The Beall-Russell Lectures in the Humanities were established in 1982 with a financial gift from Virginia B. Ball of Muncie, Ind. She named the lecture series in honor of her mother, Mrs. John A. Beall, and Lily Russell, former dean of women at Baylor, both Baylor alumnae of the Class of 1910.
Mrs. Ball subsequently funded the establishment of the Beall Poetry Festival in 1993, encouraging contemporary poetry. The purpose of the lectures is to provide an opportunity for Baylor students and faculty to meet and hear lecturers renowned in the humanities.
Past lecturers have included poet Maya Angelou, journalist Bill Moyers, and Nobel Prize winner for Literature Czeslaw Milosz. The full list of past lecturers is available at the Past Lecturers page.
Mrs. Ball died in 2005, but her legacy continues through the ongoing generosity of the Ball family, whose gifts benefit both the University and the greater Waco community.