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Travel Lecture Series

As the Travel Lecture Series at Washington University in St. Louis approaches its 120th year, we invite alumni and friends of the university to embark on a tour of the most stunning corners of the world. The films scheduled for this year's season will whisk you away on exclusive journeys that can’t be found in any guidebook, introducing you to little-known aspects of culture, geography and history. Join us and satisfy your wanderlust as you traverse the globe with the Travel Lecture Series.
You have your choice of two seatings nightly: one at 6:00 p.m. and one at 8:30 p.m. Season subcriptions are $28 per person for a single and $56 for a double subscription.  Individual show tickets may be purchased at the door for $5 each. For questions please call the Office of Alumni Relations at (314) 935-7378.
Due to construction on campus this year, please read the following attachments that refer to parking for the 2017-18 Series.  Click here to view the updated Parking Map.
Click here to view Parking Procedures.
Complimentary subscriptions are available to William Greenleaf Eliot Society members. You must request this benefit from the Office of Alumni and Development Programs. We remind you that IRS regulations require that Eliot Society members deduct the fair market value of any benefits received as a result of your membership from the total amount of your tax-deductible gift. Please call (314) 935-8096 or order tickets online.

Travel Lecture Series Committee

Eve Ballman, BS '54, MS '83
Sondra Harrison, AB '61, MA '65
Wayne Harrison, AB '62
Phil Hellwege, BS '55, MBA '62
Walt May, BS '54

2017-2018 Schedule

  • Friday, October 6, 2017 - Germany and Switzerland
  • Friday, November 3, 2017 - "Mona Lisa is Missing"
  • Friday, February 9, 2018 - Umbria: The Heart of Italy
  • Friday, March 2, 2018 - East African Sojourn
  • Friday, April 6, 2018 - Guatemala: The Land of the Maya
  • Friday, May 11, 2018 - The Heart of San Francisco

All shows will be in the Laboratory Sciences Building, Room 300.  To reserve your season subscription, please call (314) 935-7378.

About Our Shows and Film Artists:
Please click on the film artist name to read bio 

Friday, October 6, 2017
Germany and Switzerland – Marlin Darrah
Experience the beautiful and varied landscapes and structures throughout Germany and Switzerland with Marlin Darrah. In Munich, we visit boisterous markets and Baroque palaces while office workers surf in the Isar River. Heading into the foothills of the Alps, we tour the fairytale castles of Mad King Ludwig, cross into Tirol to explore desolate castle ruins, and climb to the top of the Zugspitze, the highest point in Germany. Cruising the Rhine River, we dodge riverboat traffic and the legendary Loreley. After climbing castle towers and descending into dungeons, we relax with Rhine wine and tour Burg Eltz, a lived-in castle where the noble lady still puts out fresh flowers. We travel to the walled town of Rothenburg to see Germany’s best wood carving, a vivid dose of medieval punishment, and a tour with the night watchman of the town’s lamp-lit ramparts.
Friday, November 3, 2017
"Mona Lisa is Missing" – Joe Medeiros
Did you know the “Mona Lisa” was stolen and that she was missing for nearly two and a half years? Find out how and why in “Mona Lisa is Missing,” a fun, fascinating film about the unthinkable 1911 theft of Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece—the “greatest art heist in history.” Vincenzo Peruggia, a simple Italian workman, stole the painting in 1911 and had the “Mona Lisa” all to himself, hidden in Paris for nearly two and a half years. The film tells the tale of Joe Medeiros’ 35-year obsession to find the truth about why and how Vincenzo Peruggia stole the iconic painting. In 2008, Medeiros discovered that Peruggia’s only child, 84-year-old Celestina, was living in the town where her father had been born. Celestina, like Medeiros, wanted to know the truth about her father’s theft, and she gave Medeiros her blessing to bring her back the answers no matter what the facts would reveal.
Friday, February 9, 2018
Umbria: The Heart of Italy - Tom Sterling
In the geologic center of Italy lies its only land-locked state, Umbria. Fabled Florence and Rome are located within the neighboring states of Tuscany and Lazio, respectively. In Umbria are the delightful and alluring hill towns Perugia, Orvieto, Spoleto, Panicale, Castiglione Del Lago, and Assisi. The narrow, winding streets, tight passageways, and back alleys of our home base in this heartland adventure, Citta Della Pieve, beg to be explored. Citta Della Pieve is especially noted as the birth place of the great Renaissance painter Pietro Vanucci, known as Pietro Perugino.  Visitors delight in encounters with master potters, street chefs, and accomplished local musicians. In valleys below the towns, we find traces of the ancient Roman legions and their archnemesis, Hannibal Barca. We highlight Barca’s story with a visit to one of his most celebrated battlefields on the north shore of Italy’s largest inland lake, Tracimeno.
Friday, March 2, 2018
East African Sojourn – Jessica Wunderlich
The Republic of South Sudan, the world’s newest country, is known for conflict, famine, and tribal warfare, while its neighbor to the south, Uganda, has moved beyond its sordid past with grace and open arms, becoming a nation of “the friendliest people in the world.” In an area of the world where extreme violence coexists with extraordinary compassion, one cannot help but be moved by the tangled ballet of opposing forces. On this journey across East Africa, we witness the historic stewardship of a fertile land and way of life unique to a place where a grandmother can recall the story of her great grandmother’s connection to the land. From the thatched-roof mud huts of South Sudan to the languid shores of Lake Victoria, we follow the path of a small group of inspiring and determined young orphan girls working toward earning an education against all odds
Friday, April 6, 201
Guatemala: The Land of the Maya Brent Winebrenner
Guatemala’s stunning natural and cultural diversity is beginning to emerge from the shadows following a long civil war. It is a land with deep roots anchored in the mysteries of the lost kingdoms of the Maya. “Guatemala: The Land of the Maya” begins by exploring the achievements of the ancient Maya with visits to fabled El Mirador, Tikal, and Yaxhá. In this fascinating context, we examine historic tensions between Mayan traditions and Spanish colonialism using the religious pageantry of Antigua’s Easter Week celebration as a cinematic backdrop. We explore contemporary Mayan culture in Lake Atitlán where weavers spin cotton by hand and rely on the natural dyes and backstrap looms to create world-class textiles. This documentary provides important context for understanding and exploring the fascinating land of the Maya.
Friday, May 11, 2018
The Heart of San Francisco - Sandy Mortimer
Capturing the magic of the City by the Bay is the object of Sandy Mortimer’s presentation. Collaborating with fourth-generation Californian friends, this exploration goes beyond the tourist sites that draw almost 20 million visitors a year and ventures into many of San Francisco’s more than 40 neighborhoods. We explore and reveal claims to fame, local lore, and much more in Fisherman’s Wharf, North Beach, Chinatown, Embarcadero, Japantown, Union Square, Mission District, Haight-Ashbury, Golden Gate Park, Presidio Civic Center, Nob Hill, Alcatraz Prison, and other neighborhoods. The wonderful, exuberant history of the city and the only-in-San-Francisco experience come alive in this presentation, which also includes rare footage of the 1906 earthquake.



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