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Renowned Speakers and National Topics

Throughout each academic year our campus hosts five free major lectures that feature renowned speakers, activists, humanitarians, and leaders from across the nation who bestow their knowledge on the eager minds of our students. Sitting six feet from your idol has never been more real!

Matthew Simpson Lecture in Religion

The Matthew Simpson Lecture in Religion was established in 1980 by Professors Roger Betsworth and Bruce Haddox, members of the religion and philosophy department. With an initial operating budget of $500, the two founders invited their first speaker, Dr. Stanley Hauerwas. In 2013, gifts from two college employees established the Matthew Simpson Lecture Endowment Fund to help ensure the ongoing quality of the annual lecture and related events. In 2016, the Fund had grown to approximately $10,900. In February 2017, a gift of approximately $50,000 boosted the Fund significantly!
The original goal of the lectureship was to expose Simpson students to the leading thinkers in religion, biblical studies and social ethics. The Endowment will ensure the Lecture’s future.

Culver Lecture

The Culver Lecture was established in 2011 by the nonpartisan John C. Culver Public Policy Center at Simpson College. The annual Culver Lecture features a bipartisan roster of prominent figures in politics, media and public affairs who reflect on broader trends in American government and public discourse. Culver Lecturers meet with Culver Fellows and other Simpson students, visit classes and engage in discussion with members of the Simpson community.
The Culver Lecture is free and open to the public thanks to generous grant support from the Wallace Genetic Foundation.

Constitution Day Lecture

Each year, Simpson hosts a major lecture to observe Constitution Day — the day when the founders signed America’s governing charter in 1787. Lecturers drawn from throughout the United States speak on a current issue with regard to American constitutional law: Freedom of speech and press, voting rights, civil rights, marriage equality and more.

McBride Lecture

The McBride Lectureship was established by the Simpson College Board of Trustees in 1987 in honor of Drs. Robert and Luella McBride. From 1979 to 1987, Robert McBride served as the 19th president of Simpson College. Through this lectureship, the McBrides are recognized for their service to the community and commitment to Simpson. The endowed fund for the lectureship was created with gifts from trustees, alumni and friends for the purpose of exposing students to great minds, critical thinking, the search for meaning, and the issues of personal integrity, moral responsibility, social justice, humane sensitivity and the cause of citizenship.

Women in America Lecture

Women’s movements are among the oldest, strongest, most transnational social movements but don't always get the support they deserve. The Women in America Lecture was created in 1990 to shed light on these topics and be the keynote event for Women’s History Month at Simpson College. The Lecture is made possible with support from Simpson Forum and is organized by the Women’s and Gender Studies program.