Last Lecture a Farewell for Husband, Wife Faculty Members

April 4, 2011

Andreas Anastasiou, associate professor of psychology, and Alice Araujo, associate professor of communication, will soon bid farewell to Mary Baldwin University, but not before they deliver the college’s coveted Last Lecture. The couple — who are married — will speak at 12:15 p.m. April 5 in Francis Auditorium for the latest installment of the annual address.

A treasured tradition at Mary Baldwin for the past 17 years, the Last Lecture is a common event at colleges and universities around the country. Speakers are encouraged to talk as if it were their last chance to speak with students. Invariably, the event turns into an inspirational blend of silliness and seriousness — an activity intended as a break from academia where the audience learns something meaningful without the chore of taking notes. Students maintain a close connection with the event at Mary Baldwin because it is sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA), unlike at many other colleges, where a department or academic program sponsors the activity.

Members of the SGA executive committee typically select one person to give the talk, but it makes sense that this year’s honorees will mix it up with a joint lecture. Edward Scott, associate professor of philosophy, delivered the first Last Lecture address to a packed house in Francis Auditorium during the 1993-94 academic year. Araujo took the Last Lecture stage solo in 2005, giving an insightful, timely, and humorous talk about how modern media may cause undue anxiety.

Anastasiou and Araujo will leave Mary Baldwin to move to Cyprus — his native country — this summer. Araujo joined the Mary Baldwin faculty in 1997, and Anastasiou was hired in 2000. The couple has collaborated on several research projects and grants that explore the role of gender in the communication of empathy toward perceived adversarial groups.