This lecture series was started in honor of Joshua Morrill.  He and his wife, Stef, moved to the River Valley in 2013 and wanted to give back to the community in some way.  They had started planning for a lecture series at the Octagon Barn when Josh passed away unexpectedly in February 2019. 

Josh was not born in Wisconsin, but it was his home. He loved the River Valley and the people in it. He believed in kindness, listening, and always trying to find the common ground between people. He left a lasting impression on people he met by living these beliefs. He was memorable because he was brilliant and funny, a wonderful listener and connected to people where they were at. 

At the time of his death, he was an Assistant Dean at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He did his graduate work there, and had a strong connection to higher education in Wisconsin. 


He was proud to have the name "Morrill" because of its connection to the Morrill Act, which provided land grants so states like Wisconsin could establish colleges.  It helped to provide higher education for those who did not previously have access.

These lectures celebrate that spirit and the spirit of Josh.