The George E. P. Mountcastle Lecture

The George E. P. Mountcastle Memorial Lectureship brings to Gilman School each year a distinguished writer to give a formal address and to spend a day in informal conversations with students and faculty. The lectures are given to an audience of Gilman students and faculty, invited friends and relatives of the Mountcastle family, and a limited number of students and faculty from other schools. The Lectureship has been established and endowed at Gilman School as a memorial to George E. P. Mountcastle by his family and friends.

Because George Mountcastle's strongest interest was in modern literature, his family has requested that most of those chosen to give the lectures be young writers. But George was also concerned with the moral and ethical positions that a man should take in an increasing agnostic and secular world.

Accordingly, in some years, a philosopher who has addressed him or herself to the dilemmas of modern man will give the lectures. Those who come to Gilman to deliver the George E. P. Mountcastle Memorial Lectures represent the kind of achievement toward which George was striving before his death.

Novelist Tania James Gives 2022 Mountcastle Lecture

Past Mountcastle Speakers

About George Mountcastle

George Earl Pierpont Mountcastle was born in Baltimore, November 24, 1949, and died October 12, 1969, while a sophomore at Harvard University. He was a young man of exceptional promise and achievement, as his record at Gilman School attests. Coming from Calvert School in 1962, he was an accomplished athlete, scholar, and writer. He played varsity football and lacrosse during his junior and senior years; he was elected to cum laude in his junior year; he was an associate editor of the Cynosure; and among his other awards, he won the Armstrong Prize for Poetry at Commencement. He was also a valuable member of many organizations at the School, and his classmates voted him one of the "most likely to succeed." At Harvard his specialty was modern literature, which is the reason his family and friends established the George E. P. Mountcastle Memorial Lectureship in his honor.


George Mountcastle '68

An attic box, locked up
the way to it blocked up.
Within it a clock
ticking off chinks
of imaginative evidence
that there was
is or will be
some inroad
to an informative
tick (lifeless song)
tick (a lover gone)
tick (a vagrant's wager)
tick (a woman sager)
than the type house prisons
than preamble preludes,
than Kubla Khannic dreams
ten million stumble over
ten million stumbling over
tick (a restless flutter)
tick (a flowing stutter)
tick (a window chain)
tick (a tearful rain
like random clockwork
each splash and sprinkle
Separately smashing my whole love of
time in time)

From cool clear heights
of philosophical and, etc.
(how now, Tom)

I plead the 5th.
I love you.

First published
Blue and Gray, Fall '67