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Inaugural Marjorie Pay Hinckley Lecture at BYU set for Feb. 10

The inaugural Marjorie Pay Hinckley Lecture at Brigham Young University will be given by James Q. Wilson, the Ronald Reagan Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University, on Thursday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. in 250 Spencer W. Kimball Tower.

The title of the lecture is "Marriage and Commitment." A reception will follow the lecture in the Kimball Tower.

The lecture is part of the Marjorie Pay Hinckley Chair in Social Work and the Social Sciences. The event is free and the public is welcome.

"BYU is honored to celebrate the legacy and example of Sister Hinckley," said President Cecil O. Samuelson.

Wilson, who taught government at Harvard and UCLA for many years, is the author of 15 books. Among his most recent works is "The Marriage Problem: How Our Culture Has Weakened Families." Wilson's book and research examine the causes and consequences of the decline in marriage and intact families.

As with his other scholarly work, Wilson is not afraid to challenge assumptions and explore broader consequences.

Wilson has been widely recognized for his scholarship and public service. President George W. Bush presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, in 2003.

The chair was announced on the BYU campus on the occasion of the 66th wedding anniversary of President and Sister Hinckley. Funding for the chair came from BYU alumni and friends.

"The chair was created to honor the service and contributions of this wonderful woman whose humor and honesty touched so many," said College of Family, Home and Social Sciences Dean David B. Magleby.

A committee of faculty from the School of Social Work and College of Family Home and Social Sciences did the work of structuring the goals and programs of the chair.

A centerpiece of the chair is an annual university lecture. Other components include funds for mentored learning projects for students, research conferences, visiting scholars and outreach efforts in the community. The focus of the chair reflects Sister Hinckley's concern for strengthening families, encouraging the development of women, fostering better parenting and helping children.

In many ways, the Hinckley's marriage epitomized the ideal marriage, says Yevon G. Romney, coordinator of special events and outreach for the College of Family, Home and Social Sciences.

For information or questions regarding the Marjorie Pay Hinckley Chair, please call Yevon Romney at 801-422-1355,

Writer: Devin Knighton

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