The F.E.L. Priestley Lecture was endowed in 1987, in memory of Professor Priestley, whose fifty-year academic career began as a teacher in a one-room school in Pine Coulee, and ended when he retired from University College, University of Toronto, in 1972.
The purpose of the lecture series is to invite internationally renowned scholars and authors to campus to further the tradition of the humane letters, in particular in the disciplines of the history of ideas, literature, philosophy, and history.
It provides an opportunity to advance the humanist tradition and intellectual values that Professor Priestley cherished and promoted in his works and in the classroom. The series is guided by a written Terms of Reference.