Dorrill speaks on Greek goddess Athena

Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, was the focus of a lecture on Thursday, Feb. 24 by English Associate Professor George Dorrill. The presentation, called “Athena, My Favorite Goddess,” was held in the Southeastern Writing Center in Room 383 of D Vickers Hall at 12:30 p.m.

Many of those in attendance were students who went as a part of their communication 211 class taught by instructor Dianna Laurent.

“I wanted them to see a good example of an informative speech,” said Laurent.

At the start of his lecture, Dorrill began by reading from three books that focused on Athena. He also read lines from the famous epic poem, “The Odyssey,” written by Homer.

Dorrill spoke briefly about the presence of Athena in more modern times. Dorrill recalled that he actually began learning about the gods and goddesses as a child through comic book characters, such as Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel. He recounted the evolution of Wonder Woman, the DC Comics superhero, whose story tells that she was formed from clay and was given life by a breath from Athena.

Dorrill continued his lecture with a small slide show filled with images of the goddess portrayed in sculptures and pottery. He also showed images of the Parthenon in Greece. He described this structure, which is also called the Temple of Athena, as “the most beautiful building in the world.”

Dorrill’s appreciation for the area runs deep. He married his wife while in Greece and even lived there for three years.

“It was very interesting because I thought it was going to be about Athena but it was really about how he came to like Athena,” said freshman nursing major Kristin Karr.

Each semester the Writing Center chooses a theme for lectures and presentations. The theme for this spring, Greek mythology, was the inspiration for this event. Members of the center split themselves into two teams, Apollo vs. Athena. It was these members of the Writing Center staff who were responsible for inviting Dorrill to present this lecture.

“He got really excited about it, and so he started telling us some stories and some background,” said Christopher Cook, the assistant director of the writing center and a graduate student with a focus in creative writing. “I thought Dr. Dorrill sounded like he had a lot of excitement about this topic, so we decided to go ahead and encourage him to come speak and share his knowledge.”