Benson to Speak at Alma College Presidential Speaker Series

Speaker Series event highlighted by Michigan Secretary of State

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the event featuring Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson on Thursday, March 17 at 6 p.m. has been postponed. Additional information will be shared when it’s available.

ALMA — Building a sense of community, both locally and globally, is the focus of the 2021-22 Presidential Speaker Series at Alma College.

The college will welcome Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson as its first guest in the series, with a speech scheduled for 6 p.m. March 17 at the Oscar E. Remick Heritage Center for the Performing Arts. The event is free and open to the public.

“We are delighted to be back fully in-person, following the last two years, for one of our favorite annual events on campus, the Presidential Speaker Series,” Alma College President Jeff Abernathy said. “As we strive every day to better the communities we’re a part of, it’s important to listen to those who have been successful in doing that work and hear what they have to say. I trust that our campus community will find Jocelyn Benson’s remarks interesting and very worthwhile.”

Benson is Michigan’s 43rd Secretary of State, which is the third-highest official in the state. Among Benson’s responsibilities, she is the chief election officer for Michigan and also oversees vehicle registration, licensing of automobile drivers, notaries public and is the keeper of the Great Seal of Michigan.

She is the author of “State Secretaries of State: Guardians of the Democratic Process,” the first major book on the role of the secretary of state in enforcing election and campaign finance laws. She is also the Chair of Michigan’s Task Force on Women in Sports, created by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2019 to advance opportunities for women in Michigan as athletes and sports leaders.

A graduate of Wellesley College, Magdalen College at Oxford and Harvard Law School, Benson served as dean of Wayne State University Law School in Detroit. She continues to serve as vice chair of the advisory board for the Levin Center at Wayne Law, which she founded with former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin.

“As a graduate of a Division III, liberal arts college, Jocelyn Benson is uniquely positioned to help empower our students to use their own liberal arts education to impact and make change in the world,” said Andrew Pomerville, director of the Center for College and Community Engagement (3CE) at Alma, who organizes the Presidential Speaker Series. “We are very excited to host her this year.”

More speakers will be announced in weeks to come.

The 2021-22 Presidential Speaker Series theme is focused on communities — what it means to build them, why they are important and the differences between local and global communities. It comes on the heels of the creation of the 3CE, a program designed to create collaborative opportunities for the college and greater Alma area.

Members of the public may reserve tickets by visiting Members of the Alma College campus community should use the Alma Connect app to get in.

The Presidential Speaker Series schedule will continue to be updated and will extend into 2022. For the most up-to-date speaker schedule and information on how to access each event, visit

Story published on March 07, 2022