Alumnus to deliver Troy University’s Helen Keller Lecture on March 3

Published 3:00 am Saturday, February 28, 2015

Troy University students and community members are invited to attend the annual Hellen Keller Lecture on March 3.

“This is one of the most important and inspirational lectures that we hold on campus every year,” said Andy Ellis, director of university relations. “This event is very important to the chancellor and Mrs. Hawkins because of their continuing support to those who have physical challenges.

“This lecture is designed to raise awareness within our student body about the challenges people face and how they don’t let those challenges dictate their outcome in life.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Film producer and director, Troy University alumnus Mackenzie Westmoreland will be the guest lecturer.

Westmoreland was an English and theatre graduate of Troy University, who became visually impaired due to retinopathy in 2009.

However, despite his loss of eyesight, Westmoreland still obtained high achievements in his field.

Westmorland has co-written two plays. His first feature film, “The Historian,” was the winner of “Best First Feature Film” at the 2014 Long Island International Film Expo. He currently is in pre-production of his second feature film, “The Hollow,” which will shoot this June in his home state of Mississippi.

The Alabama School for the Blind Ensemble will perform “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” at the event. The Ensemble includes: Alyssa Beavers of Pell City, Kyia Long of Dothan, Annie Park of Huntsville, ShaDarea Quinzy of Tuscaloosa, Cynthia Tillery of Jackson and Altea Tinniehill of Talladega.

Moreover, artworks by students from the Alabama School for the Blind and the Alabama School for the Deaf will be on display in the lobby of Smith Hall outside the Claudia Crosby Theater.

Ellis said the event organizers were excited to reach out to the students at ASB and ASD. The organizers recognized the importance of art education, of providing a meaningful opportunity for the students to express themselves.

The lecture will begin at 10 a.m. in the Claudia Crosby Theater on the Troy Campus. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

The Helen Keller Lecture is sponsored by Troy University, along with longtime university supporters including The Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education, the Alabama State Department of Education, the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Alabama Department of Mental Health and the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind.