CORVALLIS - Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an author and attorney whose work focuses on the protection of the environment, will deliver the annual Gov. Tom McCall Memorial Lecture at Oregon State University on Wednesday, March 1.
Kennedy's talk, "Our Environmental Legacy," will begin at 7:30 p.m. in OSU's LaSells Stewart Center. It is free and open to the public.
Almost 34 years after his father came to OSU for a political speech, Kennedy Jr. will visit the university campus with a message of his own - a call for stronger protection of the environment. That message echoes throughout his work. Kennedy serves as ch ief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeepers, and has been credited with leading the fight to clean up the Hudson River and to protect the water supply of New York City.
Among his activities: arguing cases to expand citizen access to the shoreline, and suing sewage treatment plants to force compliance with the Clean Water Act.
An attorney and faculty member with the Pace University School of Law in New York, Kennedy also has been active in environmental issues outside the U.S. He has assisted several indigenous tribes in Canada and Latin America in successfully negotiating tre aties protecting traditional homelands.
Kennedy has written articles for The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, Esquire, Village Voice, The Washington Post and other publications, and he co-wrote a book called "The Riverkeepers" in 1997 with Hudson Riverkeeper John Cron in.
He is a licensed master falconer and, whenever possible, he pursues his lifelong passion of white-water paddling. Kennedy has organized and led several white-water expeditions in Latin America, including the first descents on three little-known rivers in Peru, Colombia and Venezuela.
OSU's McCall Lecture honors the memory of the late Oregon governor and his commitment to public service, journalism and environmental protection. In 1975, shortly after completing his second term as governor, McCall came to OSU to teach journalism and po litical science. The College of Liberal Arts established the McCall lectureship in 1982.
"Kennedy has devoted much of his life to cleaning up the Hudson River, and his visit to Corvallis is a tribute to Gov. McCall's efforts to clean up the Willamette River," said Kathleen Dean Moore, a professor of philosophy and chair of the McCall Lecture Committee.
"He has a reputation as a dynamic, inspiring and, some say, charismatic speaker," she added. Previous McCall lecturers have included Washington Post columnists David Broder and William J. Raspberry; CBS News reporter Terry Drinkwater; former Idaho governor and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Cecil Andrus; Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber; and U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden.
The Kennedy visit coincides with the 100th anniversary of political science at Oregon State. The lecture is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, the Program for Ethics, Science and the Environment in the Department of Philosophy, OSU Convocations an d Lectures Committee, and the departments of Political Science and Fisheries and Wildlife.