The Lake Michigan College Speaker Series brings people of all generations together for the shared experience of gaining a deeper understanding about the world around us. By presenting speakers from a wide range of fields and expertise, this non-partisan, non-political series is dedicated to the discussion of topics of interest in today's complex society. The Speaker Series acts as a catalyst for innovative thought and personal growth while adding to our region's quality of life.
The 2023-2024 speakers are:
When you become a Mendel Center season series ticket purchaser, you enjoy priority seat selection, discount pricing, and special benefits! All you need to do is purchase 3 or more eligible event, including Lake Michigan College Speaker Series engagements. You may mix and match Speaker Series events with performances to build your series ticket package.
When you purchase 3 or more season events, you receive a 10% discount off the regular ticket price.If you also contribute a one-time gift of $100 or more before you purchase your series package, you will receive a 15% discount and become a Mendel Center Member with all the benefits available at your giving level.
Ticket exchange privileges
As a Mendel Center season series purchaser, you may exchange tickets until seven days before the event. You may choose another event from the current season. If tickets for the new performance or speaker costs more, you will only pay the difference. If the new event costs less, we will provide you with a gift card or we will credit your account for the balance.
Early access to tickets
Series ticket packages go on sale before individual show tickets are made available. By becoming a Mendel Center season series ticket package purchaser, you are among the first to purchase tickets and have the opportunity to reserve some of the best seats in the house.
Priority series package purchasing next season
As a series package purchaser this season, next year you will have priority purchasing opportunities before new series packages or individual show tickets are available.
Advance notice of special performances when you provide us with your email address
Invitation to the 2024-2025 Season Reveal Party
Inspiring the next generation
The Speaker Series connects area middle school, high school, and college students with world-famous personalities. Young people meet with speakers to ask questions and learn about the possibilities in the fields of science, business, public service, and more. They then attend the speaker presentations to gain insight on topics that will impact their futures. The next great inventor, researcher, or leader just might come from southwestern Michigan as a result of the inspiration and self-belief gained from attending a Speaker Series event.
More than 700 area high school and college students, chaperones, and members of community service groups have participated free of charge in pre-event Q&A sessions with speakers. Groups have included Lakeshore Excellence Foundation, Boys and Girls Club of Benton Harbor, Harbor Habitat for Humanity, Mosaic Resale and Resource Center, Girl Scouts of America, The OutCenter, First Tee of Benton Harbor, multiple area high schools and middle schools, and Lake Michigan College.
Herbert E. Neil, Walter D. Frackler, Daniel Ford, Dr. Joel Ross
Hon. Coleman Young, Leonard Silk, Salim B. (Sandy) Lewis, R. Adm. (Ret) Gene La Rocque
Wayne W. “Woody” Hayes, David N. Dremen, Terry Savage, Hon. Charles E. Wiggins, Joan Claybrook
William E. Colby, Frank Vogl, William H. Sullivan
Earl R. Butz, Walter Fackler, Margaret “Midge” Constanza, Richard D. Morrow, Emmett Dedmon
Robert G. Dederick, Joseph N. Sorrentino, Dr. James S. Coleman, James L. Browning Jr.
Dr. John H. Knowles M.D., Hon. L.L.W. Sebe, John Burns
Herbert Neil, W. Michael Blumenthal, Hon. Reginald Maulding, Abe Raskin, Mme. Nila Magidott
Jerald F. terHorst, Dr. John T. Manning M.D., Gov. Tom McCall, Lewis A. Engman, Adm. Elmo R. Zumwalt
William Turner, Herbert Stein, Henry E. Peterson, Myron E. Cherry, William D. Ruckelshaus
Sen. Fred Harris, Prof. Arthur Miller, J. Robert Schaetzel, William Davis, Jack Anderson, Sir Con O’Neill
Lynn A. Townsend, Roger Hilsman, Elisha Gray II, Robert Meserve, George Reedy
Betty Furness, Ian L. McHarg, Donald Lauria, James B. Reston
Justice Thos. F. Brennan, Wm. H. Stoneman, Sen. Robert P. Griffin, Robert Enstad/ Jerold Israel, Sen. Dan. K. Inouye
Sen. Jack Miller, Sen. Wm. Proxmire, James J. Kilpartrick, Lewis D. Gilbert, Ralph Nader
Robert Karr McCabe, Lord Harlech, Margaret Mead, Carl Gerstacker, Paul-Henri Spaak
Sen. Albert Gore, Leonard Woodcock, Drew Pearson, Dr. Paul W. McCracken, Robert Price
Bayard E. Sawyer, Hanson Baldwin, Bill Veeck, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Hon. Albert H. Quie
Sen. George McGovern, Sen. Frank Carlson, Dr. Yale Brozen, Malcolm Muggeridge, Hon. Kenneth T. Young, Jr., Judge George N. Leighton
Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Foot, Peter R. Nehemkis, Jr., Martin S. Ochs, George J. Sigler, Walter E. Schirmer, Issac Don Levine, John J. Flaharty
Dr. Dexter M. Keezer, Arthur M. “Red” Motley, Harrison Salisbury, Dr. David A. Stoddard
Joseph McD. Mitchell, Sen. Mike Mansfield, Dr. Robert A. Strusz-Hupe, Dr. Edward R. Annis, Nate R. White, Walter J. McNerney
Charles H. Perc, Sen. Eugene J. McCarthy, Amb. Carlos Santamria, F.T. Aschman, Ellis B. Merry, Bishop James A. Pike
W. Allen Wallis, Richard Kasischke, Lyman C. Conger, John Crosby, James Reston, Louis O. Keslo, Mortimer Smith
Rt. Hon. Anthony Nutting, Stuart Chase, Lemuel Boulware, Sen. Hubert Humphrey, Gen. Sir John B. Glubb, Robert E. Pickup, Hon. D. Hale Boggs, Sen. Carl T. Curtis
Louis W. Prentiss, Arthur G. Clarke, Arthur E. Bestor, Hon. Frank G. Clement, Vance Packard
Rt. Hon. Herbert Morrison, Hon. Christian Herter, Prof. L.L. Waters, Hon. J. Ernest Wilkins, Hon. Emanuel Celler, James Reston, Hon. Antoni N. Sadiak
David B. Steinman, Gen. Carlo P. Romulo, Gerald Piel, Arthur Bliss Lane, Gaganvihari L. Mehta, Dr. Marcus Bach, Alistair Cooke
Dr. Will Durant, Hon. Douglas McKay, Gen. Claude H. Dewhurst O.B.E., Gardner Cowles, Elliot Janeway
Eddy Gilmore, Charles R. Sligh, Philip Graham, Dr. Marcus Bach, Eleanor Roosevelt, T. Coleman Andrews, Charles Sawyer, John A. Hannah
Paul A. Hoffman, Hon. Nicholas Nyaradi, Dr. Melchior Palyi, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, Dr. Jan Herman Van Roijen, Prof. William A. Paton
William T. Faricy, Sen. Blair Moody, Sumner T. Pike, Isaiah Leo Shartman, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
Walter T. Tuohy, R. Adm Ellis M. Zachanas, Denis A. Greenhill, Dorothy Thompson
Dr. Ernest E. Irons, Dr. Hobert E. Wilson, Clinton S. Golden, Allen B. Kline, Angus Ward, Eugene C. Pullman, Wallace F. Bennett
Dr. Melchior Palyi, Earl Bunting, William A. Patterson, H.D. (Fritz) Crisier, Dr. George S. Benson
Paul A. Hoffman, James S. Knolson, Dr. Charles E. McAllister, Dr. Herold C. Hunt, George Weller, Dr. Ralph W. Sockman
Sen. Paul Douglas, Hon. Walter H. Judd, William R. Scheider, Donald K. David, Joseph M. Dodge
Robert Heller, Walter Trohan, Dr. Leo Wolman, Dr. Reuben G. Gustafson, Louis Bromfield, Philip D. Reed
Robert J. Watt, Raymond Moley, Gen. Robert E. Wood, Dr. Alexander G. Ruthven
Paul A. Hoffman, Dr. Gerald Wendt, Dr. Leo Wolman, Dr. Margaret Mead, Dr. Victor G. Heiser, Eric A. Johnson