The Closing Remarks I Did Not Deliver

Last night, Park University welcomed Dr. Robert Jervis, Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics at Columbia University, to Kansas City for the 22nd Annual Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann Distinguished Guest Lecture. Unfortunately, following Dr. Jervis’ remarks, a small portion of the program was missed. We wanted to invite Erik Bergrud (’94) to share his remarks. Erik serves as associate vice president for constituent engagement at Park University, and worked for Dr. Hauptmann from 1992-98.

So a funny thing happened at the end of Wednesday night’s Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann Distinguished Guest Lecture at the Kansas City Central Public Library. I was set to deliver closing remarks, but following an abbreviated question and answer session with speaker Robert Jervis, the audience began filing out. Without anyone remaining to hear me, I slowly departed as well.

I had not prepared formal remarks but would like to express what Dr. Hauptmann would think about the evening’s events were he still alive.

I told Dr. Jervis that Dr. Hauptmann would have relished the opportunity to discuss Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man, cited in the lecture and a required textbook for Park MPA students in the early 1990s. Dr. Hauptmann would have been honored to have his name associated with Dr. Jervis.

Dr. Hauptmann would have been proud to know that three organizations, to which he had a powerful connection, co-sponsored the event.

Finally, he would have been amazed to see such a large turnout at the lecture. When he and I staged the inaugural lecture on the Parkville campus in 1993, we frankly did not know what to expect. We did not anticipate the growth of the lecture series, now in its 22nd year.

I want to thank:

  • Park President Michael Droge for his continued support;
  • Hauptmann School Dean Laurie DiPadova-Stocks and MPA Program Director Becky Stuteville for their tremendous stewardship of the lecture series; and
  • Vice President of University Advancement Laurie McCormack who had the vision to partner with the Kansas City Public Library four years ago, dramatically expanding the series’ visibility and audience.

While listening to Dr. Jervis, I sat next to Natalie Hauptmann, granddaughter of my mentor and the series’ namesake, who now works at the university her grandfather served so honorably for 52 years. The values and principles which Dr. Hauptmann passionately upheld live on in Natalie, the Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann Distinguished Guest Lecture, the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs, and his beloved Park. Fides et labor, my teacher.

Panoramic picture of lecture audience.

A large crowd attended the 22nd Annual Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann Distinguished Guest Lecture on Wednesday evening.