Dr. Kenya Taylor
Mortar Board adviser, 308.865.8843

The Xi Phi Chapter of Mortar Board recently held its annual Last Lecture presentation at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

The Last Lecture Series is a well-established Mortar Board tradition on the UNK campus. Each spring, Mortar Board members nominate a faculty or staff member for the honor of delivering his or her “last lecture.” Students nominate professors or staff who have had an impact in or out of the classroom. The Mortar Board members then vote to select a speaker from among the nominees.

“The faculty member selected is invited to present the last lecture,” said Dr. Kenya Taylor, chair of the Department of Communication Disorders and Mortar Board adviser. “The faculty member may speak about anything, but the faculty member is told to prepare the presentation as if it were his/her last opportunity to speak to a group of students. We have had wonderful lecturers in the past speaking on themes such as leadership, first amendment rights, politics and motivational topics.”

The speaker for this spring was Dr. Don Kaufman, UNK professor of chemistry.

“Dr. Kaufman’s talk was about ‘lessons for life,’” Dr. Taylor said. “However, rather than give advice, he spoke about students and others he had learned from. Their stories and how they handled things became the lessons.”

According to Dr. Taylor, Dr. Kaufman was selected to speak because “he is an outstanding teacher and students respect him.” She also said that Dr. Kaufman has been at UNK a long time and has received many teaching awards. In addition, he makes it a point to know each of his students and encourage them to reach their full potential.

There were approximately 40 students who attended Dr. Kaufman’s presentation.