Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday TED Talk: Ben Dunlap on Passionate Engagement with the World

Ben Dunlap is the tenth president of Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, founded in 1854 with a bequest by a Methodist minister and native of the city, the Rev. Benjamin Wofford. Before coming to Wofford, Dunlap (who is a native of Columbia, South Carolina) had graduated with honors from Sewanee and had been a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, then had taught at Harvard and the University of South Carolina.

A polymath, a novelist, and a former ballet dancer, Dr. Dunlap also is the writer-producer of more than 200 television programs, including an award-winning 19-part series for public television, The Renaissance. He gives outstanding and inspiring commencement speeches, such as this one in 2009 to his own seniors at Wofford. He also regularly teaches seminars at the Aspen Institute.

In the TED talk below, delivered to the Conference in Monterey in 2007, Dr. Dunlap evinces his inimitable and inspirational style in a talk about the "Hungarian influences" in his life -- starting with Holocaust survivor Sandor Teszler, and continuing on to medical innovator Dr. Francis Robicsek. As he does so, you will be transported by his enthusiasm for the achievement of greatness through a life passionately lived:

There is more about Dr. Dunlap on this page, with additional links. His talk may be watched in a high-resolution version at this link, and downloaded in that and other formats from this page.

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