“The Rise and Fall of Atticus Finch?” Examined in Event Hosted by the Baylor Law School

Mockingbird poster
Aug. 28, 2015

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Media contact: Eric M. Eckert, (254) 710-1964

WACO, Texas (Aug. 28, 2015) – Atticus Finch from Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book “To Kill a Mockingbird” has been a longstanding literary hero, but the publication of the sequel, “Go Set a Watchman,” leaves his hero status in question.

The character of Atticus Finch will be examined during “Baylor Law Night at the Hippodrome” held at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1, in the Waco Hippodrome Theatre. The event will include a lecture by Thomas Hibbs, Ph.D., dean of the Baylor Honors College and Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Culture, titled “The Rise and Fall of Atticus Finch?” .

“My remarks will address the changing perception of the main character from the film and book, Atticus Finch, in light of the release of the Harper Lee novel ‘Go Set a Watchman,’” said Hibbs. “Some questions we may consider: Is this a radically different Atticus? If so, how? In what ways are Scout’s varying perceptions of Atticus shaped by her growth from a child to an adult? How do or should we respond when we realize that individuals we have admired are deeply flawed?”

A screening of the film “To Kill a Mockingbird” will follow Hibbs’ lecture.

“Conversations such as these are so important in helping our students contextualize characters such as Atticus, both the Atticus in ‘Mockingbird’ and the newly presented Atticus in ‘Watchman,’” said Brad Toben, dean of Baylor Law School. “No one is better qualified and more insightful on such a topic than Dean Thomas Hibbs.”

This event is open to the public. Tickets may be purchased in advance for $2 from Meredith Meyer in the dean’s suite at Baylor Law School and for $5 at the door.

The Waco Hippodrome Theatre is located at 724 Austin Ave., and Baylor Law School is located at 1114 S. University Parks Drive.

For more information, contact Meyer at 254-710-1911.

by Ashton Brown, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


Established in 1857, Baylor Law School was the first law school in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Today, the school has more than 7,000 living alumni. It is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Baylor Law School has a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide upon a career in public service. The Law School boasts two governors, members or former members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, two former directors of the FBI, U.S. ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court and members of the Texas Legislature, among its notable alumni. In its law specialties rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Baylor Law’s trial advocacy program as the third best in the nation. Baylor Law School is also ranked No. 51 in the magazine’s 2015 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.” The National Jurist ranks Baylor Law in its top 10 law schools for practical training, and second best value in private legal education in the nation. The Business Insider places Baylor Law among the top 50 law schools in the nation. Learn more at www.baylor.edu/law.

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