Until the last century, it was traditional in European universities for outstanding faculty members to present scholarly addresses to fellow faculty members. Speakers would situate their research within the context of their disciplines and present new ideas in an approachable way, understandable to an audience whose interests covered a wide range of academic fields.
The tradition of the Lectio Magistralis continues in many universities around the world as a way to present a scholar at the peak of his/her intellectual power, with talks directed toward an educated public rather than a specialized group. Chancellor Daniele Struppa's vision for Chapman's 5-year Lectio Magistralis series was to create a sense of excitement for intellectual pursuits and allow the growth of an environment which stimulated dialogue and interaction among participants from diverse backgrounds, fields of interest, and levels of expertise.
The series has concluded. Abstracts and links to recordings of the lectures are listed here.