Bakersfield College

Distinguished Speaker Series

Distinguished Speaker Series

BCSGA and the Office of Student Life invite you to attend one or all of this year’s Distinguished Speaker Series events.

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

Dr. Melanie Lundquist

Philanthropist | Visionary | Advocate

Thursday, April 13, 2023
2 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Renegade Events Center, Campus Center

Dr. Melanie Lundquist, LHD, is an activist philanthropist whose voice is as fearless as her charity work. Melanie and her husband Richard are agents of change and two of California’s most significant philanthropists. Their gifts have created the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a sustainable, national transformation model for underserved non-charter K-12 public schools and they have helped transform health care delivery and spur biomedical research and innovation as well as efforts to combat climate change.

Melanie and Richard have pledged more than $350 million over the last decade to support various education and cultural initiatives and health care efforts—almost all in Southern California, which they have called home their whole lives. They leverage their philanthropic commitments to affect significant and measurable impact through driving systemic change, focusing on areas where their gifts can change systems as well as fortunes, not just make incremental progress. They choose not to follow the crowd; instead, they seek to kick off a virtuous cycle that attracts other donors.

Melanie guides their efforts as an “activist philanthropist” who conducts extensive due diligence before involving herself in a non-profit, rolling up her sleeves to engage in all levels of the organization. Richard’s civic leadership and business acumen helps to make their vision for change a reality. And their philanthropy is creating the classrooms and laboratories of the future.

Woman on ladder in front of tapestry of hands.