Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Facing Death with Life: A Program for Adults

Activity 3: The Last Lecture

Activity time: 30 minutes

Introduce the video, saying, “Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He was also a member of the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given a short time to live, he delivered his 'last lecture' to his students. A video of the inspirational lecture has been viewed by millions of people, and you may want to watch it at home yourself. This video is about Pausch’s last lecture and his thoughts about his approaching death. He died on July 25, 2008, at the age of forty-seven.”

Show Randy Pausch’s A Final Farewell. You may also choose to show a portion of Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture (54:38-1:02:53). Tell participants that their take-home handout for this workshop will have information about viewing the entire lecture.

Lead a discussion asking:

  • What is your reaction to this story?
  • Why do you think his lecture was so popular?
  • What do you think you might do under circumstances similar to Pausch’s?