Jonske Lecture

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Karl Jonske '99 Memorial Lecture Series

The Karl Jonske '99 Memorial Lecture Series honors a devoted student of English and lover of the written word. At Catlin Gabel Karl was a National Merit semifinalist, a member of the varsity tennis team, and a captain of the varsity basketball team. He went on to attend the University of Chicago, where he was active in community service, sports, and the Model United Nations.

His many interests included reading, writing, scuba, and travel. He had a passion for working with young people and volunteered with middle school youth as a math tutor. He hoped to become a professional writer. In addition to the lecture itself, the memorial fund has provided for the acquistion of 987 titles to date by the Upper School library.

In its sixth year, the young yet distinguished list of past lecturers include two-time U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Ted Kooser, eight-time Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist David Lamb and filmmaker Sandy Northrop, photographer Anne B. Keiser, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder, celebrated two-time U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins, and artist Michael Schultheis.

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2012-13 Lecture

M.T. Anderson is an American author of picture books, pre-teen books, and young-adult novels. He won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature in 2006 for The Pox Party, volume one of the "Octavian Nothing" books, which are historical novels set in Revolution-era Boston. Anderson is known for using wit and sarcasm in his stories, as well as advocating that young adults are capable of mature comprehension. He presented at both Middle and Upper School assemblies, and met with students in classes in the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools.

2011-12 Lecture

Artist Michael Schultheis creates paintings consisting of layers of mathematical notations and drawings that describe the form and motion of three-dimensional geometric shapes. The artist talked about how he is inspired by the beauty and elegance in the world of analysis, and how his paintings explore the visual models that communicate this essence of math.






Photo courtesy of Michael Schultheis's website

2010-11 Lecture 

Two-time U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins returned to the Catlin Gabel campus as the 2010-11 Karl Jonske Memorial Lecturer. His last visit was in 1999, the year of Karl Jonske's graduation, as a Jean Vollum Distinguished Writer. Billy Collins made a surprise visit to a freshman English class and enjoyed lunch with students in the creative writing class.


 2009-10 Lecture

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder spoke about his book Mountains Beyond Mountains, which narrates the interactions and conflicts Dr. Paul Farmer faces as he attempts to secure healthcare for the poor in third world countries. Following his lecture, Tracy Kidder had lunch and talked with Upper School students in the creative writing elective.


2008-09 Lecture

Photographer and former National Geographic Society photo editor Anne B. Keiser talked about her work documenting Sir Edmund Hillary's humanitarian efforts with the Sherpa people of Nepal. She is pictured here with the student who introduced her.

2007-08 Lecture

Filmmaker Sandy Northrop and author David Lamb led a conversation about the Vietnam War. Sandy Northrop directed a PBS film trilogy about Vietnam. David Lamb - a former LA Times foreign correspondent and eight-time Pulitzer Prize nominee - is the author of Vietnam, Now: A Reporter Returns. They are pictured here (center) with Nancy and Fred Jonske, parents of Karl Jonkse '99.

2006-07 Lecture

Ted Kooser was the lecture series' inaugural speaker. He was United States poet laureate consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004 - 2006, and also won the Pulitzer Prize for his book of poems, Delights & Shadows (Copper Canyon Press, 2004). Ted is also Presidential Professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.