Fifth Annual Lecture Series Speakers Announced

by TAYLOR BRETHAUER, Asst. Editor, & OLIVIA CROWLEY, Contributing Writer

Manhattan College’s 5th Annual Lecture Series will be kicking off on September 8. These talks have been a staple in the fall semester of the school year.

Notable speakers in the past have included Nastia Liukin as part of the Olympic Week Series and Bethenny Frankel from The Real Housewives of New York.

The Office of Student Engagement announced the speakers for this year’s event:

Will Reeve on Thursday, September 8 at 12 noon in the Great Room

Lieutenant General Maryanne Miller on Friday, September 9, 10 am in the Scala Room

Jason Collins on Thursday, September 22 at 1pm in the Great Room

Sami El-Yousef on Wednesday, October 12 at 5pm in the Great Room

Martin O’Malley on Thursday, October 13 at 5pm in the Great Room   

Reeve, the son of movie star Christopher Reeve, will be speaking about his business which makes toys accessible to those living with paralysis.

Miller, chief of the Air Force Reserve, will focus on her time working in the military as a woman. The talk is expected to interest those in the ROTC program.

Collins, a retired NBA basketball player, will be speaking about his time playing in the NBA as the first openly gay player. He recently spoke at the Democratic National Convention.

“We started with a huge wish list with people from all walks of life. Two of the names we really wanted were Will Reeve and Jason Collins,” said director of Student Engagement, John Bennett.

To begin October, Sami El-Yousef, as a suggestion of Brother Jack Curran and the Office of Missions, will be giving a talk titled “Christian Presence in the Holy Land”.

Wrapping up the entire series will be Martin O’Malley, a visiting religious studies professor, who will be giving a talk titled “The Guilt of Historical Injustice”. All of the talks will be focusing on different aspects of diversity.

“The theme this year is inclusivity. Every one of these speakers is going to be talking about that, it’s the overarching message,” said Bennett.

The Lecture Series is an important part of the Manhattan College community and something the students of the college look forward to. Bennett said, “there’s weight to the name of the Lecture Series. Students have come to expect it every fall and [the Office of Student Engagement] takes pride in that. They expect it like a spring concert in April.”

While last year’s event spanned just one week, this year’s series will run over the course of a month from September to October.

In order to ensure the greatest turnout to this year’s event, the Office worked to find the time that a majority of students would be available.

Three of the lectures will be taking place in the afternoon and two will take place at 5 pm, so that both resident and commuter students will be able to attend.

“We heard from some students that there are too many events in the beginning and there’s sort of a drop-off,” Bennett said. 

“Other students have also said that they are too late in the evening so commuter students wouldn’t be able to attend, so we’ve made more of them in the afternoon and early evening.”