Nelson will address philosophy and public policy in two parts. He will speak on "Citizen?s Roles, Rights and Responsibilities in a Liberal Democracy" Tuesday, Oct. 25, and on "America?s Democracy Today: Issues and Opportunities" Wednesday, Oct. 26. Both lectures will be at 8 p.m. in Melrose Auditorium with receptions following.
Nelson, who joined the Linfield faculty in 1970, retired in May. He established the Powell Philosophy Lectureship, which has brought distinguished philosophers to Linfield for 35 years. Nelson has a long and distinguished teaching career. He served as chair of Linfield?s Philosophy Department for many years and was named the Edith Green Distinguished Professor for his strong commitment to the education of his students. He also served many years as director of January Term and director of the Linfield Honors Program.
Nelson?s service extends beyond the classroom and academic engagements. On the local level, he is a founding member of the McMinnville School District 40 Foundation and the Arts Alliance of Yamhill County. He is on the executive committee and is past chair of the Yamhill County Democrats and has run for a seat in the state legislature. He was president and director of development of Gallery Players of Oregon, raising nearly $1 million for its present building. For 11 years he has been director and host of "Speaking Frankly," a weekly community access television show. Having attended the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for the past 36 years, he has written reviews of its plays for the News-Register for five years and has also written reviews of Portland Center Stage productions. He served for 10 years on the "Willies" Committee of Willamette Week, which selected the best actor, actress and director of Portland-based theatres each year.
On the state level, he is past chair and currently vice chair of Oregon Common Cause; chair of the Northwest China Council and served two terms on the Oregon Committee for the Humanities.
At present, he is one of three chief petitioners for a tate of Oregon ballot initiative for campaign finance reform with a one-sentence addition to the Oregon State Constitution.
Before coming to Linfield, he served as the director for the Baptist Graduate Center at the University of Chicago from 1959 to 1970. From 1956 to 1959 he was the minister at the First Baptist Church in Mount Carroll, Ill.
Nelson received his bachelor?s and master?s degrees in philosophy from the University of Michigan. He also received a B.D. and M.A. from the University of Chicago and Litt.D. from the American Baptist Seminary of the West.
The lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, call 503-883-2216.