Bozeman Lectures: 10 years of "healthy debate"

Nearly 30 years after her retirement, the late Adda Bozeman continues to challenge and inform the SLC community, thanks to a speaker series in her name. This year, the Adda Bozeman lecture series, endowed by friends and family of the international relations specialist who taught at SLC from 1947 to 1977, celebrated its tenth anniversary.

“The series has attempted to explore some of Adda’s multifaceted interests in the realm of international affairs,” says Jefferson Adams, a longtime member of the history faculty who holds the Adda Bozeman Chair in International Relations. “We began with the vanishing Buddhist kingdoms of the Himalayas and ended up last fall examining the aftermath of the Iraq War.”

A renowned scholar, Bozeman was avidly engaged in the study of the Middle East, Russia and Southeast Asia, among other critical areas, and wrote extensively about the interactions of cultures from her earliest book (Regional Conflicts Around Geneva, published in 1949) to her last (Strategic Intelligence in Statecraft, 1992). Guest lecturers have been drawn from both the academic and nonacademic worlds-reflecting Adda’s dual commitment to scholarship and public policy-and have included two of her former donnees.

“Since my mother’s death more than twelve years ago, the lectures in her honor have given me and my family great pride,” says Anya Bozeman Taylor ’63. “She would have had much to say about them and would have linked their pursuits in an arcing theory. I wish she could have been present at all of them-especially, perhaps, the wonderful lecture [by Sir John Compton; see sidebar] on Haiti: in addition to studying the country, she spent her honeymoon there in 1952.”

Adams sees the Bozeman series as a key component of campus life. “The lectures, I think, help to underscore an important part of the College’s tradition less well known to the general public, and also present some viewpoints that make for a healthier debate on campus. It is perhaps a mark of the series’ success that I’m frequently asked who next year’s speaker will be.”

Jefferson Adams with the late Adda Bozeman in the early 1970s.

Jefferson Adams and Adda Bozeman

Bozeman Lecturers, 1996 – 2006


Barbara Crossette, international journalist and author


John Esposito, Professor of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University


Reuel Gerecht, former C.I.A. officer


Lisa Anderson ’72, Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University


Cynthia Shepherd Perry, Former U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone


W. Michael Reisman, Professor of Law at Yale University


Clifford D. May ’73, President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies


H.E. Riaz H. Khokhar, former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan


Sir John Compton, former Prime Minister of St. Lucia


William Shawcross, international journalist and author