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Houston Matters

Sam Houston Professors Deliver Speeches As If They Were Their ‘Last Lecture’

Each year, a few faculty members at Sam Houston State University are asked to write and deliver lectures as if they were the last they’d ever give.


Perhaps you're familiar with the concept of "The Last Lecture." Professors are asked to give a talk as if it were the last they'd ever give.

In 2007, Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, was asked to give such a lecture, but for him it wasn't much of a stretch. He'd been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The lecture he delivered, called Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, wasn’t so much about dying as it was about truly living. The lecture became something of a phenomenon. and he turned the lessons from it into a book called, simply, The Last Lecture.

There's now a similar lecture series at Sam Houston State University, where faculty members are asked to write and deliver their own hypothetical last lectures.

Dr. Bob Maninger runs the program. He's an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. He tells us more about the lecture series, what is often discussed, and what he hopes people take away from the lectures.