Annual Lecture Series and Conferences

Goshen College offers a variety of seminars, lectures and conferences throughout the year.

  • Martin Luther King Jr. All-Campus Study Day annually brings to campus outstanding civil rights leaders who share Dr. King’s vision for peace and justice. Past speakers have included Yolanda King, Vinie Burrows, Herma Williams and Bill Pannell.
  • The Eric Yake Kenagy Visting Artist Program annually brings a distinguished visual artist to campus for lectures, workshops and interaction with students. Past artists have included Paul Soldner, Ruth Weisburg, Robert Blackburn, Jaune Quick-toSee Smith and Mary Ellen Mark.
  • The S.A. Yoder Memorial Lecture annually brings a distinguished poet, novelist, essayist or humorist to campus. Past writers have included Denise Levertov, Peter Fallon, Madeleine L’Engle, Garrison Keillor, William Stafford, Seamus Heaney, Gwendolyn Brooks and Yevgeny Yevtushenko.
  • The annual Atlee and Winifred Beechy Peace, Justice and Reconciliation Lecture features a speaker knowledgeable and expert in peace, justice and reconciliation issues in current local, regional, national or international affairs.
  • The Roy H. Umble Master Class brings nationally known practitioners and experts in communication and theater to the Goshen College campus annually for events and activities which enrich and inspire students, faculty, the broader campus and local and church communities.
  • The Frank and Betty Jo Yoder Public Affairs Lecture Series, an endowed lectureship, was created for Goshen College in 1978 by Frank (1917-1996) and Betty Jo Yoder of Goshen with the goal of enabling faculty, students and community to hear well known speakers address current issues. Each year experts from a wide variety of fields and vocations visit campus. Speakers have included Frances Moore Lappe, Ralph Nader, Juan Williams, C. Everett Koop, Elizabeth Arnold, Peggy Wehmeyer, Ray Suarez, Mark Hatfield and Dorothy F. Cotton.
  • The annual Goshen Conference on Religion and Science brings a highly respected scholar, active in the religion and science dialog, to campus for a series of lectures. Two of the lectures are free and open to the public. Conference participants engage the scholar in smaller settings. Scholars have included Nancey Murphy and George Ellis. Students are encouraged to register for the conference at a reduced rate. Each year there is a students-only session with the speaker.
  • The annual C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest invites students to compete by delivering an 8- to 10-minute speech on their chosen topic relating to peace, in a universal or specific context, including war and violence, political policies, agencies of justice and peace, peacemaking strategies or current events. The addresses are judged on originality, the integration of topic and a peace position and general standards of delivery. Participants compete for cash prizes and the top winner may enter the U.S./Canada Mennonite Central Committee-sponsored C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest.
  • The C. Henry Smith Peace Lecture is given annually on a peace-related theme by a faculty member of colleges related to Mennonite churches.
  • Lectures and discussions in the Science Speaker Series are free and open to the public. While the speakers are often talking about the latest research in their fields, the goal is to make the ideas accessible to all scientifically literate people.
  • The Lifelong Learning Institute of Elkhart County provides stimulating and affordable short courses in many fields for active seniors. Courses are held in fall and spring, in addition to a lecture series in midwinter.