Cantu, Shoba Eason (on photo).
- Deborah Tannen, Fighting for Insight: Agonism in the Academy and the World
- Neil Postman, Six Things You Ought to Know About Technology
- Stephen Carter, Integrity. Introduced by then-freshman John Smolik, whose contributions to an online discussion about cheating had been featured in "A Whole Lot of Cheatin’ Going On," Christian Science Monitor, January 19, 1999.