Mercyhurst Underwrites Delio’s Interfaith Lecture

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At 2 p.m. August 12 in the Hall of Philosophy, Ilia Delio, OSF, the Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova University, will be speaking about the Week Seven theme, “The Limits and Transcendence of Our Humanity,” thanks to a first-time sponsorship at Chautauqua Institution from Mercyhurst University.

Michael T. Victor, president of Mercyhurst University, is pleased to have the university underwrite such a “gifted theologian and scientist.”

“[Victor] said audiences find her both an engaging personality and a thought-provoking and compelling speaker,” said Debbie Morton, executive communications officer at Mercyhurst. “Her vision spans the vast interconnectedness of God, humanity and the universe. [Victor] noted that the breadth of her knowledge makes her a sought-after speaker in both academic and spiritual circles.”

Evidence of the strong connection between Chautauqua and Mercyhurst — even before the underwriting — is seen in Mercyhurst’s vice president for advancement, Caleb Pifer, who served on a preservation panel last year to give feedback on the Amphitheater project.

Victor is no stranger to Chautauqua Institution, either; for a number of years he had a summer home he’d frequent just outside the Institution on Chautauqua Lake.

“[Victor] has a special appreciation for the mission of Chautauqua Institution, and sees similarities between Chautauqua and Mercyhurst on a number of fronts, beginning with their commitment to arts and culture,” Morton said. “The Mercyhurst Institute for Arts & Culture, for example, brings innovative, enriching programs for diverse audiences to campus each year. Like at Chautauqua, such programming encourages the communal experience of the arts and the reflective appreciation of their value.”

For more information on underwriting opportunities at Chautauqua, please contact Tina Downey, director of the Chautauqua Fund, at 716-357-6406 or

Joshua Gurian

The author Joshua Gurian

Joshua Gurian is a graduate of Binghamton University Class of 2015, with a Bachelor of Arts in English literature. He currently lives as a freelance writer in Chicago.