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New York Times best-seller inspires in successful relaunch of lecture series

New York Times best seller inspires in successful relaunch of lecture series

Robert M. Edsel, #1 New York Times best-selling author of “The Monuments Men,” helped relaunch the Shepperd Leadership Institute’s Distinguished Lecture Series with resounding success.

The Monuments Men were the World War II scholar-soldiers who protected and saved tens of thousands of artistic treasures from the destruction of war and theft by the Nazis. Robert Edsel shared their true story and their ongoing mission.

“I cherished the opportunity to participate in the Shepperd Leadership Institute Distinguished Lecture Series and share with my fellow Texans the inspiring story of the Monuments Men and Women,” Edsel said. “Their heroism and nobility of purpose represented the very best of our nation.”

An estimated 350 – 400 people attended the event on September 27, at the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center.

“I know Robert Edsel expanded minds in our community and left just about everyone inspired,” said Shelby Landgraf, Director of Community Engagement at UTPB’s Shepperd Leadership Institute. “His commitment to this cultural cause is second to none, as he stayed to autograph his books until the last guest exited.”

Photo credit: James Durbin, The Oilfield Photographer

Edsel estimates billions of dollars’ worth of prized art remains missing today. Through the Monuments Men and Women Foundation, Edsel and his team continue the search and return of missing art and cultural objects to its rightful owners. This year, the foundation created the WWII Most Wanted Art deck of playing cards to highlight the on-going search and to ask for the public’s help – it’s offering a cash reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the recovery of each of the 52 most wanted pieces of art.

“I was touched by the depth of Robert Edsel’s presentation of the Monuments Men,” said Brenna Edwards, who attended and donated to UTPB to support the event. “We thank the Shepperd Leadership Institute for bringing such a quality speaker to the Permian Basin.”

Mike Massimino, former NASA astronaut, best-selling author, and TV personality, will be the next speaker. The Mike Massimino Distinguished Lecture is set for Thursday, March 30, 2023, 7:00 p.m. at the Wagner Noël.

The Distinguished Lecture Series aims to inspire learning, connection, and leadership across West Texas. It’s a cornerstone program of the Shepperd Leadership Institute at UT Permian Basin. The Distinguished Lectures are open to the public and free of charge thanks to generous donations from the Shepperd Inner Circle.

Photo credit: James Durbin, The Oilfield Photographer

Photo credit: James Durbin, The Oilfield Photographer

Photo credit: James Durbin, The Oilfield Photographer

Photo credit: James Durbin, The Oilfield Photographer