Presidential Lecture Series

Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series

President Thomas A. Parham established the Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series to engage the campus and surrounding community in thought-provoking discussions on some of society's most pressing issues. Each year, the series will bring leading scholars, artists, and leaders to share their thoughts and experiences with the Toro community. Speakers are chosen for their eloquence as well as the impact of their actions, both within their respective industries and throughout the nation and world. The series is open to CSUDH students, faculty, and staff, as well as the general public.

Past Events

The Intersection of Art and Music
March 24, 2021

"The Intersection of Art and Music" highlighted the interconnectedness of visual art and music, as mixed-media artist Toni Scott completed a "live painting" to the accompaniment of the CSUDH Orchestra. Conductor Charles Dickerson led the orchestra in a performance of "Rhapsody in Blue" and Beethoven's "5th Symphony," while Scott painted an original piece inspired by the music.

Kenny G - Campus Holiday Celebration
December 9, 2020

After sharing personal anecdotes about his storied music career, and advice for CSUDH students, Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Kenny G performed a special holiday concert for the campus community during the virtual 2020 Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series on Dec. 9.

Kenny G is among the world’s most acclaimed instrumental musicians and one of the biggest selling artists of the modern jazz era with worldwide sales of more than 75 million records. The opportunity to have him as a Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series speaker came about after the president was invited by CSUDH Philanthropic Board Chair Maria Villa (’82, B.S. business administration) and her husband, Steve Lathrop, to play a round of golf with Kenny G.


Xavier Becerra - Fighting for a Sustainable Future and Healthy Communities
February 7, 2019

The Honorable Xavier Becerra was the featured speaker for the Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series in February, 2019. Attorney General Becerra discussed California’s efforts to defend environmental protections that are critical to our health and well-being. The event was one of several marking President Thomas Parham’s inauguration as the 11th President of California State University, Dominguez Hills.

The lecture was followed by a panel discussion featuring Dr. John Thomlinson, CSUDH Professor & Chair of Biology; Tim Watkins, President/CEO, Watts Labor Community Action Committee; and Hawk McFadzen, CSUDH graduate student and CalFresh Outreach Coordinator.


Tommie Smith - Silent Gesture: Athletics and Courageous Conscience
November 7, 2018

The lecture series began with legendary Olympic athlete Tommie Smith, whose raised fist on the medal platform at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics has become an iconic and defining moment in the fight for civil rights. Smith's lecture was followed by a panel discussion regarding athletes and social activism, with former NFL star Reggie Bush, NFL Network reporter Steve Wyche, UC Riverside athletic director Tamica Smith Jones, and CSUDH volleyball player Esther Duru.