Guest Lecture Series

The John Hutson Memorial Guest Lecture Series was established in the fall of 1996 in conjunction with Brentwood School's 25th Anniversary. It is named in memory of former History and Political Science Chair, John Hutson, a passionate historian and beloved teacher. The series presents speakers each year, providing Brentwood School students, parents, faculty, alumni, and community members with unique opportunities to hear from—and in some cases, meet with—highly notable, world-renowned authorities in literature, journalism, science, the arts, history, philosophy, and politics. There are two events each year, one that is open to the community, and one that presents a visiting scholar to students and faculty during assembly and classroom sessions. These scholar visits are one of the ways Brentwood School fulfills its mission of promoting personal and intellectual growth for all members of our community.


East Campus Gym, 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
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Born and raised in the Boston area, Amor Towles graduated from Yale College and received an MA in English from Stanford University. His thesis at Stanford, a short story cycle called The Temptations of Pleasure, was published in 1989 in Paris Review No. 112.

Mr. Towles's first novel, Rules of Civility, which was published in 2011, was a New York Times bestseller and was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the best books of 2011. The book has been translated into over 15 languages, its French translation receiving the 2012 Prix Fitzgerald. In the fall of 2012, the novel was optioned by Lionsgate to be made into a feature film.

Mr. Towles's second novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, which was published in 2016, has been on the New York Times bestseller list for over 52 weeks in hardcover and was named one of the best books of 2016 by the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the San Francisco Chronicle, and NPR. The book is being translated into over twenty languages including Russian. In the summer of 2017, the novel was optioned by EOne and the British director, Tom Harper, to be made into a 6-8 hour miniseries.

Having worked as an investment professional for over twenty years, Mr. Towles now devotes himself full time to writing in Manhattan, where he lives with his wife and two children.

Past Lecturers

Maya Angelou

Doris Kearns Goodwin
Frank McCourt
Jeanne Kirkpatrick
Edward Albee
Leah Rabin
Kurt Vonnegut
Amy Tan
Leon Panetta
Joyce Carol Oates
William Styron
Tony Kushner
Edward O. Wilson
Stephen Carter
Alice Walker
Alice Sebold
Eric Schlosser
Margaret Atwood
Jhumpa Lahiri
Daniel Pink
Lisa See
Ray Kurzweil
Ira Glass
Malcolm Gladwell
Khaled Hosseini
Gloria Steinem
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Erik Larson

Past Visiting Scholars

Clayborne Carson

Billy Collins
Harvey Cox
Wade Davis
Gus Lee
Luis Rodriguez
Orville Schell
Tobias Wolff
Mark Mathabane

Brentwood School was pleased to welcome Erik Larson to our campus on Sunday, January 29, 2017.