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NMSU Honors College to present humanitarian David Walton

Humanitarian and physician David Walton will speak at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, at New Mexico State University's Music Center Recital Hall.



Humanitarian and physician David Walton will speak at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, at New Mexico State University's Music Center Recital Hall. (Courtesy Photo)

Walton's presentation, "A Purpose Driven Life," is part of the University Speakers Series, which brings prominent speakers to Las Cruces. No tickets are required and admission is free.

Walton's lecture will have special meaning for incoming Honors freshman, who, as part of the college's Reading in Common Program, read Tracy Kidder's "Mountains Beyond Mountains," the true-life storytelling of the work of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Harvard medical doctor and professor renowned as a leader in international health. The book takes the reader through Farmer's altruistic "quest" to prevent diseases in areas around the world that need it most.

Walton became impassioned by this quest when he met Farmer during his first year of medical school and became his research assistant.

Farmer and his colleagues created Partners in Health, whose mission is to bring health care and social justice to the poor of the world. Walton has worked with Partners in Health in Haiti since 1997. Dividing his time between Haiti and Boston, Walton also is a resident at Brigham and Women's Hospital and was one of the first candidates to be selected for the Howard Hiatt Residency in Global Health Equity and Internal Medicine.

According to the Brigham and Women's Hospital Web site, Walton said he always knew he wanted to use his medical degree in "resource-poor communities."

"The medicine is the same, it is just the path that is different. And the information you gain in one place complements your experience in the other," Walton said.

The NMSU Speakers Series, presented by the Honors College and the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, strives to bring to Las Cruces distinguished lecturers who will appeal to a broad community audience. Previous speakers have included Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh, environmental attorney Robert Kennedy Jr., Native American author N. Scott Momaday and neurologist Oliver Sacks.