The Hettenhausen Center Announces 2021-2022 McCammon Distinguished Speaker Series

(LEBANON, Ill., August 25, 2021) – McKendree University’s Hettenhausen Center for the Arts plans to spotlight four compelling speakers, including guests from National Geographic Live!, during its 2021-2022 George E. McCammon Memorial Distinguished Speaker Series at the Lebanon, Ill., campus.

“The George E. McCammon Memorial Distinguished Speaker Series challenges students to examine key issues facing our society and apply the tools of their liberal arts curriculum as they search for truth and enlightenment,” said Liz Crabtree, director of the Hett.

Admission is $15 per speaker or $40 to see all four, and reservations are recommended. For more information, please visit, or call 618-537-6863. The schedule is as follows:

Sept. 8, 7:30 p.m.: Dr. Lauren Thompson, associate professor of history, presents “Friendly Enemies: Soldier Fraternization throughout the American Civil War.” McKendree’s own Dr. Thompson provides an in-depth analysis of the fraternization that commonly took place among Union and Confederate soldiers during the bloodiest war in U.S. history. Learn why soldiers risked their standing in the military, and perhaps their lives, to interact with the enemy.

Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m.: Lance Geiger, The History Guy, creates stories of forgotten history with topics ranging from aviation history to forgotten battles, historical figures and more. His award-winning channel has garnered more than 36 million views and 965,000 subscribers.

March 3, 2022, 7:30 p.m.: Nizar Ibrahim, paleontologist, presents “Spinosaurus: Lost Giant of the Cretaceous.” Hear the incredible story of how the largest predatory dinosaur discovered yet was almost lost to science before being uncovered again with the help of Ibrahim, one of the youngest explorers ever to lead expeditions to the Sahara. Ibrahim has unearthed countless dinosaur bones, rare fossil footprints, giant prehistoric fish and much more.

April 20, 7:30 p.m.: Rae Wynn-Grant, carnivore ecologist, presents “The Secret Life of Bears.” Dr. Wynn-Grant works in the expansive American Prairie Reserve to protect and restore iconic wildlife populations, including North American black and grizzly bears, in a region once known for its great number of wild animals. Dr. Wynn-Grant intends to find the answer to how bears and humans can coexist peacefully when wild habitats are crisscrossed with roads, fences and ranches.