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.

Speakers address students during the day, both at assemblies and in smaller groups, and speak to the larger Lakeside community in the evening.

Lakeside School alumni, parents and guardians, students, and faculty and staff are invited to attend evening lectures. Lectures are free of charge, and RSVPs are appreciated. When possible, we post videos of each evening event.


2019-2020 Lecture Speakers

Bill Gates '73

Dan Ayrault Memorial Lecture - celebrating Lakeside's centennial
Oct. 2, 2019
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General John F. Kelly

Belanich Family Lecture on Ethics and Politics
Feb. 5, 2020

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The Belanich Family Lecture on Ethics and Politics will feature retired U.S. Marine Corp Gen. John F. Kelly, one of the longest-serving generals in American history. Kelly had a decorated 46-year military career. He served three years as commander of the U.S. Southern Command, where he focused on U.S. border security, organized crime, terrorist organizations, and drug trafficking in Latin America. In January 2017, shortly after his active-duty retirement, Kelly was sworn in as the fifth secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. After six months, he was selected to serve in the Trump administration as White House chief of staff, where he oversaw many of the administration’s security and immigration policies. He was the first career military officer to hold the position since Alexander Haig served as chief of staff under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Kelly remained chief of staff until he resigned in January 2019.

Min Jin Lee

Mark J. Bebie '70 Memorial Lecture
March 18, 2020

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This year’s Mark J. Bebie ’70 Memorial Lecture will be delivered by novelist Min Jin Lee. Lee’s 2017 book “Pachinko” broke new ground, exploring themes of discrimination and identity as it chronicled four generations of an ethnic Korean family in South Korea and Japan. The title appeared on multiple “best books of the year” lists in the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia, and was a finalist for the National Book Award for fiction. Lee’s debut novel, “Free Food for Millionaires” (2007), was a national bestseller and named one of the top 10 books of the year by The Times of London, NPR’s Fresh Air, and USA Today. An award-winning writer of short stories and essays, Lee frequently speaks about writing, politics, and literature at American colleges and universities, literary forums, Asian and Asian American centers and conferences, and other institutions. Currently residing in New York, Lee lived in Tokyo from 2007 to 2011 while researching and writing “Pachinko.” In 2017, she won the Brooklyn episode of the acclaimed performance/literature series Literary Death Match.

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 development@lakesideschool.org.

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 Belanich Family Speaker on Ethics and Politics supports a lecture or debate on political, ethical, or philosophical subjects, with the intent of promoting open discussion.
  • 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.

Location: St. Nicholas Hall, Upper School campus

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