The Burian University-Community Lecture Series was established in memory of the founding dean of Western Michigan University's College of Health and Human Services. Dr. Bill Burian perceived his community as being global. He was professor and dean of the college from its initiation in 1976 until his death in 1988. He had much foresight and vision. While on a trip to Africa, he contracted a rare and deadly lung infection.
To continue Burian's legacy and honor his outstanding professional achievements, the University, in conjunction with the College of Health and Human Services, established the Burian University-Community Lecture Series in 1989. The lecture series is intended to be a distinguished event that will have broad appeal to the health and human services in southwest Michigan.
Former Burian lecturers
Brian Gibbs: associate dean for diversity and cultural competence at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, director of the program to eliminate health disparities at Harvard School of Public Health, public health practitioner, former occupational therapist
Richard Kirsch: senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, author of "Fighting for Our Health: The Epic Battle to Make Health Care a Right in the United States"
Wayne Muller: therapist, minister, community advocate, consultant, public speaker, author of several books
William A. Sanger: chairman, president and CEO of Emergency Medical Services Corporation, the leading provider of health care transportation services and outsourced emergency department and hospital-based physician services in the United States.
Richard D. Lamm: co-director of the Institute for Public Policy Studies at the University of Denver, and a former three-term governor of Colorado (1975-87).
Parker J. Palmer: a writer, teacher and activist who works independently on issues in education, community, leadership, spirituality and social change. He serves as Senior Associate of the American Association of Higher Education and as a senior advisor to the John E. Fetzer Institute.
Dr. Henry Foster: dean emeritus of Meharry Medical College and clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Vanderbilt University; nominated by President Bill Clinton for the post of surgeon general.
Dr. David B. Morris: a writer and author of several books including "The Culture of Pain," and winner of the PEN/Spielvogel-Diamonstein Award.
Ted Kennedy Jr.: co-founder and president of the Marwood Group LLC, a business development and government relations firm with offices in New York City and Washington, D.C. Kennedy has also been an active leader in the civil rights movement for persons with disabilities.