Facebook pixel W. David Baird Distinguished Lecture Series | Pepperdine University | Seaver College Skip to main content
Pepperdine | Seaver College

W. David Baird Distinguished Lecture Series

W. David Baird Distinguished Lecture Series | Pepperdine 2019-2020


Pepperdine University's Seaver College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences is proud to present the W. David Baird Distinguished Lecture Series. When available, videos of past events are available online in the archives below.

The Distinguished Lecture Series is made possible through the support of Melanie and Richard Flamminio, the Seaver College Board of Visitors, and the Seaver Parents Association.

Event Schedule


Tuesday, October 8, 2019: Astronaut Richard R. Arnold II
"An Evening with Astronaut Arnold"

Click to view Richard R. Arnold II's lecture.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019: Rachael Denhollander
"An Evening with Rachael Denhollander"

Tuesday, February 4, 2020: Alexis Bonnell
"Innovation to Impact: Leading Change in a Challenging Time"

Click to view Alexis Bonnell's lecture.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020: Dr. Larycia Hawkins and Linda Midgett
CANCELED "Same God Screening and Panel Discussion"
The health and safety of Pepperdine's community is our highest priority. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, this event has been canceled.


All lectures are at 5:00 p.m. in Elkins Auditorium.

Explore Our Past Lectures


Tuesday, October 2, 2018: Dr. Jean Twenge
"iGen: Understanding the Smartphone Generation"

Wednesday, November 7, 2018: Dr. Lucy Jones
"The Big Ones: Preparing for Increasing Risk of Natural Disasters"

Tuesday, February 19, 2019: Dr. Eboo Patel
"Out of Many Faiths: Religious Diversity and the American Promise"

Wednesday, March 20, 2019: Jami Miscik ('80)
"The Enduring Need for Public Service"


Tuesday, October 24, 2017: J.D. Vance
"Hillbilly Elegy: A Culture in Crisis"

Click to view J.D. Vance's lecture. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017: Dr. Lynn Pasquerella
"Educating for Democracy in a Post-Truth Era"

Click to view Dr. Lynn Pasquerella's lecture.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018: Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum
"A Conversation with Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum"

Wednesday, March 21, 2018: Dr. Jeffrey J. Selingo
"There is Life After College: Making the Most of the Undergraduate Years for Success in Life"


Thursday, October 6, 2016: David Brooks
"The Road to Character"

Ticketed event. Tickets are free and will be available at the Smothers Theatre Box Office beginning September 13.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016: Dr. Erika Franklin Fowler
"Attacks, Anonymity and Anomalies: Political Advertising in the 2016 Election"

Click to view Dr. Frankin Fowler's lecture.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017: Dr. Katharine Hayhoe 
"Loving Our Global Neighbor"

Click to view Dr. Katherine Hayhoe's lecture.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017: Matika Wilbur
"Changing the Way We See Native America: Dismantling Native American Stereotypes"


Thursday, October 15, 2015: Dr. S. Georgia Nugent
"Paradoxes of the Liberal Arts"

Click to view Dr. Nugent's lecture.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015: Dr. James Stump
"Science, Religion, and the Christian College: Where the Conflict Really Lies"

Click to view Dr. Stump's lecture.

Thursday, February 11, 2016: Dr. Carolyn Becker
"The Body Project: Transforming Atypical Partnerships into Global Impact"

Click to view Dr. Becker's lecture.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016: Bryan Stevenson
"American Justice: Mercy, Humanity, and Making a Difference"


Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky
"The Science of Happiness"

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - Dr. Peter Raven
"Saving the Living World, Saving Ourselves"

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - Connie Duckworth
"An evening with Connie Duckworth"

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - Michael Pollan
"Omnivore's Dilemma: Searching for the Perfect Meal in a Fast-Food World"


Wednesday, October 16, 2013, 5:00 p.m. - Dr. Randal Jelks
"The Social Gospel in Black and White: Benjamin Elijah Mays and the Redemption of America from Its Racist Past"
Tuesday, October 29, 2013, 5:00 p.m. - Shaifali Puri
"Mobilizing Science, Improving Lives"
Tuesday, February 4, 2014, 5:00 p.m. - Ellen Gustafson
"A New Understanding of Hunger, Obesity, and the Food System"
Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 5:00 p.m. - Randall S. Kroszner
"Lessons from the Financial Crisis for Economic Policy"

*Flora L. Thornton Distinguished Nutrition Speaker - T. Colin Campbell
Thursday, February 20, 2014, 5:00 p.m.
"The Time for Nutrition Has Arrived"

Unfortunately, we have learned that - due to doctor's orders not to travel from her North Carolina home - featured speaker Maya Angelou is unable to be with us on May 9th. We wish Dr. Angelou renewed health and vitality on behalf of the Pepperdine community.

*Special Student Engagement featuring Dr. Maya Angelou
Friday, May 9, 2014, 3:00 p.m.
"An Afternoon with Dr. Maya Angelou"


Wednesday, October 10, 2012, 7:00 p.m. - Dr. Peter Harrison
"Religious Origins of Modern Science"
Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 7:00 p.m. - Dr. Deborah Harkness
"The All Souls Trilogy"
Thursday, January 31, 2013, 7:00 p.m. - Dr. Lamin Sanneh
"Freedom of Religion and Citizenship: Perspectives on World Christianity"
Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 7:00 p.m. - Dr. Karla Holloway
"How Private Bodies become Public Texts (and how the law makes this happen)"


Wednesday, September 21, 2011, 7:00 p.m. - Sheryl WuDunn
"Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide"
Thursday, October 6, 2011, 7:00 p.m. - "Pepperdine at 75 Panel"
Panel Discussion hosted by Dr. W. David Baird
Thursday, October 13, 2011, 7:00 p.m. - Dr. Earl Shorris
"The Moral Life of Downtown: Bringing the Humanities to the Poor"
Thursday, November 3, 2011, 7:00 p.m. - Astronaut Tracy Caldwell
"An Evening with Astronaut Tracy Caldwell"
Wednesday, January 25, 2012, 7:00 p.m. - Sonia Nazario
"Enrique's Journey"
Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 7:00 p.m. - Dr. Ed Larson
"Greater Glory: Science and the Race To The Pole 100 Years Later"


Thursday, September 23, 2010, 7:00 p.m. - Donzaleigh Abernathy
"An Evening with Donzaleigh Abernathy"

Thursday, November 4, 2010, 7:00 p.m. - Azar Nafisi
"The Republic of the Imagination"

Thursday, January 27, 2011, 7:00 p.m. - Dr. Chris Field
"The Velocity of Climate Change"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 7:00 p.m. - Condoleezza Rice
"Remarks by Condoleezza Rice"

Thursday, February 17, 2011, 7:00p.m. - Dr. Antonio Damasio
"An Evening with Dr. Antonio Damasio"


Thursday, October 8, 2009, 7:00 p.m. - Dr. Cornel West                                        
"An Evening with Dr. Cornel West"
Tuesday, October 27, 2009, 7:00 p.m. - W.S. Merwin
"An Evening of Poetry with Pulitzer Prize-winner W.S. Merwin"
Thursday, November 19, 2009, 7:00 p.m. - Ronald Numbers
"Antievolutionism in America"
Thursday, February 11, 2010, 7:00 p.m. - John Paul Lederach
"The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace"
Tuesday, March 16, 2010, 7:00 p.m. - Lester Holt
"The Democratization of Journalism"


Monday, September 15, 2008, 7:00 p.m. - Professor Jonathan Weiner
"The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time"
Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 7:00 p.m. - Mr. James West
"Spirituality and Religion: "A Cheyenne Family Story"
Thursday, January 29, 2009, 7:00 p.m. - Dr. Martha Nussbaum
"Not for Profit: A Defense of Liberal Education"
Monday, March 23, 2009, 7:00 p.m. - Dr. Phillip Jenkins
"The Lost History of Christianity"


Monday, September 17, 2007, 7:00 p.m. - Dr. Stephen G. Post
"Why Good Things Happen to Good People"
Wednesday, November 14, 2007, TBD - Dr. Kenneth Miller
"Darwin and Christian Faith"
Tuesday, November 27, 2007, 7:00 p.m. - Professor Tobias Wolff
"The Lies of Memoir, the Truth of Fiction"
Tuesday, January 29, 2008, 7:00 p.m. - Dr. Marianne M. Jennings
"What Makes Really Smart and Good People Do Really Dumb and Unethical Things"
Monday, March 24, 2008, 7 p.m. - Dr. Charlotte Canning
"A Yankee Hamlet in the European Court:  U.S. Theatre and Cold War Foreign Policy"
Friday, April 11, 2008, 11:00 a.m. - Dr. Mark Noll
TBD - Reed Lecture sponsored by the Disciples of Christ Historical Society


Monday, September 18, 2006, 2:00 p.m. - U.S. Senator John Kerry
(topic to be determined)
Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 7:00 p.m. - Dr. Leonard Shlain
"The Alphabet Versus The Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image"
Tuesday, January 23, 2007, 7:00 p.m. - Dr. Richard A. Muller
"Military Secrets of the Oceans, Atmosphere, and UFOs"
Tuesday, March 27, 2007, 7:00 p.m. - Ms. Myrlie Evers-Williams & Mr. Jerry Mitchell
"Stories of Justice and Redemption from Mississippi"


September 29, 2005 - Mr. Jack Hanna
"Going Wild for Wildlife"
October 10, 2005 - Dr. Stephen Weathers
"The (Other) Good Confession: 'I Was Wrong'"
October 27, 2005 - Dr. Elaine Richardson
"Lil Kim, Hiphop Womanhood, and Speak in the Truth"
January 8 & 9, 2006 - Dr. J.G.D. Dunn
"Jesus Remembered (The Making of Christianity)"
January 24, 2006 - Dr. Neal Lane
"America's Future in Science and Technology - Some Storm Clouds on the Horizon"
March 21, 2006 - Dr. Os Guinness
"Can Freedom Last Forever? - The Framers' Forgotten Question And How We Are Doing Today"


January 9, 2005 - Dr. N.T. Wright
"The Challenge of Following Jesus in the Twenty-first Century"
January 10, 2005 - Dr. N.T. Wright
"The Challenge of Following Jesus in the Twenty-first Century"
January 11, 2005- Dr. N.T. Wright
"The Challenge of Following Jesus in the Twenty-first Century"
January 24, 2005- Dr. David G. Myers
"The Scientific Pursuit of Happiness"
February 14, 2005 - Mr. David Leeson
"Finding Your Mission"
March 21, 2005 - Dr. Carrie Haslett
"American Masters and their European Muses: 1870-1950"
April 11, 2005 - Dr. Nancey Murphy
"Neuroscience and the Soul"


January 11, 2004 - Dr. Luke Timothy Johnson
"Learning the Human Jesus: History and/or Literature?"
January 12, 2004 - Dr. Luke Timothy Johnson
"Learning the Living Jesus: Discipleship in the Church"
January 29, 2004 - Dr. William Cronon
"Telling Tales on Canvas: Landscapes of Frontier Change"
February 16, 2004 - Dr. Kenneth G. Elzinga
"Microsoft and the Chicago School of Economics: Is Antitrust Obsolete?"
March 8, 2004 - Kathleen Norris
"Shaping the Life that Matters"
March 30, 2004 - Dr. Roland Fryer
"What Price Diversity? The Economics and Ethics of Affirmative Action"
September 07, 2004 - D'Esta L. Love
"Introducing the Pepperdine Voyage Project"
September 14, 2004 - Jerry Rushford
"The History of Pepperdine"
September 27, 2004 - Dr. Rick Marrs and  Dr. Ken Durham
"The History of The Churches of Christ"
October 11, 2004 - Dr. Andrew K. Benton


February 10, 2003 - Laura Skandera Trombley
March 6, 2003 - Robert Bellah
March 18, 2003 - Allen Fox, John Naber, Ryne Sandberg and Paul Westphal
March 25, 2003 - Professor Glenn McGee


January 17, 2002 - Barbara Boxer
January 28, 2002 - George Azar
February 18, 2002 - Lero D. Baca, L.A. County Sheriff
March 18, 2002 - Luis Lugo
April 8, 2002 - Dr. Milefi Kete Asante