Convocation Lecture Series

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration

Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, 4 p.m., Richardson Chapel

Modern-Day Applications to the Mission and Legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Guest Speaker: Shaun Harper, Ph.D., will join us virtually.

Shaun HarperShaun Harper teaches at the University of Southern California in the Marshall School of Business and advises CEOs and leaders on diversity, equity and inclusion strategy. Dr. Harper has worked with more than 400 businesses, firms and educational institutions during his career, and has published 12 books and more than 100 academic publications. His research has been cited in over 16,000 published studies. The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and hundreds of other news outlets have quoted Dr. Harper and featured his research. He has been interviewed on CNN, ESPN, NBC News and NPR.

This lecture is open to the public and is generously underwritten by the Clifford and Paula Dietz Professional Development Lecture Series endowment.

Masks covering the nose and mouth are required regardless of vaccination status.

Register for Virtual Access

To watch the lecture virtually, please register and you will receive detailed information on how to access the event.


Labrador Lessons from a Canine Hero

Michael Hingson and black lab dog AlamoMichael Hingson and Guide Dog Alamo: A Story of Ultimate Trust and Teamwork

Thursday, March 3, 2022, 7 p.m., Branigin Room, Napolitan Student Center

Guest Speaker: Michael Hingson,  The Council of Independent Colleges Visiting Fellow


Michael Hingson will share and discuss the 10 lessons of “Guide Dog Wisdom” presented in his #1 New York Times best-selling book, “Thunder Dog,” sharing how we can apply these same lessons in our lives. He will use his story of survival and escape from the World Trade Center with his former guide dog, Roselle, on Sept. 11, 2001, as a backdrop to show how each of us can become a better team player and more open to the idea of trusting others.

Hingson brings with him Alamo, a five-year-old black Labrador retriever guide dog who travels the world with him, talking about trust, teamwork and life. He will share details about working with guide dogs and the many lessons he has learned from them.

This lecture is free and open to the public, and is generously underwritten by the Tillman Lecture Fund, established by Franklin College alumnus and Board of Trustees member Doug Tillman ’70.

Mask covering the nose and mouth are required regardless of vaccination status.


Digital Fluency Convocation: De-coding Digital Fluency

David GerbitThursday, April 7, 2022, 7 p.m., Branigin Room, Napolitan Student Center

Guest Speaker: David Gerbitz


Having scaled organizations in tech, retail and media companies, David Gerbitz is no stranger to the dynamic digital landscape. He regularly consults on leadership and business performance in these environments. Gerbitz is currently the Chief People Officer at Qurate Retail Group. He was formerly the Chief Operating Officer at Pandora Media/ Sirius XM, and has held global leadership roles at Microsoft, Yahoo! and Amazon. 

The evolving digital landscape is powering eye-popping innovation, exponential growth, accelerated consumption and business disruption. And it is leading a new platinum era of talent. Today’s workforces are increasingly more agile, distributed, collaborative and hyper-dynamic.

Many liberal arts students question if their knowledge and skills apply in these digital first environments and therefore shy away from high tech careers.  But their education and experiences are critical to the success of these organizations to advance business outcomes and societal change.

Join us for an invitation to wander the digital landscape and discuss the importance and the high reward of digital fluency in your career journey.

This lecture is free and open to the public.

Mask covering the nose and mouth are required regardless of vaccination status.


NOTE: Franklin College continues to monitor the incidence of COVID-19. We follow guidance from our local healthcare partners and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding large gatherings, which could impact these events. Please visit this website for any additional updates.