Organizers of Montana State University's Convocation 2015 said about 2,000 tickets will be made available to the public on Monday, Aug. 3, for a lecture by Rebecca Skloot, author of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”
Skloot will lecture to MSU's new students at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26, in MSU's Brick Breeden Fieldhouse. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Skloot’s lecture will be followed by a question and answer period in which Skloot and members of Lacks’ surviving family will answer questions from the audience.
"Convocation is a joyous event during which we welcome students and faculty to Montana State University,” said MSU President Waded Cruzado. “This year we have an opportunity to listen to Rebecca Skloot, author of the New York Times’ bestseller ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,’ a fascinating book and a very relevant one for our mission as a research university. Skloot, accompanied by members of the Lacks family, will tell the story of the woman whose cells were harvested without her knowledge and used for discoveries that launched a scientific revolution that has changed our world.”
Lacks was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells were taken from her without her knowledge in 1951, a year before her death from cancer. Her cells, now known as HeLa, have been replicated and bought and sold by the billions. HeLa cells have been used in groundbreaking cancer research, the battle against AIDS and were the breakthrough tool for gene mapping and more. Yet, Lacks remains virtually unknown, and her family has not profited from the multi-million dollar industry that has arisen from the use of her unusually prolific cells.
Convocation tickets, which are free, will be available at 10 a.m. at all Bobcat ticket outlets including: the Bobcat Ticket Office, Rosauers, the AskUs Desk at the SUB, by calling 994-CATS or (800)325-7328 and online at www.ticketswest.com. There will be a handling charge for tickets ordered over the phone, online or at Rosauers. There will be a limit of four tickets per person. Tickets for large groups of people are available for a small fee. More information is available at the Bobcat Ticket Office.
Members of MSU's freshman class have reserved seats and will not need tickets to attend the lecture. All other students may use any of the ticket outlets to access tickets. At the time they request tickets, MSU faculty and staff may request tickets located in an area designated for MSU faculty and staff by visiting the Bobcat Ticket Office or calling 994-CATS.
Skloot and the Lacks family members will also present a master class for MSU students at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 27. Students who are interested in attending the class are required to read the book and are invited to apply for the master class online by 5 p.m. Aug. 14.
“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” is the 2015 MSU freshmen book selection. It is also the 2015 “One Book, One Bozeman” selection.
Skloot and the Lacks family appearance is sponsored by the MSU Office of the President and the Office of the Provost. ASMSU, the MSU Leadership Institute and the MSU Alumni Foundation have provided additional sponsorship for the event. For more information, go to http://www.montana.edu/convocation/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Singel (406) 994-4371, email@example.com