Convocation Lecture Series

Convocation Lecture Series 2023-2024

Franklin College tradition includes hosting an annual Convocation Lecture Series that promotes the ideals of the institution. The college upholds a common set of values that enhances the community and sustains personal, spiritual and professional growth for a lifetime. The college values people of integrity, a commitment to inclusivity, a culture of intellectual curiosity, the drive for innovation and creativity and the spirit of community.

Scroll down to learn more about each of the five lectures.



Constitution Day Celebration

“Franklins In Our Midst”

Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, Noon, Branigin Room, Napolitan Student Center

Guest Speaker: U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Indiana

U.S. Sen. Todd Young represents Hoosiers in the U.S. Senate and serves on the committees for Finance; Foreign Relations; Commerce, Science and Transportation; and Small Business and Entrepreneurship.  

Young is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He graduated with honors in 1995 and accepted a commission in the U.S. Marine Corps. In 2000, he was honorably discharged with the rank of captain. While serving in the Marines and working as a business consultant, he earned an MBA and a law degree. In 2010, he ran for the U.S. Congress and served three terms representing Indiana’s 9th District. He then was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016.  

Join us for Young’s presentation on how Benjamin Franklin’s legacy can help inspire a new generation of American innovators to uphold the U.S. Constitution. A short Q&A will follow his lecture. 

This event was free and open to the public.





Pablo Borboroglu, Ph.D. — Global Penguin Society 

2023 Indianapolis Prize Winner

“Saving Species: My Life & Work Protecting Penguins”

Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, 7 p.m., Branigin Room, Napolitan Student Center

Join the 2023 Indianapolis Prize Winner for animal conservation as he recounts his lifelong journey to save penguins. Dr. Pedro Borboroglu will share the challenges of conservation work, from protecting 32 million acres of ocean and coastal habitat to co-founding the Global Penguin Society, an international conservation coalition for the world’s penguin species. Learn how he took risks to save penguins in some of nature’s wildest places.  

Learn more about Dr. Borboroglu and the Indianapolis Prize from the Indianapolis Zoo.






2023 Spirit & Place Festival Event

“Come to the Table: Interfaith Understanding Through the Culinary Arts”

Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023

6:30 p.m., Tasting Reception, Johnson Atrium, Napolitan Student Center

7:30 p.m., Presentation and Panel Discussion with Adrian Miller, J.D., Branigin Room, Napolitan Student Center

Our interfaith programming aims to bridge understanding of the world’s religions by highlighting the differences and similarities of various faith traditions through artistic


expressions rooted in the arts and humanities. 

Join us for an evening of food, fellowship, and exploration of how different faiths interact with food and spirituality. Catered dishes from a variety of cultures and religious traditions will be shared as well as stories about the significance of these foods. 

Adrian Miller, J.D., executive director of the Colorado Council of Churches and award-winning author of Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time, will give a short presentation followed by a panel discussion featuring local practitioners of a variety of faiths. 

Sponsorship provided by the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation. 



Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration

Rev. Sharon Washington Risher

“Then and Now — What’s Different?”

Monday, Jan. 15, 2024

Event canceled.

Rev. Sharon Washington Risher was catapulted into the limelight after the shooting at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston  South Carolina, on June 17, 2015. Her beloved mother and the church’s sexton, Ethel Lee Lance, were killed along with eight others, including two cousins and a childhood friend.  

Since that horrific tragedy, Washington Risher has been outspoken about the nation’s gun laws and a highly visible representative of the grassroots advocacy groups Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Gun Sense in America. She also wrote and published a book, For Such a Time as This: Hope and Forgiveness After the Charleston Massacre 

Join us as she shares how the church massacre and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. have shaped her life.  




George Anders

LinkedIn Senior Editor-at-Large and Author

“Why We Need Liberal Arts Majors”

Thursday, March 14, 2024, 7 p.m., Branigin Room, Napolitan Student Center

Anders is a bestselling author with extensive professional experience in both traditional journalism and the data-driven dynamics of today’s tech sector. He has spent six years as a senior editor-at-large at LinkedIn, covering the future of work and writing the weekly Workforce Insights newsletter. He started his career as a journalist at The Wall Street Journal, where in 1997 he shared the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. Over the years, he also has been part of the core writing team at Fast Company magazine, Forbes and Bloomberg View.  Anders has written five business books on topics ranging from finance to health care. His most recent book is You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Education. 

Join us as he shares the essential skills for success in our fast-changing economy. He will explain why the case for the liberal arts is especially compelling today – and how to ensure that people with these strengths find the recognition and success they deserve. 

Anders will sign copies of his books following the event and offer his most recent book for purchase.  

Watch the event here: