An Independent School • Grades 5-12

Lakeside Lecture Series

The 2021-2022 Lakeside Lecture Series will include evening events open only to current parents and guardians, who must be fully vaccinated. Registration is required for individual events, and attendees must follow all Lakeside health and safety protocols.

Thank you in advance for your flexibility if plans need to change due to COVID-19 and its variants.

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 using the links below. Recordings of the Mark J. Bebie ’70 Memorial Lecture and the Dan Ayrault Memorial Lecture will be available on this webpage; a recording of the Bernie Noe Endowed Lecture on Ethics and Politics will be made available to current parents and guardians. 

2021-2022 Lecture Speakers

Darcy Gaechter

Mark J. Bebie ’70 Memorial Lecture
Oct. 20, 2021

Register now

An adventurer, record-setter, and boundary-breaker, Darcy Gaechter is best known as the first woman to kayak the Amazon River from source to sea. The journey required her crew to paddle over 4,000 miles across the widest part of South America, a voyage that took 148 days to complete. 

Besides kayaking the entire Amazon River, Gaechter has achieved many “first female descents” of the world’s hardest rivers. She has participated in kayaking expeditions that required her to carry an 85-pound kayak for 13 miles up and over a 12,000-foot pass in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range to then tackle six days of the hardest runnable whitewater. She has led expeditions in Africa, Asia, South America, Europe, and North America. 

She is also the author of “The Kayaker’s Guide to Ecuador,” and “Amazon Woman,” an adventure memoir detailing her Amazon River expedition and the life challenges she faced to get there — the rights of which have been purchased to turn her story into a movie.

Isabel Wilkerson

Bernie Noe Endowed Lecture on Ethics and Politics
Feb. 9, 2022

The Belanich family has asked that Lakeside rename the endowed lecture on ethics and politics in honor of Bernie Noe.  It will henceforth be called the Bernie Noe Endowed Lecture on Ethics and Politics.

Registration will open in January.

Isabel Wilkerson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal, is the author of the critically acclaimed, New York Times bestsellers “The Warmth of Other Suns” and “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.”

“The Warmth of Other Suns” won the National Book Critics Circle Award, among other honors, and was named to more than 30 best-of-the-year lists. Time magazine named it one of the 10 best non-fiction books of the decade. The New York Times Magazine named “Warmth” to its list of the best nonfiction books of all time.

Her new book, “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents,” was published to critical acclaim and became a Number 1 New York Times Best Seller. Oprah Winfrey chose it as her 2020 summer/fall book club selection, declaring it “the most important book” she had ever selected.

Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her deeply humane narrative writing while serving as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times in 1994, making her the first Black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first African American to win for individual reporting. In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded Wilkerson the National Humanities Medal for "championing the stories of an unsung history."

Monika Batra ’92 Kashyap

Dan Ayrault Memorial Lecture
March 16, 2022

Registration will open in January.

Monika Batra Kashyap is a Lakeside School alumna from the Class of ’92, an immigration attorney, immigrant rights activist, law school clinical professor, and 9/11 cancer survivor. Kashyap began her legal career in 2001 in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11 in New York City, where she represented undocumented immigrant youth in foster care. Upon returning to her hometown of Seattle, Kashyap worked as a removal defense attorney representing immigrants detained at the Northwest Detention Center. For over twenty years, Kashyap has been committed to representing immigrants as an immigration lawyer and clinical professor at Seattle University School of Law.

Kashyap has also served on the board of one of the largest immigrant rights organizations in the U.S., the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, for nearly a decade. She has also served on the boards of two organizations dedicated to ending violence in immigrant communities: Sakhi for South Asian Women in New York City, and API-Chaya in Washington state. 

Kashyap’s scholarship is focused on the intersections between immigration law, settler colonialism, and critical race theory. Two of her recent law review articles include, “U.S. Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and the Racially Disparate Impacts of COVID-19,” and, “Unsettling Immigration Laws: Settler Colonialism and the Immigration Legal System.” Kashyap will share insights from her legal career and life journey.

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: To attend evening lectures, you must be a current parent/guardian, be fully vaccinated, register at the links below, and follow Lakeside health and safety protocols, including wearing a face mask. 

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