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Friday, September 22, 2023


Honored Lence Master offers lecture series

The professor emeritus of political philosophy and dean emeritus of James Madison Honors College at Michigan State University has been selected to serve as Lence Master Teacher and will be a guest lecturer in a series hosted by the Honors College.

“It’s wonderful that William B. Allen is this year’s Lence Master Teacher for all the reasons one might think, but also because he was friends with professor Lence for many years,” said Terry Hallmark, a faculty member of the Honors College and Department of Political Science.

“I look forward to visiting and speaking with the community at UH next week, and especially the students and colleagues of Ross Lence, my late friend and colleague,” Allen said. Courtesy of

Through the Ross M. Lence Master Teacher Residency, the Honors College celebrates the life and legacy of the political science professor Lence, who was at UH from 1971 to 2006 when he passed away from pancreatic cancer.

His legacy has become this program, which invites a renowned scholar to UH every year to lead a series of lectures and discussions with staff, students, faculty and friends.

A team of friends, alumni and colleagues of Dr. Lence, who meet regularly to organize activities and speakers for the Lence Program, choose a group of professors worthy of the “master teacher” position.

The Lence committee then passes these candidates to the dean of the Honors College, who makes the final decision with numerous Honors faculty and staff.

“Ross’s students and colleagues reunite every year to celebrate his legacy,” said William Monroe, Dean of the Honors College. “He was a provocateur of the intellect. He had a reverent comic style that naturally appealed to young people and to people young at heart. We want that kind of spirit to live on and to introduce new generations to the Lence legacy.”

Allen, through his published works and lectures, such as “Re-Thinking Uncle Tom: The Political Philosophy of H.B. Stowe,” shares Lence’s passion for provoking the mind.

“I regard this as a fine opportunity to benefit from exchanges with the many people who take as seriously as Ross Lence did the continuing conversation about the contours and purposes of Unites States political principles and practices,” said Allen.

“In his ‘Union and Liberty’ Dr. Lence reminded us all to pay due heed to the tradition of contested interpretations of our political principles. That is the spirit I look forward to experiencing at UH next week.”

Allen will be visiting the UH campus from Jan. 30 to Feb. 4 to deliver a series of four lectures. All lectures are free and open to the community.

Along with faculty and staff, students are looking forward to the event. Honors students in the Human Situation class are encouraged to attend and may receive extra credit upon the discretion of their discussion leader.

“I have heard phenomenal things about Dr. Allen and am eager to hear his insightful opinions,” said Diane Stout, political science junior and Lence Program intern. “This series has such a potential to impact and inspire that I cannot help but be excited to participate in the knowledge of Dr. Allen and legacy of Dr. Lence.”

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