Programs for May 1-31


May 2, Thursday Luncheon Roundtable – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.
Speaker is Jerry Prout. His topic – Chasing Automation: Technology and Politics in mid 20th Century America

Major technological change, politics, labor policy – what could go wrong? Technological progress dramatically increased US industrial productivity in the 20th century, but it also disrupted the workplace and challenged policymakers. Jerry Prout will show how a group of reform-minded politicians during the heyday of America’s industrial prowess (1921–66) sought to plan for the technological future, beginning with Warren G. Harding and a conference he convened in 1921. For his political history, Chasing Automation: The Politics of Technology and Jobs from the Roaring Twenties to the Great Society (Cornell Press, 2022), he explored how both liberals and conservatives responded to the sheer unpredictability of the era. They grappled with the dual impact of technology – driving economic growth and replacing jobs. And they found their way through disputes and differences to achieve shared goals in an enduring safety net of laws that continue to benefit workers today, as we face the impact of AI and advances in automation.

Jerry Prout currently teaches at Marquette University’s Les Aspin Center in Washington, DC. He has taught at Marquette since 2012, both at the Milwaukee campus and in DC, following a 40-year career in public and government affairs. He served in FMC Corporation’s Washington office from 1987 until his retirement in 2013. In addition to Chasing Automation, he has published Coxey’s Crusade for Jobs (Cornell Press, 2016) as well as several articles, beginning with “Corporate Social Strategy in a Post Industrial World” (Conference Board Record, 1975) and most recently “Guaranteed Income?” in the Washington Post (October 29, 2023). He earned his doctoral degree from George Mason University, masters’ degrees from American University and Duke University, and bachelor’s degree from Westminster College in Missouri.

Video:To see a recording of this presentation, click on Play Event. Click on the play button at the bottom left of the screen that comes up to see the presentation

May 6, Monday Quarterback Luncheon – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Rick Pasquier is our Quarterback.

May 9, Thursday Luncheon Roundtable – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Speaker is Steven Weitzman. His topic – Jews and the Higher Ed Blues

Drawing on his experience as a professor of Jewish studies and as a member of Penn’s task force on antisemitism, Steven Weitzman will discuss the tumultuous events of this academic year at Penn and other campuses in the context of a relationship between Jews and American universities that has been transformative for both. He will offer a brief historical account of Jews overcoming discrimination and contributing to the richness and diversity of academic life, as well as a perspective on the future, reflecting on the challenges and stakes involved in finding a way beyond the vitriol, prejudice, mistrust, and outrage that have shaken universities this past year.

Steven serves as the Abraham M. Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages at Penn and as the Ella Darivoff Director of the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, a research center that aims to promote deeper understanding of Jewish history, culture, and experience. He completed his doctoral studies at Harvard University, and before coming to Penn in 2014, he directed the Jewish studies programs at Indiana University and Stanford. His publications include his biography of King Solomon for Yale’s Jewish Lives series; as coauthor with John Efron and Matthias Lehmann, The Jews: a History; and The Origin of the Jews: the Quest for Roots in a Rootless Age, which won a National Jewish Book Award.

May 13, Monday Quarterback Luncheon – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Alina Macneal is our Quarterback.

May 17, Friday Club Dinner, starting at 5:30 p.m.
Predinner program for this evening: Jazz guitarist Stanley Jamal Collins, in discussion and performance with pianist Lonell Johnson III.

Stanley’s program is The Seeds of Black Lily: The Sonic Afterlife of Neo-Soul, exploring the legacy of an early 2000s Old City music showcase, the Black Lily, based at the Five Spot nightclub on Bank Street. The

Black Lily gave an open mic to artists such as Jill Scott and India Arie early in their careers, with The Roots often backing them as the house band. The program draws a four-part audio documentary series – written, produced, and performed by Stanley in 2021. It has been featured in NPR Music and on WXPN and WURD.

Stanley Jamal Collins is a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the city and regional planning department at Penn’s Weitzman School of Design. He holds a PhD in sociology from Temple, where he was also a graduate fellow in the Public Policy Lab, as well as MS in sociology from Oklahoma State and a BS in economics from Morehouse. In his research, he focuses on the interaction of race, place, music, and neighborhood change. Outside his academic life, he is a photographer and aspiring cinephile.

Lonell Johnson III – pianist, composer, and arranger – is a faculty member at Settlement Music School, and performs regularly in Philadelphia and Washington, DC. He is a graduate of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and the University of the Arts.

May 20, Monday Quarterback Luncheon – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Russell Cooke is our Quarterback.

May 23, Thursday Luncheon Roundtable – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.
Speaker is Craig Bruns. His topic – The Delaware Riverfront: A History of Life and Work

At the Independence Seaport Museum, Craig Bruns has curated an exhibit of extraordinary reach, At the Water’s Edge: Working and Living along the Delaware River. It spans the centuries from early Native American settlement along the Delaware to the mid-1900s. Craig will discuss some of the exhibit’s artifacts and artwork, many of which are on first-time public display.

Craig Bruns, chief curator at the Independence Seaport Museum, has created numerous exhibits since 2005, including Disasters on the Delaware; Skin & Bones–Tattoos in the Life of the American Sailor; It Sprang From the River–Everyday Objects with Maritime Secrets; and Drawn to the Rive –Artists of the Pennsylvania Academy Capture our Region’s Waterways. He recently worked with Tukufu Zuberi, host of the PBS series “History Detectives,” on the exhibit Tides of Freedom–African Presence on the Delaware River. Craig has a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from Temple’s Tyler School Art.

May 28, Tuesday Quarterback Luncheon – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.
Franklyn Rodgers is our Quarterback on Tuesday, shifted this week because of Memorial Day.

May 29, Movie Night at the Inn – starting at 6:00 p.m.
No charge for admission, or snacks and drinks – popcorn, chips, nuts, sodas, beer, and wine.
Feature, starting at 6:30, TBA

May 30, Thursday Luncheon Roundtable – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.
Speaker is Mike Sielski. His topic – The Changing Place of Sports in American Society

From sandlot baseball to dirtbags in the executive suite? From junior league to the marketing juggernauts of professional league sports? That’s one way the place of sports in our society has changed over the decades. Mike Sielski examines the changes on a daily basis, always training his reporter’s eye on his subject. With social media pouring out information instantly, he knows how easily we “find out” the instant things happen. He also knows how easily we’re finding out things that aren’t true, and therein lies his sense of duty to deliver factual, verified information – to do his homework.

Mike is a sports columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer and the author of three books, including The Rise: Kobe Bryant and the Pursuit of Immortality. An alumnus of La Salle University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Sielski was a reporter at The Wall Street Journal for three years before joining The Inquirer in 2013. The Associated Press Sports Editors named him the top sports columnist in America in 2015, one of 15 times the organization has honored him, and his work has been anthologized three times in The Year’s Best Sports Writing and The Best American Sports Writing series. He co-hosts a weekly radio show on 94.1 FM WIP, and he lives in Bucks County with his wife, Kate, and their sons, Evan and Gabe.