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‘Dead Man Walking’ author Sister Helen Prejean to speak at Louisiana Tech

Sister Helen Prejean of the Congregation of St. Joseph, internationally known for her book “Dead Man Walking,” will share her remarkable story during a special presentation at 7:00 p.m., February 4 in the Howard Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Louisiana Tech University.

Sister Helen Prejean

Sister Helen Prejean

Prejean’s presentation, “Dead Man Walking: The Journey Continues,” is sponsored by Louisiana Tech’s First-Year Experience program and the Union Board, and is a part of the This I Believe Speaker Series.  She will share her beliefs in relation to the death penalty and how those beliefs have dramatically shaped her life.

Admission is free and all students, faculty and staff and members of the community are cordially invited to attend.

Prejean is internationally known for her book, “Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty,” which was later made into a movie for which Susan Sarandon won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Prejean.  Since the time of her first exposure to the death penalty, Prejean has divided her time between educating citizens about the death penalty and counseling individual death row prisoners.

“It is such a pleasure to welcome an internationally celebrated author such as Sister Helen Prejean to the Louisiana Tech campus,” said Stacy Gilbert, director of co-curricular programs and disability services at Louisiana Tech.  “I hope our students take the opportunity to listen to Sister Helen’s journey.  A Louisiana resident, Prejean advocates for a cause in which she strongly believes.

“In her essay from Louisiana Tech’s first-year common read, ‘This I Believe II,’ she states, ‘The only way I know what I really believe is by keeping watch over what I do.’  What a powerful lesson for us all.”

One of the most important components of Louisiana Tech’s First-Year Experience program is the Common Read.  The Common Read directs the This I Believe Speaker Series, which connects with Louisiana Tech’s 2013-2014 Common Read Book selection, “This I Believe II” – a compilation of several 150-word essays from various individuals detailing their core beliefs.

“The purpose of the common read is to unite the freshman class in a common intellectual experience, while imparting information to inform their decisions, ever changing as they negotiate this developmental stage in life,” said Dr. Linda Griffin, dean of student development at Louisiana Tech.  “Sister Helen has contributed to this anthology with her essay about living her beliefs, a sterling example of lessons imparted by example.”

Two of Prejean’s books, “Dead Man Walking” and “Death of Innocents,” are on sale at Barnes and Noble at Louisiana Tech and in the Howard Center for the Performing Arts, prior to the event. A book signing will take place in the lobby of the Howard Center following the event.

For additional information about this event or the First-Year Experience program at Louisiana Tech, please contact the Bulldog Achievement Resource Center at (318) 257-4730.

Written by Will Dearmon – wdearmon@latech.edu