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Annual Delasanta Lecture

​​​​​​​​​​​​Each year in April, the Liberal Arts Honors program holds a lecture series in honor of Rodney K. Delasanta, Ph.D. '53, program director from 1987-2004. Under his guidance, the program expanded from approximately 25 students to more than 100 students per class year.

Rodney K. Delasanta, Ph.D. '53 

Dr. Delasanta, who passed away in 2007, served as a member of the PC faculty since 1961. He was a visiting professor at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, for the 1969-70 academic year and a visiting associate professor at Brown University in 1983. In addition to service as chair of the Department of English and assistant director of the Study Abroad Program at the College, Dr. Delasanta also served as chairman of the Rhodes Scholarship Nominating Committee for Rhode Island. He received the College’s President’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 1999 and The Very Reverend Vincent C. Dore, O.P. Award from the Providence College Alumni Association in 1996.

Past Lectures 


STEM to STEAM: The Meaning of Innovation 

John Maeda, former president of the Rhode Island School of Art and Design 

Maeda focused on how adding art and design to the national STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering, and math—can turn STEM into STEAM. Maeda demonstrated that critical thinking, critical making, and creative leadership can lead the country to an enlightened form of innovation where art, design, technology, and business meet.


The Use and Abuse of Dictionaries 

Ammon Shea, author and editor

Shea talked about the unexpected joys to be found in reading the dictionary for fun and profit, as he describes the year he spent reading the Oxford English Dictionary in its entirety. 


The Achievement of Pope John Paul II 

George Weigel, distinguished senior fellow of the Ethics & Public Policy Center 

One of America's leading Catholic intellectuals, Wiegel discussed the enduring accomplishments of John Paul's papacy (1978-2005). He noted that John Paul II "recast the Office of Peter in the twenty-first century as an office of evangelical witness."  

​Delasanta Awar​​​d Winners 

Each recipient receives a $500 stipend and recognition for writing the single best essay in his or her first year of Honors DWC

2013: Colleen Gardner

2012: Francis Rowland, Vincent Whalen

2011: Laura Wells

2010: Lynnzie Marinaccio

2009: Melissa Tran

2008: David Laprade