Deeply concerned by the erosion of truth and integrity in contemporary America, the Gupta Family Foundation endowed the Ethics Lecture Series at Michigan State University in 2020.
The Lecture Series invites prominent ethicists from all walks of life to address the larger student community at the University level on both campuses, including robust discussions of the challenges encountered in everyday life.
In deference to Covid, the maiden lecture was held on a panel discussion via Zoom, entitled, “Personal and National Integrity in a Time of Crisis.” The panelists were:
- Hon. Gerald E. “Gerry” Connolly (D-Virginia) whose career has been marked by a deep commitment to ethics in the context of US history. Cong. Connolly has addressed the Gupta Values Scholars every year during their annual Weekend Retreat in Washington, DC.
- Sarah Longwell, life-long Republican and founder of “Defending Democracy Together” and its project, “Republicans for the Rule of Law”. She is a frequent guest on national new shows and a regular contributor to leading newspapers on the integrity challenges facing the nation. She focuses on solutions for some of the country’s most intractable problems through cross-partisan coalitions.
- Ambassador (ret.) Norman “Norm” Eisen, senior fellow in Governance Studies at Brookings and a globally-recognized authority on law, ethics, and anti-corruption. He served as the Ethics Czar in the Obama White House and was the U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic from 2011 to 2014.
The Series is being revived as University-wide, in-person events starting in 2022. The first lecture in the renewed series will be held on October 12, 2022 at Michigan State University, headlined by Ambassador Norm Eisen. This will be followed by a university-wide lecture, also by Ambassador Norm Eisen at University of Michigan in Spring 2023.
Following these general talks on ethics, future lectures will focus more narrowly on ethics in the various professions.
Coincidently, Michigan State University is establishing the MSU Ethics Institute which will operate at the university level. The institute will coordinate the university-wide educational and research initiatives to amplify the strengths of existing applied ethics centers and foster the growth of new centers on campus. The institute is designed to support the growth of existing initiatives and foster the development of new college-level or discipline-based endeavors to promote ethics among the student community.