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September 3, 2002

Titanic discoverer to kick off
University Speakers Series

Titanic discoverer Robert D. Ballard kicks off 2002 Speakers Series Sept. 18.

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. The explorer whose expedition found the Titanic wreckage will kick off Indiana State University’s Speakers Series at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18. His presentation will be in Tilson Auditorium in Tirey Hall on the ISU campus.

Underwater explorer and scientist, Robert D. Ballard, will discuss his discoveries including his most famous, the resting place of the “unsinkable” Titanic and his most recent discovery, President John F. Kennedy’s World War II PT 109 boat. 

Ballard has been part of more than 100 deep-sea expeditions, using a variety of submersibles in the investigation of scientific discoveries of the Galapagos Rift, the first manned exploration of the Mid-Ocean Ridge, and high temperature “black smokers.” In addition to his more famous discoveries, his explorations have led to the discovery of 11 warships of the lost fleet of Guadalcanal, the World War II American aircraft carrier Yorktown, the German battleship Bismarck and the British passenger liner Lusitania, sunk during World War I.

A graduate of the University of California, Ballard is president of the Institute of Exploration, founder and chairman of the JASON Foundation of Education, chairman of Odyssey Corp. and scientist emeritus in the department of applied ocean physics and engineering at the Woods Hole Oceanographers Institute. He is author of more than 50 scientific articles in journals, including Science, Nature and the Journal of Geophysical Research. He received the Newcomb Cleveland Award and the Westinghouse Award for articles in Science and National Geographic Magazine. Writings also include the books “The Lost Ships of Guadalcanal” and “Lost Liners,” a children’s pop-up book “Explorer” and bestsellers on the Titanic and the Bismarck.

A former commissioned officer in Army intelligence and the U.S. Navy, he served in Vietnam and retains the rank of commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves. His successes have lead to numerous awards, including the Centennial Award of the National Geographic Society, the Citation of Merit from the Explorers Club and honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Rhode Island, Tufts University and the University of Bathe in England.

In conjunction with Ballard’s visit, the Indiana State University Permanent Art Gallery presents an exhibition of items related to the discovery of the Titanic in the Gallery Lounge of Hulman Memorial Student Union through Oct. 11. The exhibition displays several items including two models of the Titanic, one 40 inches long and the other 6 feet; newspapers of the time; a postcard created while the ship was under construction with an artist’s rendering of the completed Titanic addressed to Terre Haute two years before the sinking of the ship; reproductions of tickets, menus and other assorted items; and an original Titanic painting by artist Ken Marschall on loan to ISU from David Felstein. 

The art show and the speaker series presentation are free and open to the public. For information about the exhibition, contact John Lustig, curator of the ISU Permanent Art Collection, at (812) 237-4334. For more information on the speaker's series, contact Linda Crossett, Director of Community and Professional Programs, at (812) 237-4011, or visit the Speakers Series web site at    


Contact: Linda Crossett, ISU Speakers Series, (812) 237-4011 or

Jennifer Kearns, assistant director of public affairs
(812) 237-8037 or

ISU Public Affairs:
(812) 237-3773 or