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Endowed Lectures

The Institute for the Humanities offers a wide array of lectures throughout the year, the majority of which are open to the public.

The Marc and Constance Jacobson Lecture

Marc and Constance Jacobson's early gift established the endowed lectureship that has brought distinguished scholars, artists, writers, and even champions for human freedom to the Institute for the Humanities and the university. Past Marc and Constance Jacobson Lectures.

About Marc and Connie Jacobson

“The University of Michigan provided me with a quality education for which I am grateful,” said Marc Jacobson ’55, when he and his wife established the Marc and Constance Jacobson Lectureship in 1989. Their hope was that the lectures would enhance “the cultural and artistic experiences of present and future generations of students at Michigan.”

More recently, the Jacobsons responded to a “challenge match”  to support the Institute’s Graduate Student Fellowships with fresh generosity: a pledge to establish the Connie and Marc Jacobson Philanthropic Graduate Support Fund.

Taken together, their gifts bear witness to the breadth of their vision. The lectures bring outstanding senior scholars and public intellectuals to campus, while their support for graduate students nurtures young scholars, the luminaries of tomorrow.

Mr. Jacobson received his BA from the University of Michigan and his JD from the University of Virginia School of Law. He served in the United State Army as an enlisted officer. In 2004, Mr. Jacobson retired as Judge of the Norfolk Circuit Court, a position he had held since March, 1995.

Mr. Jacobson served as a trustee for the City of Norfolk employees retirement system; past president of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater; past president of Temple Israel, Norfolk; past president of B'nai B'rith Lodge, Norfolk. He was appointed by the Governor of Virginia as a member of the Virginia-Israel Commission, and was a recipient of the Brotherhood Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Constance Jacobson too has served in a variety of civic, cultural and philanthropic posts, including the board of directors of the Virginia Symphony.

Jill S. Harris Memorial Lecture

The Jill S. Harris Memorial Endowment was established in 1985 by Roger and Meredith Harris, Jill’s parents, her grandparents Allan and Norma Harris, and friends. The fund was established in memory of Jill, a resident of Chicago and undergraduate student at U-M who passed away due to injuries from an auto accident.

The fund brings a distinguished visitor to campus each year who will appeal to undergraduates interested in the humanities and the arts. The visitor may either be a fellow of the institute for an extended period of time or invited for a few days to present the annual lecture.The visiting fellow will usually interact with undergraduates, informally and through visits to classes or by other means by which exchanges with undergraduates may be promoted. Past Jill S. Harris Memorial Lectures.