Thanks to all for making the conference a success!

The 2011 Walker Percy Center conference on The Moviegoer was a great success! 

View the complete Conference program here.

View a slideshow of the Conference here.

A highlight of the Conference was a trip to St. Joseph's Abbey. See the photos here.

Here is what people had to say about the Keynote Address by Jay Tolson:

“His speech was compelling, truthful, funny, moving, surprising, powerful, personal to just the right degree with just the right tone, and courageous. The more he said, the more my hope level went up; and as I found out, many people felt the same."

"Without exception, people at the Conference said that they thought his speech was amazingly good, 'brilliant,' and that they felt privileged to be there for it.”

“The highlight of the whole weekend was a talk by the Percy biographer, Jay Tolson. He spoke for almost an hour and was charming, knowledgeable and funny. That was great.”

“…very appropriate for the inaugural meeting: in fact, as long as is possible, it makes sense to feature scholars who had personal contact with Walker.”

"[The keynote speech was] beyond excellent! Jay Tolson gave a really thougtful talk!"

Here is what people had to say about the Conference:

“The Walker Percy Center Conference was a very gratifying experience for me, especially given how out of touch I've been in recent years. It was wonderful to see some longtime friends and meet new ones. There was something centrifugal and unifying about the entire conference. I have some experience organizing conferences with diverse groups and know what tremendous work is involved. I'm rather awed by the way you brought it together and made it happen. Congratulations and thanks. It was an important occasion for me. I think Percy could overcome his natural modesty enough to recognize what you're doing.”

“Thanks for organizing such a wonderful conference! It’s not often that I have come away from an event so intellectually stimulated and enthused in spirit! What a conference!”

“Loyola is to be congratulated for how efficiently the event was run and for how excellent every minute of it was.”

“…it is one of the best conferences I have attended in many ways, in particular, because it was all and everyone so well integrated that it became an experience in itself. I can only congratulate the organizers for putting it all together: different interests, different academic and professional backgrounds combined to make the experience so valuable to me and I am sure to many of us.”

"This conference was a special event. I congratulate and thank all who had a hand in making it happen. I am heartened that there is a Walker Percy Center at Loyola and that there is talk of another Percy conference in two years."

"It was a bold and commendable idea - a conference on one title; and I must say it worked extremely well."

And about the reception:

“Everyone was quite friendly. I was very pleased to see some Percy family members there.”

“Very nice. There was a good variety of food and drink options, and the room itself was a perfect size that allowed people to move around easily. A very congenial and comfortable atmosphere.”

“The reception was very pleasant; enjoyed the crawfish cheesecake & remoulade sauce.”

“Very good. Didn’t expect such a high-quality reception. Excellent.”

Last, but definitely not least - about the trip to the Abbey:

“The Abbey trip was great! It was the last jewel of the conference. The chance meeting with the writer’s close family was a plus.”

"Filled with delightful surprises: attendees' singing and reciting poetry.  Mrs. Percy's surprise visit.  Elegant." 

Jason Berry enjoying a panel Chris Wiltz and Melanie McKay   Books for sale by Maple Street
Book Shop
Keynote speaker Jay Tolson
signing a book for Chuck Lowry
Moderator Jason Berry and Jay
Conference goers at St. Joseph
Walker Percy (1916-1990) Chris Wiltz and Rhoda Faust at
the film screening
Win Riley introducing his



Photos courtesy of Harold Baquet and Chris Soldo