About the Burian University-Community Lecture Series

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 sector in southwest Michigan. 

The Bill Burian University-Community Lecture Series will focus on community and educational issues in the health and human services from a problem-solving perspective. It will bring together students, faculty, community professionals and service providers, and the citizens of southwest Michigan to interact with leaders of national stature. The endowed lecture series will emphasize the qualities of health and human services that were the essence of Bill Burian's mission:

  • Preparing people for leadership roles who understand their professional tasks in a context that embraces the wholeness, beauty, and challenges of life
  • Fostering multidisciplinary education within the college, with other university colleges, and with the professional communities
  • Contributing to the quality of health and human services in west Michigan, the state, and the nation through instructional programs, research, and community services
  • Encouraging a comprehensive service system that is responsible to all citizens