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Archives and Special Collections

Introduction

 

The Fletcher Lecture Series (1985-Present)

The Fletcher Lecture Series is an annually-celebrated event in which a renowned scholar travels to Nicholls State University to give a presentation on their life-long works and achievements as well as the struggles that they had to overcome to get to where they are today. The purpose of the lecture is to inspire young writers to keep pursuing their dream, whether it be to become a best-selling novelist, an award-winning film director, or a poet whose verses have stimulated thousands across the globe. The Fletcher Lecture Series began in 1985, with its pioneer lectors being Robert Penn Warren and his wife, Eleanor Clark. This lecture series was established as a memoriam to Marie Fletcher, who spent fifty-two years in service to the academic community. 

 

Marie Fletcher: A Short Biography

Marie Fletcher devoted her life to the teaching of American literature. After receiving her undergraduate degree in English from Northwestern State in 1938, she taught for ten years in the secondary school system, first in Verda, the North Louisiana town where she was born, and later in Lake Charles. During this time, she began graduate studies, completing the M.A. in English at Louisiana State University in 1944. In 1948, she became a charter member of the faculty of Nicholls Junior College and continued her tenure at Nicholls through its transition from a junior college to a state university, receiving her Ph.D. in 1963 from Louisiana State University.

After teaching at Northwestern for four years, Dr. Fletcher returned to Nicholls, eventually serving during the 1970s as acting head, then head of the Department of English. […] Her dedicated service to the University and to her community led to her receiving distinguished service awards from the Louisiana Council of Teachers of English in 1975 and from the Nicholls Alumni Federation in 1981.

Retiring as Professor Emeritus in 1980, Dr. Fletcher continued to teach part-time and to play an active role in community and professional organizations until her death in 1983. The Marie Fletcher Distinguished  Service Award, presented annually to deserving Nicholls faculty or administrators, and the Fletcher Lecture Series in American Literature, held annually, serve to honor a woman who was both a mentor and scholar, both teacher and friend to many.

 


Photograph of Marie Fletcher taken during her time of service at Nicholls.

 

 

The Fletcher Lecture Series Programs

Click on each cover of the Fletcher Lecture program to view additional photographs. For additional information and resources, please visit the Ellender Memorial Library Archives and Special Collections.

Fletcher Program Covers

1985

1986

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2006

2006

2007

2009

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2017

2018

2019

Pencil Tracks chart

Year Date Lector Lecture Name Speakers

Audiovisual Recordings Available

Recording Format
Year Date Lector Lecture Name Speakers Audiovisual Recordings Available Recording Format
1985 4/18 Robert Penn Warren and Eleanor Clark "Various Readings" O.E. Lovell (welcome); Nolan P. Lecompte (introduction); Glenn R. Swetman, William Bedford Clark, Andrew Lytle, Lewis P. Simpson, George Core, and Walter Sullivan (remarkers) Yes Film
1986 4/18 Andrew Lytle "A Myth in a Garden" Nolan P. LeCompte (welcome and response); George Core (introduction) N/A -
1987 4/3 Cleanth Brooks "The Promise of Provincialism" George Core (introduction) N/A -
1988 3/18 Clyde Edgerton, Hamlin Hill, James Cox "A Panel and a Reading" William Bedford Clark (moderator); George Core (introduction) Yes VHS
1989 3/16 Lewis P. Simpson "Living With Indians: Memoirs of a West Texas Southener" Nolan P. Lecompte (welcome); Mary Morton (introduction) N/A -
1990 4/26 Mary Bess Widden and Nancy Walker, Jane Curry "Programs on Women's Humor" Tim R. Lindsey, III and Nancy Walker (introductions); Nolan P. LeCompte (welcome); Mary Bess Whidden and Jane Curry (panelists); Nancy Walker (moderator) Yes VHS
1991 4/11 Donald E. Stanford "Our Modern Poets: The Struggle for the Survival of Poetry" Nolan P. LeCompte (welcome); David Middleton (introduction) Yes VHS
1992 4/9 Sybil Kein "An American South" N/A N/A -
1993 3/25 Ernest Gaines "A Reading" N/A Yes VHS
1994 4/21 Edgar Bowers "Reading From His Poetry" N/A Yes VHS
1995 3/23 Kevin L. Cope "The Abjuction of Planet X: Anglo-Literature from Sea to Shining Shore" N/A Yes VHS
1996 4/4 X. J. Kennedy "Writing from the Heart: The Personal Essay in a Impersonal World" David Middleton (welcome); Francine Middleton (introduction) Yes VHS
1997 3/20 Lee Smith "Reading From Her Work" David Middleton (welcome); Ann Gresham (introduction) N/A -
1998 3/19 Fred Chappell "The Poetry of Character" David Middleton (welcome); Al Cowan (introduction) N/A -
1999 4/15 Tim Gautreaux "Reading From His Work" David Middleton (welcome); Noel Toups (introduction) N/A -
2000 3/30 Noel Polk "The Trouble with Christianity" David Middleton (welcome); Allen Alexander (introduction) Yes VHS
2001 3/22 Timothy Steele "The Metrical Muse" Daryl Y. Holmes (introduction) N/A -
2002 4/11 Shelley Fisher Fishkin  "The 'Nadir' in Black and White" R. Allen Alexander, Jr. (introduction) Yes VHS
2003 4/28 Maxine Hong Kingston "To Be the Poet" N/A Yes VHS
2004 11/11 Peggy Prenshaw "Uncoverning the 'True Happenings' in Southern Women's Life  Stories" N/A Yes VHS
2006 4/7 Ellen Gilchrist  "The Writing Life" Daryl Y. Holmes (welcome); Jackie Jackson (introduction) N/A -
2006 11/9 Randall Kenan "The Fire This Time: James Baldwin and the Current State of Race and Class in America" N/A N/A -
2007 11/7 Gerald Early N/A N/A N/A -
2009 3/12 Sam Pickering "Seeing Things" Daryl Y. Holems (welcome and introduction) Yes DVD
2009 11/13 Marilynne Robinson "Is There One American Culture?" Linda Stanga (welcome); Dr. Anita Tully (introduction) Yes DVD
2010 10/28 Olympia Vernon  "Take Up Your Bed and Walk: Reflections of a Young Writer" N/A Yes DVD
2011 11/3 Darrell Bourque "In the Company of Others: A Talk and Reading" Jay Udall (introduction) Yes DVD
2012 11/15 Joseph Boyden "Walking to Morning" Linda Stanga (welcome); Marly Robertson (introduction) Yes DVD
2013 10/24 Benh Zeitlin "Culture, Community, and Place: Conversations with Benh Zeitlin" N/A N/A -
2014 11/13 Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy "Etouffee Talk: From Swimmer to Modise to Scholar, the Journey of a Folklorist and Poet" Dr. Richard Eustis (welcome); Dr. Shana Walton (introduction) N/A -
2015 11/5 Ava Haymon N/A David Middleton (introduction and welcome) N/A -
2016 10/27 Nick Spitzer "Louisiana Creoles, Cultural Creolization, and American Routes" Dianne Spencer (welcome); Dr. Shana Walton (introduction) Yes DVD
2017 10/5 Kate Bernheimer "Modern American Fairy Tales" N/A N/A -
2018 11/8 Yuri Herrera N/A N/A N/A -
2019 10/3 Mary Miller N/A N/A N/A -

 

 

The Fletcher Lecture Chef's Benefit (1984-2002)

 "In the fall, you have food for thought, and in the spring, you have an intellectual feast."
 

When the first Fletcher Lecture committee met in 1984, there were no funds to compensate the lector for their time, travel, and lodging. The committee had to come up with a creative and effective way to raise money on their own. They then made the decision to invite a well-known chef to campus to host a chef’s benefit. The chef does not get paid for hosting the benefit but gives a true donation of his/her time, labor, money, and resources. Tickets for the benefit sold for $50 per person since the first Fletcher Chef’s Benefit in 1984. This appealed to many people because they were getting a quality gourmet meal for half the price that it would cost in a restaurant. Up to two hundred tickets were sold annually until its last occasion in 2002.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before the presentation and meal, guests at the Chef's Benefit would mingle while enjoying a glass of wine.

 

The Chef's Benefit Programs/Recipes Pamphlets

Click on the cover image to view the inside of the program.The programs consist of various recipes—including appetizers, entrees, and desserts—which have been expertly perfected by chefs across Louisiana who have participated in the Fletcher Lecture Chef's Benefit. For additional information and resources, please visit the Ellender Memorial Library Archives and Special Collections. 

1984

1985

1986

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

Chef's Benefittable

Year Restaurant Chef/Guest
Year Restaurant Chef/Guest
1984 K-Paul's Chef Paul Prudhomme; Steve Taylor (wine expert)
1985 La Riviera Chefs Goffredo Fraccaro and Chris Kerageorgiou
1986 Lafitte's Landing Restaurant Chef John D. Folse;  Steve Taylor (wine expert)
1987 Patout's Restaurant Chef Alex Patout; Fernand Picou (wine expert)
1988 The Caribbean Room Chef Girard Thabuis
1989 Brigtsen's Chef Frank Brigtsen
1990 Andrea's Chef Andrea Apuzzo
1991 Lafitte's Landing Restaurant Chef John D. Folse
1992 Lafayette Townhouse Chef Marcel Bienvenu
1993 Prudhomme's Cajun Café Chef Enola Prudhomme
1994 Gabrielle Restaurant Chefs Greg and Mary Sonnier
1995 Mike's On The Avenue Chef Mike Fennelley
1996 Graham's Chef Kevin Graham
1997 Dooky Chase Chef Leah Chase
1998 Bon Ton Café Chefs Wayne and Debbie Pierce
1999 N/A N/A
2000 N/A N/A
2001 Martinique Bistro Chef Hubert Sandot
2002 N/A Chef Terrell Brunet

 

 

~Macy Trosclair, Contributor