Endowment by Generous Alumnus Allows Arts and Humanities Speaker Series to Thrive
“When you see and hear a person speak, you know what he or she is saying, even if it’s not in the words,” said Carlton Sedgeley ’63. “People often convey meaning by how they speak as much as by what they say. Conversely, the written word communicates what you interpret, not necessarily what is meant.”
Sedgeley is an expert at pairing speakers with audiences. He is past president of Royce Carlton, Inc., which he and his wife, Lucy
Lepage Sedgeley, founded in 1968 and from which they retired last year. While they were at the helm, Royce Carlton exclusively represented some 75 nationally known figures available for speaking engagements, including Pulitzer Prize winners, news correspondents, authors, scientists, actors, and various thought leaders. “They are extraordinary people whose lives and work create special interest,” said Sedgeley.
Sedgeley is philosophical about the richness that such speakers bring to our lives. “It is one of the ways that we learn —like reading, traveling, good conversation—we feel broadened and enriched.” He describes listening to one of his clients recently, a poet whose depth of emotion and layers of meaning evoked tears in the audience. “We could feel his enormous strength and struggle,” Sedgeley recalled.
In 1960, when Sedgeley was a student at Springfield College, the Springfield College 75th anniversary celebration incorporated a series of speakers that included Margaret Mead, Aldous Huxley, and Norman Cousins. Sedgeley remembers being mesmerized. “One of the extraordinary things about Springfield College is that it gave me the opportunity to discover and explore my interests. I had enrolled as a physical education major and decided it was not for me. I wanted to know more about myself, and I changed to psychology and sociology. The College accommodated my transition,” he says.
“There’s great value in what they’re doing here [at Springfield College]. Educating young people who have decided upon careers helping others is noble. They’re more interested in giving than taking, and that’s not true everywhere,”Carlton Sedgeley ’63
Early in his career, Sedgeley found his true calling while working in a lecture bureau in Boston, but was troubled by flaws that he saw in the industry. He went on to do extensive research on the industry and to found his own company with Lucy. The new company had a more defined and transparent direction, which he hoped would make it successful. He also wanted to initiate changes within the industry. He wrote articles explaining to speakers and customers: representation and misrepresentation, fees, varying arrangements, shared expenses, buy and sell, and much more. He created a Uniform Lecture Contract with two associations that recognized rights of both speakers and customers. Today, the basic ideas and ideals still apply.Sedgeley returned to Springfield College … and was reminded of the value of an education from Springfield College. “There’s great value in what they’re doing here. Educating young people who have decided upon careers helping others is noble. They’re more interested in giving than taking, and that’s not true everywhere,” he’d observed.
Several years ago, Sedgeley returned to Springfield College with Lucy after an absence of many years and was reminded of the value of an education from Springfield College. “There’s great value in what they’re doing here. Educating young people who have decided upon careers helping others is noble. They’re more interested in giving than taking, and that’s not true everywhere,” he’d observed.
The Sedgeleys considered how they could enhance the educational experience at Springfield College by making possible more presentations by the same level of speakers that impressed Carlton as a student in 1960 and that have been lifelong sources of enlightenment, inspiration, and enjoyment for both of them.
Together, they endowed the Carlton and Lucille Sedgeley Fund to support the Arts and Humanities Speakers Series at Springfield College.
“We are grateful for the Sedgeley’s generosity, which provides exceptional opportunity to engage students, faculty and staff, and the community with nationally prominent speakers,” says Anne Herzog, PhD, dean of the School of Arts, Sciences, and Professional Studies.
The Sedgeleys believe that presentations of that quality would be well received on the campus because, “Springfield College people are engaged in the world—they care. We truly admire that,” concluded Sedgeley.