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Presidential Colloquium Series

The Presidential Colloquium regularly features influential thought leaders in a wide range of fields—from poets and writers to economists and policy experts—to share their expertise, offer insights, and inspire discourse on key social, political and global topics that call for our attention. Come discover, learn, ask questions and engage in the conversation. Lectures are free and open to the public.

2018–19 Events

Gabrielle Starr

G. Gabrielle Starr

On Value: Arts, Education, Aesthetics and Policy

Monday, April 8, 2019
5 p.m., Campus Center Carroll Room

Pomona College President G. Gabrielle Starr is a highly regarded scholar of English literature whose work reaches into neuroscience and the arts. Recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s New Directions Fellowship and a National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant, Starr offers a compelling voice for working across academic disciplines to spark intellectual discovery. Her research looks closely at the brain, through the use of fMRI, to help get to the heart of how people respond to paintings, music and other forms of art. Her most recent book, Feeling Beauty: The Neuroscience of Aesthetic Experience, was a finalist for the Phi Beta Kappa Society’s 2014 Christian Gauss Award.

Martha Nussbaum

Martha Nussbaum

Anger, Fear and the Politics of Blame

Friday, March 29, 2019
4:30 p.m., Campus Center Carroll Room

Martha Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, where she is jointly appointed in the law school and the philosophy department. She has a particular interest in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, political philosophy, feminism and ethics, including animal rights. She also holds associate appointments in classics, divinity, and political science. Nussbaum is the author of a number of books, including The Fragility of Goodness, Sex and Social Justice and Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership. She received the 2016 Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy and the 2018 Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture.

Ijeoma Oluo photo

Ijeoma Oluo

The Only Way Out Is Through: Solidarity and Accountability

Tuesday, November 13, 2018
5 p.m., Leo Weinstein Auditorium


Ijeoma Oluo is a Seattle-based writer, speaker and self-described “Internet Yeller.” She is the author of the New York Times bestseller So You Want to Talk About Race. Named one of the The Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans in 2017 and winner of the of the 2018 Feminist Humanist Award by the American Humanist Society, Oluo’s work focuses primarily on issues of race and identity, feminism, social and mental health, social justice, the arts and personal essay. Her writing has been featured in The Washington Post, NBC News, Elle magazine, Time, The Stranger and The Guardian, among other outlets. 

Freeman Hrabowski

Freeman Hrabowski

Promoting Access and Diversity in STEM Fields

Monday, October 29, 2018
4:30 p.m., Campus Center Carroll Room

Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, has served as president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, since 1992. Named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time (2012) and one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report (2008), his research and publications focus on science and math education, with special emphasis on minority participation and performance. He chaired the National Academies’ committee that produced the 2011 report, Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. He was named in 2012 by President Obama to chair the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans.


Pam Bosley and Stasha Rhodes

America’s Gun Violence Epidemic

Monday, October 22, 2018
4:30 p.m., Campus Center Carroll Room

After one of Pam Bosley’s sons was murdered on the grounds of a church, she left a career in banking to make a difference in the lives of youth. She now serves as the violence prevention manager for the ARK of St. Sabina in Chicago, where she empowers young people to be leaders and self-advocates, guiding them to discover their own voices and abilities to bring change to their communities. She is also the co-founder of Purpose Over Pain, an organization that offers support to parents who have lost children to violence, advocates for common sense gun measures, and provides a safe space and mentorship for youth.

Stasha Rhodes is the director of engagement for Giffords, an organization formed by the merger of Americans for Responsible Solutions and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and a leader in the growing movement to save lives from gun violence. She previously served as the founder and principal of The Red Team, LLC, an advocacy firm specializing in issue campaign management, grassroots organizing, and government relations, as the director of advocacy for guns and crime policy at the Center for American Progress, and as the American Heart Association’s Louisiana director of government affairs.

Nancy Malkiel

Nancy Malkiel ’65, LTD ’97

“Keep the Damned Women Out”:  The Struggle for Coeducation

Wednesday, September 26, 2018
4 p.m., Campus Center Carroll Room

Nancy Weiss Malkiel is professor of history, emeritus, at Princeton University. A scholar of 20th-century American history, she is the author of “Keep the Damned Women Out”: The Struggle for Coeducation, a study of the cascade of decisions for coeducation at elite institutions of higher education between 1969 and 1974. During her tenure at Princeton, she served as dean of the college—the longest-serving dean in Princeton’s history, at 24 years—and was founding master of Dean Mathey College, one of Princeton’s six residential colleges. A graduate and former trustee of Smith and a trustee of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, she received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Martha Minow

Martha Minow

Constitution Day Lecture: Freedom of the Press and the Changing Ecosystem of News

Monday, September 17, 2018
4:30 p.m., Campus Center Carroll Room

Martha Minow is the 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard Law School, where her courses include civil procedure, constitutional law, family law, international criminal justice, jurisprudence, law and education, nonprofit organizations, and the public law workshop. She is also a lecturer in the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard University. An expert in human rights and advocacy for members of racial and religious minorities and for women, children and persons with disabilities, she also writes and teaches about privatization, military justice, and ethnic and religious conflict.