Sept. 22, 2008
Acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns will be the featured speaker for the 2008 Peter Waitt Lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 15, in Eppley Auditorium, 3625 Garretson Avenue, on the Morningside College campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Burns will explore the human dimensions of World War II during his Morningside lecture, which is entitled “No Ordinary Lives.” Burns’ most recent film, “The War,” aired last September on PBS. The seven-part series told the story of World War II through the personal experiences of men and women from four American towns, including Luverne, Minnesota.
When “The War” aired on PBS, Burns and his co-director Lynn Novick wrote, “Throughout the series, one theme has stayed constant, one idea has continually emerged as we have gotten to know the brave men and women whose stories it has been our privilege to tell: in extraordinary times, there are no ordinary lives.”
Burns has directed and produced some of the most popular and honored historical documentaries ever made. From his first PBS film “Brooklyn Bridge” in 1982 to the 2007 series on World War II, the excellence of Burns’ work has been recognized with Academy Award nominations, Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards and many other film and television honors. Other award-winning documentaries from Burns include “Jazz” (2001), “Frank Lloyd Wright” (1998), “Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery” (1997), “Baseball” (1994), “The Civil War” (1990) and “Statue of Liberty” (1985).
Currently, Burns is working on a major film on the history of America’s national parks. The six-part series is scheduled to air on PBS in 2009.
Norman Waitt Jr., a 1986 Morningside graduate and a member of the Morningside College Board of Directors, established the Peter Waitt Lecture in 1997 to recognize the contributions of his uncle, Peter Waitt, as an entrepreneur, businessman and community leader. The Peter Waitt Lecture is endowed by The Kind World Foundation.
Burns’ lecture is also sponsored by Morningside’s Academic and Cultural Arts Series.