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John and Mary Sue Oehler Lecture for Educational Leadership

One of the School of Education’s signature events, the John and Mary Sue Oehler Lecture for Educational Leadership brings internationally-renowned speakers to campus to provide their expertise on key issues in education.

Created in honor of Dr. John S. Oehler, who served as dean of the School of Education from 1985-2002, this annual lecture is free and open to all VCU faculty, staff and students as well as the general public. Previous presenters have included Dr. Peter Smagorinsky, a professor of language and literacy education at the University of Georgia; and the dean of William & Mary’s School of Education, Dr. Virginia L. McLaughlin.

This year’s event

This year’s Oehler Lecture, held in the University Student Commons on Oct. 1, 2015, featured James Ryan, J.D., dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Ryan’s keynote address, titled, “Five Miles Away, A World Apart: Five Years Later”, sees the author revisit his critically-acclaimed book, which explores the gap between urban and suburban schools by using two Richmond-area high schools as examples.

In his presentation, Ryan discusses what has changed, as well as what problems remain, in the five years since he published the book.


To catch up on some of the previous Oehler Lecture presentations, watch the embedded playlist at the top of the page or, for individual videos, select the corresponding link from the list:

Previous lectures