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Last Lecture

Please click here to submit nominees for 2023. All nominations will be considered and the speaker will be selected by the Last Lecture Committee. The program will take place on Wednesday, April 19, 2023.

2023 UMMC Last Lecture 

Please nominate a UMMC affiliate who you think would give an inspiring, thought-provoking lecture to all UMMC staff, students and alumni. This will be an interdisciplinary message that imparts wisdom as though this was the last opportunity for the nominee to do so. 

Previous speakers have included: 

  • 2023 - Dr. Praise Matemavi (SOM)
  • 2022 - Dr. John E. Hall (SGSHS)
  • 2021 - Dr. Kenneth R. Bennett (SOM)
  • 2019 - Dr. Loretta Jackson-Williams (SOM)
  • 2018 - Dr. Charles Ramsey (SOD)
  • 2017 - Dr. Brad Ingram (SOM)
  • 2016 - Dr. Dan Jones (SOM)

History of Last Lecture 

A “last lecture” is when top academics in their field are asked to give a “final talk” considering what advice they would give if they knew it was their last opportunity. Last lectures became more widely known in 2007, when Professor Randy Pausch delivered a speech at Carnegie Mellon University entitled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” The previous year, Pausch had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Knowing his diagnosis was terminal, Pausch delivered his lecture to a crowd of colleagues and students, expressing lessons he wanted his children to learn after his battle with cancer ended. In his lecture, which was later expanded into a New York Times bestseller, Pausch imparted wisdom accumulated over a lifetime, and gave advice on how to live life to the fullest.

Since Pausch's lecture and book became well-known, many institutions of higher education have adopted similar “last lecture” events. The speakers chosen are usually well-respected, long-time faculty members and leaders, whose talks range from life advice to "what I've learned along the way," and more.

Last Lecture Videos