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Lecturer Shares Illumination Found in Darkened Theaters

Adam J. Yoder, former Student Government Association president and May graduate in building automation technology, returns to campus to introduce his nominee as 'My Last Words' speaker William J. Astore Staring down the steely-eyed Mr. Eastwood A crowd-pleasing presentation Astore accepts a plaque from Debo Powell, assistant director of student activities for diversity/cultural life, and a standing ovation from the audience Penn College history professor William J. Astore took his audience on an inspirational cinematic journey Monday night, offering “Last Scenes of a Cinephile” as the fourth annual speaker in the David London My Last Words Lecture Series. Exploring clips from seven films and their relation to the qualities of conscience, community, courage, compassion, connectedness, commitment and caring he encouraged attendees to see those movies if they had not already done so. The films that particularly resonate with (and were shared by) the speaker are “Pale Rider,” “Witness,” “Elizabeth,” “Casablanca,” “Little Big Man,” “Sophie Scholl: The Final Days” and “The Best Years of Our Lives.” Astore said he inherited his love of cinema from his father, who, during The Great Depression, often used a nickel he was given to see a movie. Despite the name of the lecture series, which memorializes an associate professor of speech communication/composition who died in May 2008, Astore said he hoped his Klump Academic Center presentation would offer “lasting words” instead of a valedictory message.

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