Distinguished Speaker Series

The Distinguished Speaker Series will not be held in 2023-2024

The Bakersfield College Distinguished Speaker Series brings community leaders from around the world to Bakersfield whose achievements have had national and/or international significance. Each speaker was proposed to BCSGA by either a department or a faculty member. Collaborations between many entities on campus make these events successful each year!

The events are free and open to the public.

For more information, please email studentlife@bakersfieldcollege.edu

Accommodations are available with advanced notice, please contact the Office of Student Life, studentlife@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

Past Distinguished Speakers


  • Aron Ralston: Adventurer, Advocate, and Survivalist
  • Dr. James Lindsay: Author, Mathematician, Commentator
  • Rev. James Lawson: Pioneer, Strategist of Non-violence, Revolutionary Activist
  • Mark Rabbitt: Speaker, Trainer, Leadership Authority
  • Evan Austin: Paralympic, Medalist, Coach
  • Dr. Eddie R. Cole: Author, Professor, Scholar
  • Kwame Anthony Appiah: Ethicist, Arbiter, Philosopher
  • Dr. Rosemarie Zagarri: Historian, Author, Professor
  • Will Gadd: Athlete, Adventurist, Guide
  • Dr. Melanie Lundquist: Philanthropist, Visionary, Advocate


  • James Fitzgerald: Criminal Profiler, Forensic Linguist, Author
  • Dr. Pamela Douglas: Researcher, Professor, Healthcare
  • Dr. Moogega Cooper: Trailblazer, Engineer, NASA
  • Justin Hansford: Law Professor, Civil Rights Activist, Scholar
  • Erika Sanchez: Novelist, Poet, Feminist


  • Fredi Lajvardi: STEM, Robotics
  • Louie Cruz Beltran: Master Percussionist, Superb Singer, Versatile Entertainer
  • Victor Davis Hanson: Military History, Classics, Educator
  • Beverly Gooden: Empowerment, Advocate, Overcomer
  • David French: Senior Editor, Columnist, Bestselling Author
  • Gordon Bellamy: USC Professor, Game Designer for Madden NFL Football
  • Elaine Weiss: Journalist, Writer, Suffrage Activist
  • Barry Scheck: Attorney, DNA expert, co-founder of The Innocence Project