O'Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership, and Public Service

Upcoming Events


  • September 22nd, October Sky (1999) Starring Jake Gyllendaal and Laura Dern.  Inspired by the launching of the first Sputnik in 1957, Homer Hickman, the son of a West Virginia coalminer, becomes fascinated by rockets.  Encouraged by a local teacher, he and his friends win scholarships to college.  Themes:  Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Opportunity and Privilege.

  • October 14th, The Life of David Gale (2003)  Starring Kevin Spacey and Kate Winslett.  The story of David Gale, a professor at the University of Texas and opponent of the Death Penalty, who has been sentenced to death for murder, is told by an investigative reporter.  Themes:  Ethics, Social Justice

  • November 4th, Romero (1989) Starring Raul Julia.  The story of Archbishop Oscar Romero who leads protests against the terrorist campaign launched by the government of El Salvador in the 1980’s.  Religious Leadership, Ethics, Civil Rights, citizenship

  • November 10th, Taking Chance (2009 TV)  Starring Kevin Bacon.  Lt. Col. Mike Strobl accompanies the remains Pfc. Chance Phelps, killed in Iraq at 19 to his family in Montana.  Military Leadership.

  • February 9th, Selma (2014)  Starring David Oyelowo and Carmen Ejogo.  Nominated for Best Picture.  The story of three tumultuous months in 1965 with Martin Luther King leading a Civil Rights March from Selma, Mississippi to Montgomery, Alabama and culminating with President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act.  Themes:  Leadership, Ethics, Civil Rights, Social Justice, Conflict Resolution, Citizenship

  • March 16th, Crash (2004)  Starring Don Cheadle and Sandra Bullock.  Winner of 3 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.  Over two days, a group of interconnected stories weave together to form a story about racial and ethnic conflict in Los Angeles.   Themes:  Social Justice, Ethics, Leadership, Conflict Resolution, Citizenship

  • April 12th, Social Network (2010) Starring Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield  Nominated for Best Picture and Best Actor.  The story of Mark Zuckerberg and the founding of Facebook.  Entrepreneurship, Ethics, Leadership (particularly in an era of ubiquitous information)


  • Justice and Mercy:  A Conversation about the Death Penalty
    O’Pake Lecture, November 16, 2015, Francis Hall Theater
    • Richard Dieter: Dieter served as the Executive Director of the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, DC from 1992 to 2015.  He is currently the Senior Policy Director at the Center.
    • Joseph McGettigan: Joe McGettigan served as the First Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia and Delaware Counties, and as an Assistant United States Attorney and a Chief Deputy Attorney General in the Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General. He was co-trial counsel in the DuPont murder case, and co-trial counsel in the Sandusky child abuse case.
    • Karen Clifton: Karen Clifton is the Executive Director of the Catholic Mobilizing Network to End the Death Penalty. In 2008, Karen spearheaded the formation of the organization which is headquartered in Washington, DC.

  • Civil Rights and Realities: 25 Years after the Americans with Disabilities Act
    An Open Discussion
    November 18, 2015, 7PM
    McGlinn Conference Center Adjacent to the Alvernia University Campus

    2015 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the ADA, which has its roots in several important Pennsylvania Lawsuits, the PARC Consent Decree and the Haldeman v. Pennhurst State School and Hospital Decision. These important decisions established the principles of inclusive community living and the right to an education.  These two Pennsylvania cases spurred the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    Jean Searle, Policy Advocate Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania
    James W. Conroy, PhD Founder and President Center for Outcome Analysis
    Jaclyn Nagle, Children and Youth Peer Support Coordinator Abilities in Motion

Past Events

  • O'Pake Lecture: Rep. Jim Gerlach: The annual O’Pake Lecture delivered by United States Representative Jim Gerlach, discussing "Civility, Compromise and Public Service."

  • Batdorf Lecture: The annual Batdorf Lecture, supported by the Berks Bar Association, promotes dialogue on contemporary ethical issues, important for both students and the local community. The 2015 lecture will focus on "Social Justice & Sentencing Reform."

  • 2012-2013 Citizenship Film Series.  During the 2012-2013 Academic Year the Institute screened a series of films relating to issues of citizenship.  These films included:  Iron Jawed Angels; It’s a Wonderful Life; Do the Right Thing; Philadelphia; Network; Norma Rae and To Kill a Mockingbird.

  • 2013-2014 Leadership Film Series.  During the 2103-2014 Academic Year, the film series focused on Leadership, screening Lincoln; Silkwoo; 42 and Henry V.


The Institute also partnered in several other programs including:

  • Leadership Berks program on Legends, Leaders and Visionaries, featuring Albert Boscov
  • The Greater Reading Immigration Program’s Immigration Summit
  • The Junior League of Reading’s Young Leaders Summit and screening of “Girl Rising”
  • The Berks County Crime Summit
  • Study trip to Detroit sponsored by the Berks County Community Foundation


Img: Opake Institute Logo

O'Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership, and Public Service

O'Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership, and Public Service

David Myers

Phone: 610.790.2961


o'pake institute for ethics, leadership, and public service

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ YouTube RSS Feed Pinterest Instagram tumblr Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ RSS Feed