An Independent School • Grades 5-12

Lakeside Lecture Series

The Lakeside Lecture Series brings speakers of national renown and from diverse backgrounds to Lakeside’s campus to expose Lakeside students to differing perspectives on a range of topics. A goal of the series is to foster open and inclusive dialogue in order to learn about the world and about each other.

Lectures are free of charge, and registration is required; register at the links below.

As part of Lakeside’s goal to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our community, in-person events may shift to a virtual format, be postponed, or canceled due to COVID-19. Thank you in advance for your flexibility.

2022-2023 Lecture Speakers

Photo of Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha

Mark J. Bebie ’70 Memorial Lecture
Oct. 19, 2022

Author of the bestselling book “What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City,” Hanna-Attisha is founder and director of the Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, an innovative and model public health program in Flint, Michigan. A pediatrician, scientist, activist, and author, she has testified four times before Congress and was awarded the Freedom of Expression Courage Award by PEN America. She was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and recognized as one of USA Today’s Women of the Century for her role in uncovering the Flint water crisis and leading recovery efforts. Most recently, Hanna-Attisha received the 2020 CDC Foundation’s Fries Prize for Improving Health.

Photo of Michael Sandel

Michael Sandel

Bernie Noe Endowed Lecture on Ethics and Politics
Feb. 9, 2023

watch the recording

Michael Sandel, a professor of political philosophy at Harvard, has been described as “the most relevant living philosopher,” a “rock-star moralist” (Newsweek), and “currently the most popular professor in the world” (Die Zeit). His writings — on justice, ethics, democracy, and markets — have been translated into 27 languages. His legendary course “Justice” is the first Harvard course to be made freely available online and on television. It has been viewed by tens of millions of people around the world, including in China, where China Newsweek named him the “most influential foreign figure of the year.” Sandel’s books relate the big questions of political philosophy to the most vexing issues of our time. His BBC programs “The Public Philosopher” and “The Global Philosopher” explore the philosophical ideas underlying news headlines around the world, including violence against women in India, corruption and everyday life in Brazil, and the global challenges of climate change and mass immigration.

Photo of Tess Rinearson '11

Tess Rinearson ’11

Dan Ayrault Memorial Lecture
March 15, 2023

watch the recording

Until recently, Lakeside graduate Tess Rinearson led the crypto team at Twitter, where she was responsible for the company's work with cryptocurrencies and other decentralized technology. She has been working in the crypto and blockchain industry since 2015, when she saw crypto's potential to do transformative good–and when she was alarmed by its potential for harm. Since then, Rinearson has helped develop new protocols and integrate cutting-edge technologies into practical applications. Prior to Twitter, she led the engineering team at the Interchain Foundation, which developed technology that underlies several of the most popular cryptocurrencies, and she serves on the board of the Mina Foundation, which is building sustainable, accessible blockchain technology. Rinearson's lecture is intended for an audience with a wide range of familiarity with technical subjects. 

Speakers are selected by a speaker selection committee that includes 11 members drawn from the faculty, staff, parents/guardians, alumni, students, and trustees. The committee is happy to receive suggestions for future speakers. Email the speaker selection committee at

Views and opinions expressed by speakers are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Lakeside School.

The Lakeside Lecture Series is made possible through individual endowments established by members of the Lakeside community. Each series has a distinct mission.

  • The Bernie Noe Endowed Lecture on Ethics and Politics supports a lecture or debate on political, ethical, or philosophical subjects, with the intent of promoting open discussion. The lecture was renamed by the Belanich family in honor of Noe in September 2021.
  • The Mark J. Bebie ’70 Memorial Lecture sponsors speakers on topics related to the environment, technology, education, and other subjects that were of interest to Bebie.
  • The Dan Ayrault Memorial Endowed Lecture honors the memory of Dan Ayrault, head of school from 1969 to 1990. Honoring Ayrault’s passion for education, lectures are designed to foster a robust exchange of ideas.

Time: Lectures begin at 7 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m.

Location: St. Nicholas Hall, Upper School campus

Health and safety: All visitors to campus – including parents and guardians, alumni, and prospective families – should be vaccinated and fully boosted, with religious and medical exemptions accepted. Visitors may be asked to show proof of vaccination. Learn more about Lakeside’s health and safety protocols.

Seating is available on a first come, first served basis. Contact us at 206-368-3606 to request special accommodations.

Lakeside Lecture Series speaker selection committee

Olivia F. ’23
Khalil W. ’24
David Dunkin, faculty
Bill Souser, faculty
Alina Badus, faculty
Erica Johansen, faculty
Bryan Smith, faculty
Allison Conkin,  staff
Jane Ridgeway ’05, staff
Katja Shaye P’20 ’23
Paul Johnson ’84
Michelle Chang ’90 Chen, trustee
Mark Klebanoff ’80, trustee
Kai Bynum, head of school

Previous Lecture Series speakers

The Dan Ayrault Memorial Endowed Lecture

  • Monika Batra '92 Kashyap, immigration attorney and law professor
  • Naomi André, professor of Afroamerican and African Studies and Women's Studies
  • Bill Gates '73, co-founder of Microsoft and philanthropist
  • Sally Jewell, former secretary of the interior under President Obama and former CEO of REI
  • Emily Johnston '81, emergency room physician and mountain guide
  • Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, former astronaut and teacher

The Mark J. Bebie '70 Memorial Lecture

  • Darcy Gaechter, author and adventure kayaker
  • Min Jin Lee, author
  • Jesmyn Ward, author and educator
  • Julie Lythcott-Haims, author and educator
  • Jelani Cobb, professor and director of Africana Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut and staff writer for The New Yorker

Bernie Noe Endowed Lecture on Ethics and Politics (formerly the Belanich Family Speaker on Ethics and Politics)

  • Isabel Wilkerson, journalist and author *Note: this scheduled lecture was canceled out of concern for the health of our community.
  • U.S. Marine Corp Gen. John F. Kelly, general and former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and White House chief of staff
  • Siddhartha Mukherjee, cancer doctor and author
  • Reza Aslan, religious scholar
  • Karl Rove and Howard Dean, deputy chief of staff for George W. Bush/former governor of Vermont, 2004 presidential candidate, and former chair of the Democratic National Committee