UTA Maverick Speaker Series brings in a variety of interesting guests. An Evening With Dr. Jane Goodall (back in April) was tremendous. Her talk on “Gombe and Beyond” proved enlightening for everyone in the arena and she was treated like a rock star with two standing ovations. She’s now 82 years old and travels over 300 days a year to bring her message about nature, humanity, and hope for today’s world. She walks with purpose, speaks graciously, and evokes sincerity and wisdom.
With no notes in front of her, Dr. Goodall began with her childhood. She grew up poor in the UK –it was wartime and life was difficult. But she and her brother were well loved and supported by her parents. She said the key to her life was the support of her mother. Jane loved animals and her mother scrounged money for books for her.
In 1960 at the age of 26, Jane traveled from the UK to Tanzania to work with Dr. Louis Leakey. Her mother went with her as a support chaperone, otherwise the opportunity would have evaporated. Armed with a notebook, pen, and binoculars, Jane observed chimpanzees and slowly gained their trust. Her key breakthrough was noting the chimps problem solving abilities and their skill in fashioning tools. After receiving a doctorate at Cambridge, Dr. Goodall returned to Africa and continued her work. She founded an institute to work to protect the chimpanzees of Gombe National Park.
Her work in conservation, education (Roots & Shoots program), environmental and humanitarian issues is renowned. Her 1-1/2 hour talk was truly inspirational. Her sly humor shone through, and her love of the earth and the world was evident. Her emphasis on education and books is so important. Read…..read…..read. She acknowledged social media, but emphasized knowledge from reading and research. Valuable lessons to embrace. If you ever get a chance, attend a Dr. Jane Goodall event or check out old documentaries. You will be enthralled by this warm intelligent woman.