The series honors Deacon R. Wayne Kraft, who died in 1994. After working as an industrial engineer, he was appointed professor of metallurgy and material science at Lehigh University. In this position he held two patents and authored more than 50 articles and reports in technical and professional journals. As an adjunct professor at Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales (now DeSales University), Prof. Kraft lectured on, and wrote four books, about the philosophy of Teilhard de Chardin. Dr. Kraft served as a board member of various organizations in the city of Bethlehem and several agencies of the diocese of Allentown, in which he also ministered as a permanent deacon.
The Kraft Lecture highlights the university's Heritage Week celebration of the feast of St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622), Bishop and Doctor of the Church. His legacy of theological writings and example of saintly living attest to the tradition of Christian Humanism that lies at the heart of the university's mission and philosophy. The Kraft Lecture series is designed to offer the public a humanistic viewpoint on an issue of national prominence. Ideally, the presentation also highlights the currency of Salesian spirituality in relation to issues in the modern world.