Dr. Abraham Verghese speaks to capacity crowd in finale of ILS Spring Lecture Series featuring Caroline Kennedy

A capacity of crowd of more than 850 filled Angelico Hall on April 27 as Dr. Abraham Verghese, Professor for the Theory and Practice of Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Senior Associate Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, was guest speaker in the “One Book One Marin” presentation at Dominican University of California.

Dr. Verghese’s appearance, which was in conversation with KQED’s Michael Krasny, was the final presentation in Dominican’s Institute for Leadership Studies’  2011 Spring Lecture Series. This year the series, a cooperative effort with Book Passage, featured an impressive list of guest lecturers that included Caroline Kennedy, Suze Orman, Ted Danson (in conversation with Peter Coyote) and Jodi Picoult.

Kennedy, daughter of the 35th President of the United States, addressed a near capacity crowd of 820 in Angelico Hall on April 13. She engaged the audience with stories about her family and friends and their love of poetry. She even poked fun at  her age.

"My youngest son (John) is going off to college," Kennedy said, as the crowd laughed with her. "I know. I wish it was a place like this (Dominican University)."

Kennedy was inspired to write her new poetry book,  "She Walks In Beauty: A Woman’s Journey Through Poems," after turning 50.

 Dr. Verghese closed the curtain on the ILS 2011 Spring Lecture Series in front of a standing-room only audience. He and Krasny discussed Cutting for Stone, the 2011 One Book One Marin selection and Dr. Verghese’s first novel.  The New York Times’ bestselling author, known for his caring of AIDS patients, continues to emphasize the importance of bedside medicine and physical examination in a time in medicine when the use of advanced technology frequently results in the patient in the bed having less attention than the patient data in the computer.

In “Cutting For Stone,” Dr. Verghese writes about the saga of twin brothers, Marion and Shiva Stone, born of a tragic union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother’s death and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution.  Moving from Addis Ababa to New York City and back again, Cutting for Stone is an unforgettable story of love and betrayal, medicine and ordinary miracles—and two brothers whose fates are forever intertwined.

Dr. Verghese was accompanied on stage by Krasny, host of KQED's award-winning Forum, a news and public affairs program that concentrates on the arts, culture, health, business, and technology. Forum is one of KQED's most-popular shows and the nation's most-listened-to locally produced public radio talk show.

Since 1970, Krasny has been a professor of English at San Francisco State University and has taught at Stanford University and University of California, San Francisco.

The lectures series at Dominican is a longtime partnership between Dominican’s ILS and Book Passage, which identifies and facilitates guest lecturers. Book Passage has served the Bay Area for more than 30 years,  providing the community with an array of author events, writing and language classes, and highly-respected, annual conferences. Book Passage has two stores, one in Corte Madera and a second in the San Francisco Ferry Building.

For more information on Dominican’s spring lecture series or to join its mailing list, call (415) 458-3202 or e-mail [email protected].

The Institute for Leadership Studies is a center for leadership development at Dominican to help students, faculty, staff and community leaders become better leaders. It seeks to facilitate positive individual, organizational and societal change, engaged citizenship and socially responsible leadership.