Alexander McCall Smith
2013 Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote Address
“The Very Small Things of Life”
Thursday, April 18, 2013
7:00 p.m., Goodrich Chapel
Alexander McCall Smith has written and contributed to more than 100 books ranging from specialist academic titles to children’s literature. He is best known for his No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, which to date has been translated into 45 languages and sold over 20 million copies worldwide. The series, which was adapted for BBC Radio and HBO television, has inspired a cookbook and led McCall Smith to share the young Precious Ramotswe’s story in a series of children’s books.
While he has written many popular stand-alone novels and short stories, McCall Smith is a master of series fiction, including The Sunday Philosophy Club, Portuguese Irregular Verbs, and three children’s series. Fascinated with the challenge of writing to deadline, McCall Smith began two other series with novels written in installments. 44 Scotland Street was a cultural obsession when published in weekday installments in the Scotsman newspaper. Corduroy Mansions was likewise originally published and podcasted serially by the United Kingdom’s Daily Telegraph. McCall Smith is currently working on a book about W. H. Auden, scheduled for publication by Princeton University Press in 2014.
McCall Smith was born in what is now Zimbabwe and was educated there and in Scotland. He first returned to Africa to help establish a new law school at the University of Botswana. Now a professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh, he also served as vice chairman of the Human Genetics Commission of the United Kingdom, chairman of the British Medical Journal Ethics Committee, and as a member of the International Bioethics Commission of UNESCO.
McCall Smith is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Crime Writers’ Association’s Dagger in the Library Award, the United Kingdom’s Author of the Year Award (2004), the Saga Award for Wit, and Sweden’s Martin Beck Award. In 2007 he was made a Commander of the British Empire for his services to literature. He holds honorary doctorates from 12 universities, and the Presidential Order of Merit given by the president of Botswana. He lives in Edinburgh.
Michael Harrington, ’85
2013 Elkin R. Isaac Lecture
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Eli Lilly and Co.
“Reflections on the Globalization of American Business and Its Implications for Future Leaders”
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
7:30 p.m., Towsley Lecture Hall/Norris 101
For the past 22 years, Michael Harrington has worked for Eli Lilly and Company, currently serving as the firm’s senior vice president and general counsel and as a member of the company’s executive committee. Previously he was deputy general counsel of global pharmaceutical operations, overseeing legal matters for Lilly’s global business units in animal health, biomedicines, diabetes, emerging markets, and oncology. Among other positions he has held with Lilly, Harrington served as managing director of Eli Lilly New Zealand and as general counsel for Lilly’s operations in the Asia Pacific region. As a member of various leadership teams at Lilly, he enhanced the company’s internal and external diversity initiatives.
Along with serving as an Albion College trustee, Harrington currently serves on the boards and executive committees of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Lawyers for Civil Justice, the Indiana Repertory Theatre, and the International School of Indiana. He is a former director of the St. Francis Healthcare Foundation in Indianapolis and has been a board member of the American Tort Reform Association and the Indiana Legal Foundation. Harrington frequently shares his litigation expertise as a speaker, recently addressing the American Conference Institute and the International Association of Defense Counsel.
At Albion College, Harrington majored in English, and was a member of Delta Tau Delta and Omicron Delta Kappa. After graduating from Albion with Phi Beta Kappa honors, he earned a J.D. from Columbia University. He is married to Judy Small Harrington, ’86, and they and their family live in Zionsville, Indiana.
Read more about Harrington in our Success Stories series
Emilio DeGrazia, ’63
1999 Elkin R. Isaac Lecture
Professor of English at Winona State University
7:30 pm, Wednesday, April 14, 1999
Bobbitt Visual Arts Auditorium
Emilio DeGrazia holds master”s and doctoral degrees in English from Ohio State University. He has lived in Minnesota since 1969, and is currently a professor of English at Winona State University.
DeGrazia says he began his career as an author “in the middle of [one] night in 1973.” That night produced a first draft of “The Enemy,” one of the stories included in Enemy Country, DeGrazia”s first published book. Enemy Country was selected by Anne Tyler for a Writer”s Choice Award and chosen as one of Library Journal”s “Best Small Press Books of 1984”; another collection of stories, Seventeen Grams of Soul, won a Minnesota Book Award. DeGrazia has also published more than 100 works of fiction, poetry, and essays in various anthologies and literary journals. He is the author of two published novels, Billy Brazil and A Canticle for Bread and Stones, has co-edited the anthology 26 Minnesota Writers, and is the founder of the literary journal Great River Review. A third short story collection, Born-Again Blues, is awaiting publication.
Of his craft, DeGrazia says: “I”m driven by fairly old-fashioned ideas about the writing life: That one becomes a writer by discovering that one has something to “say” that the result should be at once story, sermon, and song; that one should genuinely want to communicate, present a vision capable of evoking a passionate response; …and that good art has only one legitimate raison d'etre, the clarification of life for the purpose of enhancing it.”
Kristen Verderame, ’90
2010 Elkin R. Isaac Lecture
CEO and Founder of Pondera International LLC
7:30 pm, Weds., April 21, 2010
Towsley Lecture Hall/Norris 101
Kristen Verderame is CEO and Founder of Pondera International LLC, a consultancy formed to assist
venture capital firms ensure and increase the value of their investments. Ms. Verderame has held a
number of consultative and strategic business roles over the last several years.
Ms. Verderame spent the bulk of her professional career in a variety of roles within BT
(British Telecom) Group plc. Her last role was Vice President and General Counsel for the
company’s US operations, where she was a leading member of the management team. During her tenure,
Ms. Verderame led the company’s Legal Department, and was also responsible for various operational
areas such as Procurement, Security and BT Federal (BT’s US Government sales organization).
Ms. Verderame holds several advisory roles outside of her day-to-day professional
responsibilities. She has been actively involved in the network of British-American organizations
in the US and UK for years, and currently serves as the general counsel to the British American
Business Council, the international umbrella organization that represents over 2,500 British and
American businesses across 25 chapters in the US and the UK. She is also past president of the
Washington, D.C. chapter. Ms. Verderame currently serves as the general counsel to the
European-American Business Council, and as a Non-Executive Director for UK Trade & Investment.
She holds membership in the Federal Communications Bar Association, the American Bar Association
and the bars of the State of Illinois, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Federal Circuit, and the U.S. Court of International Trade. Ms. Verderame is an
accomplished public speaker, and has presented in numerous fora on a variety of international
telecommunications policy, security, trade, employment and business issues.
Ms. Verderame received her Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School, and her
Bachelors of Arts degree from Albion College, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with Honors.