Distinguished Speaker Series


Dynamic events. Fascinating people. Captivating stories.


Compelling speakers from National Geographic Live are sponsored by the George E. McCammon Memorial Distinguished Speaker Series.


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.

In 1998, Class of 1925 alumnus George A. McCammon established the George E. McCammon Memorial Distinguished Speaker Series at McKendree with an endowed gift in honor of his father, Dr. George E. McCammon. Dr. McCammon served as a Methodist minister for 18 years before he became president of McKendree College in 1919.

Like his father, Mr. McCammon believed that significant learning is not limited to the classroom. With this gift to McKendree in his father’s honor, he created a forum for the exchange of ideas that occurs outside the classroom.

 

 

 

Dr. Zoltan TakacsNat Geo Live! logo

Dr. Zoltan Takacs

Deadliest Lifesavers

Biomedical Scientist


Biomedical scientist Zoltan Takacs collects and researches the deadliest snake, scorpion, and jellyfish venoms for medical innovation—venoms that target vital life functions and thus could be the blueprint of novel medications. An aircraft pilot and scuba diver, he’s traveled to 155 countries and survived charging elephants, pirated waters, and a series of snake bites.


National Geographic Live!

Dynamic events. Fascinating people. Captivating stories.


Generously sponsored by the George E. McCammon Memorial Endowment.

 

Tickets on Sale - August 13 at Noon button  Nat Geo Series

 

 

 

Play the Kenny Broad, Cave Diver VideoIshmael Beah

Child soldier

 

  • UNICEF Ambassador and Advocate for Children Affected by War

  • Human Rights Watch Children’s Advisory Committee member

  • Author of A Long Way Gone, Memoirs of a Boy Soldier; and Radiance of Tomorrow

Ishmael Beah wants to put a human face on the suffering of children forced to go to war. In 1991, at the outbreak of a brutal civil war in Sierra Leone, West Africa, his parents and two brothers were killed and he was forcibly recruited to become a soldier at age 13. After becoming involved with the United Nations, it sparked Beah to continue his advocacy on the devastating effects of war on children in his country.

McKendree University hosts an on-campus Model United Nations conference for local high schools. Currently 15 schools and over 300 students attend this conference each semester. McKendree has hosted this conference for over 40 years - it is one of the longest-running Model UN conferences in the country!


Generously sponsored by the George E. McCammon Memorial Endowment.

 

Tickets on Sale - August 13 at Noon button 

 

 

 

the idea labthe idea lab

Presenters TBA


McKendree University’s the idea lab returns for another evening of informative and performative talks in one 90-minute event. Speakers will be announced in the Fall 2020.


Generously sponsored by the George E. McCammon Memorial Endowment.

 

Tickets on Sale - August 13 at Noon button  Discovery Series button 

 

 

 

Bertie GregoryNat Geo Live! logo

Bertie Gregory

A Wild Life

Photographer

 

Whether camping with wolves on Vancouver’s western beaches, pursuing peregrine falcons in London, or filming leopards in the streets of Mumbai, Bertie Gregory captures the essence of what it means to coexist peacefully—with respect and humor—alongside the magnificent creatures of the natural world.


National Geographic Live!

Dynamic events. Fascinating people. Captivating stories.


Generously sponsored by the George E. McCammon Memorial Endowment.

 

Tickets on Sale - August 13 at Noon button  Nat Geo Series