Belton, Texas - The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor announced today that the 2020 McLane Lecture scheduled for Wednesday, March 18, has been canceled in response to growing concerns about protecting the health of all members of the UMHB community. The lecture, which this year would feature Apollo 16 Astronaut Charlie Duke as the speaker, was expected to draw an audience of more than 1,000 to the arena of the Frank and Sue Mayborn Campus Center. Amid rising concern about the possible spread of the coronavirus in Texas, UMHB administrators decided Thursday to extend the school’s Spring Break by another week, canceling all classes scheduled for the week of March 16-20 and asking students to postpone their return to the campus. The cancellation of all events scheduled for that week was included in that decision.
“The McLane Lecture is an event we look forward to every year at UMHB,” said UMHB President Randy O’Rear. “Through it, Elizabeth and Drayton McLane have brought amazing speakers to our campus, giving our students opportunities to hear outstanding leaders from all walks of life speak about their ideas, experiences, and faith. The decision to cancel the lecture was difficult, but we knew it was the right thing to do in light of the impact that COVID-19 could make on our community.
“Luckily, General Duke has offered to come to the campus at a later date, so we will be working with him and with the McLane family to reschedule his lecture once the danger of the pandemic has passed,” O’Rear added. “We appreciate his understanding of the situation and the willingness of Drayton and Elizabeth to bring him to our campus at a later time when our students can be there and benefit from his lecture.”