The Presidential Speaker Series at Alma College in 2021-22 will focus on fostering a sense of community both locally and worldwide.
The first speaker in the series will be Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who will speak at the Oscar E. Remick Heritage Center for the Performing Arts on March 17 at 6 p.m. The event is open to the public and is free.
Alma College President Jeff Abernathy remarked, “We are happy to be back entirely in-person, following the last two years, for one of our favorite yearly events on campus, the Presidential Speaker Series.” “As we work every day to improve the communities in which we live, it’s critical that we listen to those who have succeeded in doing so and hear what they have to say.” I am confident that Jocelyn Benson’s words will be both engaging and valuable to our school community.”
Benson is the 43rd Secretary of State of Michigan, the state’s third-highest official. Benson’s responsibilities include being Michigan’s chief election official, as well as overseeing car registration, automobile driver licenses, notaries public and is the curator of the Great Seal of Michigan.
“State Secretaries of State: Guardians of the Democratic Process,” the first significant book on the secretary of state’s role in enforcing election and campaign finance rules, was written by her. She is also the Chair of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Task Force on Women in Sports, which was established in 2019 to expand opportunities for women in Michigan as athletes and sports leaders.
Benson served as dean of Wayne State University Law School in Detroit after graduating from Wellesley College, Magdalen College at Oxford, and Harvard Law School. She is still on the advisory board of the Levin Center at Wayne Law, which she co-founded with former US Senator Carl Levin.
“As a Division III liberal arts college graduate, Jocelyn Benson is uniquely positioned to help empower our students to use their liberal arts education to impact and make a change in the world,” said Andrew Somerville, director of Alma’s Center for College and Community Engagement (3CE), who organizes the Presidential Speaker Series. “We’re looking forward to hosting her this year.”
In the next weeks, more speakers will be revealed.
The theme for the Presidential Speaker Series in 2021-22 is communities: what it takes to develop them, why they matter, and the contrasts between local and global communities. It follows soon after the launch of the 3CE, an initiative aimed at fostering collaboration between the college and the Alma community.
Public tickets are available for purchase at almascots.com/information/tickets. Members of the Alma College community can purchase tickets in advance or use the Alma Connect app to gain access.
The schedule for the Presidential Speaker Series will be modified and extended through 2022. For the most up-to-date speaker schedule as well as information on how to get to each event, see our website.