Distinguished Public Lecture

The University Writing Center organizes an annual public lecture each spring with a distinguished author who embodies its mission to cultivate purpose-driven writers, communicators, and influencers. The purpose of the lecture and award is for the CBU community to have an opportunity to engage with an exemplary model of what clear and persuasive writing looks like in the real world. Becoming a purpose-driven writer is not simply about getting a better grade on an assignment; it’s about making an impact in our spheres of influence. 


Recent Events

2023 • A Place of Hope @cbuwrites
Dr. Eric L. Motley

Deputy Director, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

2023 DPLA

Dr. Eric L. Motley grew up in the freed slaves’ town of Madison Park, Alabama. From this beginning in the black community, he rose to become a special assistant to President George W. Bush at the White House. He is now the deputy director of the National Gallery of Art based in Washington, D.C., and a former executive vice president of the Aspen Institute. 

Dr. Motley's 2017 memoir, Madison Park: A Place of Hope, details his upbringing in Madison Park, where he was taught constant lessons in self-determination, hope, and unceasing belief in the American dream. This charming, engaging, and deeply inspiring memoir shows that we can create a world of shared values based on love and hope. It is a story that reveals the amazing power of faith in God and each other. (Zondervan Publishing)


A Place of Hope Art and Photo Gallery
We would like to thank our art gallery contributors: Aaron Gamez, Alyssa Lee, Amalia Sosa, Amberly Garcia, Audrey Smith, Emily Flye, Emilie Golden, Emma Totaro, Grace Crandall, Gretchen Bartels-Ray, Isaac Escalera, Jasmine Severi, Jordyn McClellan, Kaylie Garcia, Lauren House, Michael Osadchuk, and Sammy Carter.

Click the link above to view their art pieces and photos from the event.

2023 DPLA Gallery


Distinguished Public Lecture (YouTube)
Thank you to our Distinguished Speaker, Dr. Eric L. Motley, and all our CBU partners for making this a successful event. We would like to give special thanks to the Office of the Provost, as well as our other sponsors: College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, and School of Education.

We reached max capacity with 101 guests joining us in person and an additional 88 tuning in for our livestream of the program.

Click on the link above to watch our taping of this event.

2023 DPLA Event


Past Events

  • 2022 Terraform @cbuwrites: Jason "Propaganda" Petty

    Terraform @cbuwrites

    Propaganda is a Christian musician, poet, educator, and author, who specializes in hip hop and spoken word. He sees how cultures cross and inspire one another, and challenges us to see our unity through diversity. In 2021, Propaganda released his first book, Terraform. In this debut collection of essays and poetry, Propaganda inspires us to create a better, more redemptive world by paying attention to the stories we tell and words we use.  


    Terraform Reading Questions
    Click on the link for a list of reading questions to guide you through Propaganda's Terraform. Engage with these questions in the comments on our Instagram, @cbuwrites.

    Distinguished Lecture and Award (YouTube)
    Thank you to our Distinguished Speaker, Propaganda, and all of our CBU partners for making this a successful event. We would like to give special thanks to our Co-Sponsor, The Racial Equity Task Force, as well as our other supporters: the Provost Office, Office of Student Success, Student Services, School of Music, School of Education, and Department of Social Work.

    We had 82 guests join us in person at our music studio in the School of Performing Arts and over 250 tuning in for our livestream of the program. 

    Click on the link above to watch the program.


  • 2021 DataStory @cbuwrites: Nancy Duarte

    Nancy Duarte

    Nancy Duarte, CEO & Principal of Duarte, Inc., which is the largest communication firm in Silicon Valley, as well as one of the top woman-owned businesses in the area. Nancy has won several awards for communications, entrepreneurship, and her success as a female executive. On the list of top 250 Women in Leadership, Duarte ranks #67 and on World’s Top 30 Communication Professionals for 2017, Duarte ranks #1. She has been a speaker at conferences and a number of Fortune 500 companies, and counts many more among her firm’s clientele. Her TEDx talk has over two million views. She speaks at business schools and has lectured at Stanford University several times.

    DataStory Reading Group (LancerMail login required)
    Click on link to watch our reading group recording. Those who purchase their own copy of DataStory can use the questions and chat feature to participate in the reading group. 
    Meeting 1:  Assigned reading: Intro + Section 1
    Meeting 2: Assigned reading: Section 2
    Meeting 3: Assigned reading: Section 3
    Meeting 4: Assigned reading: Section 4 + Summary

    Distinguished Lecture & Award (LancerMail login required)
    Thank you to Nancy Duarte and all of our supporters for making this such a successful event. We had over over 300 people sign in during the program. 

    For a limited time, a recording will be made available to those who missed the event. Click on the link to watch the program.  
    1. Reception 
    2. Welcome from Dr. Chuck Sands and Introduction by Dr. Erin Smith 
    3. Distinguished Lecture from Nancy Duarte 
    4. Presentation of Distinguished Lecture Award to Nancy Duarte
    5. Q&A Conversation 
    6. Closing Remarks