Julian Maxwell Hayter, professor of leadership studies at University of Richmond, was chosen to be the speaker for this year’s Last Lecture Series hosted by Omicron Delta Kappa Epsilon Circle.

The Last Lecture Series is an event in which a Richmond professor is asked to give a lecture as if it was his or her last. Erin Fields, Westhampton College '09, created the series when she was inspired by the book "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University computer science professor who had suffered from terminal cancer.

The speaker must be a member of the faculty that has served the Richmond community over a significant duration of time, demonstrated sincere dedication to student development and contributed significantly to the academic culture at the university, according to the university's website. 

ODK received nominations from hundreds of students staring Oct. 1. More than 500 students have submitted their nominees for the past two Last Lecture Series.

“We received over 60 different nominations and decided to extend an invitation to one of the top-nominated professors, Dr. Julian Hayter, and he graciously accepted,” Rhiannon Bell, president of ODK and Westhampton College '15, said.

“I was surprised — I mean, I’ve only been here for three years,” Hayter said. “It’s an honor. I’m a relatively young scholar, so it’s interesting to be asked at this stage of my career to be asked to give a last lecture.”

The past two speakers were Joe Hoyle, professor of accounting, and Rick Mayes, professor of political science, in 2009 and 2013, respectively.

“I’ve seen them, and I know that there’s a pretty high standard,” Hayter said. “I know what the kind of framework is for a last lecture, and I’m more than happy to stick to it. But I’m going to do it my way, so it’s going to be interesting.”

In 2009, Hoyle encouraged the people in a filled auditorium to go out and follow their dreams; to “always shoot and dream higher” than they knew they could do.

Four years later, Mayes talked about what makes life truly meaningful. He narrowed it down to six paths to follow in life: Work an undesirable job. Don’t try to be great. Find someone you trust to tell you the truth. Laugh. Be nice, but not always.

“And most important, it’s perfectly OK to make plans, but remember that life isn’t as linear as people would like it to be, or even think it is,” Mayes said.

ODK will host this lecture at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, in Ukrop Auditorium. It will be followed by a brief reception in Queally Hall.

Contact reporter Antonio DeMora at antonio.demora@richmond.edu