2023 Celebration

Celebrating the Legacy of Walter H. Capps:

Professor, Humanist, Public Servant


The Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life is pleased to present a special two-day series of events on November 10 & 11, 2023, to celebrate and commemorate the legacy of Walter Capps in scholarship, teaching, the humanities, and public service. All events held at UCSB and livestreamed, free and open to the public! We hope you can join us!

Livestream panels on our YouTube channel.

Share memories of Walter Capps on our Facebook page.

Printed Program available here.

Parking Map


Schedule of Events


Friday, November 10

McCune Conference Room (HSSB 6020)

10:00am - 12:00pm

The Value of the Humanities

A panel on Walter Capps’ contributions to the humanities and the value of the humanities today, featuring prominent leaders of humanities organizations

David Marshall, Executive Vice Chancellor, UCSB

James Quay, former Executive Director, California Council for the Humanities

Ralph Lewin, Executive Director, Peter E. Haas Jr. Family Fund

Phoebe Stein, President, Federation of State Humanities Councils


12:00pm - 1:00pm



1:00pm - 3:45pm

Walter Capps and the Study of Religion

A panel on Walter Capps’ scholarly contributions and the study of religion today, featuring renowned scholars of religion who were Walter’s graduate students

Edward Linenthal, Professor Emeritus of History, Indiana University Bloomington

Wendy M. Wright, Professor Emerita of Theology, Creighton University

Tomoko Masuzawa, Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature and History, University of Michigan

Julie Ingersoll, Professor of Religious Studies, University of North Florida

Sarah McFarland Taylor, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Northwestern University


4:00pm - 5:30pm

Public Reception


Saturday, November 11

Campbell Hall

9:00am - 10:30am

Remembering the Vietnam War Class

A panel on Walter Capps’ famous course on the Vietnam War and its impacts, featuring former instructors and guest speakers for the course

Bob Kerrey, former U.S. Senator and Governor (Nebraska)

Shad Meshad, Founder and President, National Veterans Foundation

Richard Hecht, Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, UCSB


10:45am - 12:00pm

Teaching Ethics and Civic Values

A panel on Walter Capps’ teaching of ethics and civic values in the classroom and beyond, featuring former students

Katya Armistead, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Dean of Student Life, UCSB

Tim Kring, Screenwriter/Showrunner (Heroes, Crossing Jordan)

J. Shawn Landres, Civic Strategist and Municipal Commissioner


12:00pm - 12:30pm

Public Remarks

An opportunity for members of the public to share memories of Walter Capps 


12:00pm - 2:00pm


Lunch available for purchase by Chiltepin Mexican Grill, a local food truck, outside Campbell Hall


2:00pm - 2:30pm

Democracy is Born in Conversation

A video presentation on Walter Capps’ 1996 congressional campaign, featuring archival footage

Alessandro Duranti, Distinguished Research Professor of Anthropology, UCLA


2:45pm - 4:15pm

The Value of Public Service

A conversation about Walter Capps’ political career and the ongoing value of public service

Henry T. Yang, Chancellor, UCSB

Bob Kerrey, former U.S. Senator and Governor (Nebraska)

Lois Capps, former U.S. Representative

Laura Capps, Santa Barbara County Supervisor

Todd Capps

Lou Cannon, journalist, author, biographer


4:15pm - 5:45pm

Public Reception

Mosher Alumni House

All events are free and open to the public!

Events may be photographed, livestreamed, and recorded.