Campus Theme

The Compelling Questions We All Face

The Campus Theme program facilitates and coordinates a host of events, lectures, and discussions centered around an enduring and ultimate question of human experience—a fresh question each academic year. Events are open to the general public.

2016–2017 Campus Theme: What Is Beauty?

Natalie Moore

The Beautiful City

October 14, 10:30 am

Anderson Chapel

Natalie Y. Moore, author of North Park's Common Read book The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation.


Lois Bielefeld

Beauty Conventions — Art Gallery Installation

November 4
Carlson Tower Art Gallery

Lois Bielefeld
Other artists TBA

Artists in this show will use conventions of beauty in the medium of photography and film to overtly reference socials norms as well as challenge them and make them appear strange.

Reggie Williams

Beauty, Identity, and Social Change

February 10, 10:30 am
Dr. Reggie Williams, Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics, McCormick Seminary

Dr. Williams will be speaking about how the revolution in conventions of beauty were integral to the social changes that occurred in the Harlem Renaissance.


Jonathan McReynolds

Gospel and Spoken Word Concert

February 11, 7:30 pm
Grammy-nominated gospel artist Jonathan McReynolds headlines this concert in Anderson Chapel, which is sponsored by the Office of Diversity. Poet Jackie Perry will be also be performing along with other artists and musicians from across Chicago.

Tickets and more information to come.

Robert Lang

Origami Artist Robert J. Lang 

March 3, 10:30 am

Robert J. Lang has been an avid student of origami for over 40 years and is now recognized as one of the world’s leading masters of the art, with over 500 designs catalogued and diagrammed. He is noted for designs of great detail and realism, and includes in his repertoire some of the most complex origami designs ever created. Mr. Lang will give a talk in Anderson Chapel at 10:30 am as well as two classroom visits. 

Gospel Choir

Beauties Sacred and Secular: Aretha Franklin and Gospel Music

April 5, 10:30 am
Aaron Cohen, author of Amazing Grace, a book exploring the making of Aretha Franklin's double platinum 1972 gospel album Amazing Grace–the best selling gospel album of all time.

This event will include a brief Gospel Choir concert.

Dates TBA

Gabriel Richardson Lear

Beauty and the Good Life

Dr. Gabriel Richardson Lear, Chair of University of Chicago Philosophy Department




Past events

The Beauty of Mathematics and Poetry

Mark Tardi

September 20, 6:30–7:30 pm
Olsson Lounge – Nyvall Hall
Mark Tardi (in conjunction with the Humanities Meet & Greet dinner).

Poet and translator Mark Tardi grew up in Chicago, Illinois and earned his MFA in creative writing from Brown University. His collections of poetry include the chapbooks Part First—Chopin’s Feet (2005) and Airport Music (2005), as well as the full length collections Euclid Shudders (2003) and Airport Music (2013). Tardi’s Polish heritage led him to an early interest in Polish poetry, and he was a 2008–2009 Fulbright Senior Lecturer in American Literature and Culture at the University of Lódz, Poland. He has translated work from Polish and, as an editor of the journal Aufgabe, devoted an issue in 2010 to Polish poetry and poetics.

painted eyes

Artists' Panel On Beauty

September 23, 3:00–5:00 pm
Brandel Library, 2nd Floor

Karl Clifton-Soderstrom will moderate a panel of artists as a part of the Alumni Art show. Artists include Kate McCandless, Maya Durham, Rebekah Putera, Elizabeth Rice, and Daniel Warren Johnson. 


Unless otherwise noted, all Campus Theme events will be held in Anderson Chapel on North Park's Chicago campus. Get directions to our campus or download a campus map.

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