About the Lecture Series

A brief history of the American Experience Distinguished Lecture Series

In 2006 Pittsburgh lost a brilliant friend of public discourse on the compelling issues of the day. Robert Hazo, founder of the American Experience Distinguished Lecture Program, graduated first in his class at St. John's College and later earned fellowships for graduate study at Princeton University, the Sorbonne and the American University of Beirut. While serving as associate director of the Institute for Philosophical Research in San Francisco in 1967, Hazo wrote a book on the ways and power of love, entitled The Idea of Love. He was appointed a senior editor at the Encyclopedia Britannica, where he stayed for about a decade before returning to Pittsburgh. Robert Hazo created the American Experience Seminar in Pittsburgh thirty-five years ago to educate the City's mid- to high-level managers about the great traditions of American political and economic thought, drawing readings from the foundational texts of American political life. The American Experience Distinguished Lecture Series succeeded the American Experience Seminar, and through this series Hazo recruited to Pittsburgh a virtual who's who of American public leadership and commentary. Today the director of the American Experience Series is Dr. Edward McCord, appointed by Robert Hazo in 2005. As we move to a new edition of the American Experience Distinguished Lectures, we know that we can never replace the wisdom, genius and wit that were the hallmark of Robert Hazo at each and every event.