The 22nd Annual Frieze Lecture Series at the Rock Island Public Library will note the 50th anniversary of the “Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities” at Augustana College, and the 40th anniversary of the assassination of one of Augustana’s most extraordinary graduates, by considering the nature and impact of student activism here and around the world.

Free and open to the public, the Frieze Lectures begin at 2:00 pm on the last two Tuesdays in October (22 and 29) and the first two Tuesdays in November (5 and 12), all in the community room of Rock Island’s Downtown Library, 401 19th Street. The elegant frieze which wraps around the Frederick Weyerhaeuser-funded library building is engraved with the names of some of the world’s great 19th century writers and poets. The stories behind the names on this frieze were celebrated in the first lectures in 1998. The series has continued since as a partnership between Augustana College and its hometown public library.


For 2019, Frieze presentations include:

Tuesday, October 22: Dr. Robert Wengronowitz, visiting assistant professor in sociology, anthropology and social welfare, will consider the global phenomenon that is the School Strike for Climate Action, begun by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg.


Tuesday, October 29: Dr. Monica Smith, vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, will speak on the changing nature of activism, and how students engage in the Digital Age with local, national and global movements.


Tuesday, November 5: Vickie Phipps, associate professor of art and graphic design, will describe a remarkable shift within the art community in broaden its focus from the “radical” to the “radicant,” and the impact that’s having on activism.


Tuesday, November 12: Dr. Thomas Tredway, past college president and professor emeritus of history, will share the story of Bill Sampson, a 1970 graduate of Augustana who left a major mark on the college, then went on to confront the Ku Klux Klan in Greensboro, N.C., in a struggle that would lead to his murder on November 4, 1979. This year’s Frieze Lectures are dedicated to his memory.


Presentations begin at 2:00 p.m. and are free to the public. Complimentary coffee and  conversation about the day’s topic follow each lecture.


For more details about events at the Rock Island Library, call 309.732.7323, follow the Rock Island Library calendar on, or check the online calendar at


Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.