News Archive

Symposium Archives

Isaac Lecturers:

2011 – John Ferris, '89
2010 – Kristen Neller Verderame, '90
2009 – James Gignac, '01
2008 – Jim Beck, '97
2007 – Eileen Hebets, '94
2006 – Joseph S. Calvaruso, '78
2005 – Elkin R. "Ike" Isaac, '48
2004 – Dr. John Porter, '53
2003 – Dr. Denise Cortis Park, '73
2002 – Dr. Joseph Serra, '56
2001 – Dr. John Vournakis, '61
2000 – James Misner, '66
1999 – Emilio DeGrazia, '63

Keynote Speakers:

2011 – Annie Leonard
2010 – Mira Nair
2009 – David Trimble
2008 – Carl Hiaasen
2007 – Steven Pinker
2006 – Regina Carter
2005 – Edward O. Wilson
2004 – Gloria Steinem
2003 – Salman Rushdie
2002 – Kurt Vonnegut
2001 – Dr. Doris Kearns Goodwin
2000 – Dr. Stephen Jay Gould
1999 – Wade Davis


pdf   2010 Symposium Program
pdf   2009 Symposium Program
pdf   2008 Symposium Program
pdf   2007 Symposium Program
pdf   2006 Symposium Program
pdf   2005 Symposium Program
pdf   2004 Symposium Program
pdf   2003 Symposium Program
pdf   2002 Symposium Program
pdf   2001 Symposium Program
pdf   2000 Symposium Program
pdf   1999 Symposium Program
pdf   1998 Symposium Program
pdf   1997 Symposium Program
pdf   1996 Symposium Program
pdf   1995 Symposium Program
pdf   1994 Symposium Program
pdf   1993 Symposium Program
pdf   1992 Symposium Program
pdf   1991 Symposium Program

The Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote Address Endowment

Joseph S. Calvaruso, '78, and his wife, Donna, established an endowment fund in 2005 to support the annual Elkin R. Isaac Symposium keynote address. The keynote address now bears Calvaruso's name.

An Albion native, he currently serves as executive director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation in Grand Rapids. Before joining the foundation, he was senior vice president and director of risk management for Mercantile Bank in Grand Rapids.

Active in the Republican Party on the state and national levels, Calvaruso is a member of the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Public Policy and Service Visiting Committee at the College.

In keeping with Calvaruso's personal goal to "try different things in life," the keynote endowment ensures the symposium will continue to provide an exceptional variety of presenters from the arts, sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

The Elkin R. Isaac Endowment

Elkin "Ike" Isaac, '48, with 2010 Symposium presenter Rachel Leads, '10. "Meeting Ike Isaac was such a rewarding experience. His continuing dedication to the College and his regard for Albion students is truly inspiring," Leads said. "I feel honored that I can take part in the Elkin Isaac Student Research Symposium, which honors such a great man." (Photo:Vanessa McCaffrey)

The Elkin R. Isaac Endowed Lectureship was created in 1991 by Albion College alumni in honor of their former teacher, coach and mentor, Elkin R. "Ike" Isaac, '48. Isaac taught at Albion from 1952 to 1975 and coached basketball, track and cross country. He led his teams to one Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association basketball title, six consecutive league championships in track, and three cross country championships. He also served as the College's athletic director and created Albion's "Earn, Learn and Play" program and the "Albion Adventure Program." In 1975, Isaac became athletic director at the University of the Pacific and retired from there in 1984.

Elkin Isaac passed away Aug. 13, 2013.

Reflecting Isaac's lifelong interests in higher education and research, proceeds from the endowment are used to bring a noted scholar to campus each year to offer the Isaac Lecture and to visit with classes. In 1997, the Isaac Lectureship was expanded and is now associated with Albion College's annual Student Research Symposium, featuring presentations by students recommended by their faculty sponsors for outstanding independent study and research. The symposium now bears Isaac's name.

The Isaac Endowment Committee:

  • Cedric W. Dempsey, ´54
  • T. John Leppi, ´59 (deceased)
  • Thomas G. Schwaderer, ´56
  • Leonard F. "Fritz" Shurmur, ´54 (deceased)
  • John R. Taylor, ´55

Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith 2013 Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote Address

“The Very Small Things of Life”

Thursday, April 18, 2013
7:00 p.m., Goodrich Chapel

Alexander McCall Smith has written and contributed to more than 100 books ranging from specialist academic titles to children’s literature. He is best known for his No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, which to date has been translated into 45 languages and sold over 20 million copies worldwide. The series, which was adapted for BBC Radio and HBO television, has inspired a cookbook and led McCall Smith to share the young Precious Ramotswe’s story in a series of children’s books.

While he has written many popular stand-alone novels and short stories, McCall Smith is a master of series fiction, including The Sunday Philosophy Club, Portuguese Irregular Verbs, and three children’s series. Fascinated with the challenge of writing to deadline, McCall Smith began two other series with novels written in installments. 44 Scotland Street was a cultural obsession when published in weekday installments in the Scotsman newspaper. Corduroy Mansions was likewise originally published and podcasted serially by the United Kingdom’s Daily Telegraph. McCall Smith is currently working on a book about W. H. Auden, scheduled for publication by Princeton University Press in 2014.

McCall Smith was born in what is now Zimbabwe and was educated there and in Scotland. He first returned to Africa to help establish a new law school at the University of Botswana. Now a professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh, he also served as vice chairman of the Human Genetics Commission of the United Kingdom, chairman of the British Medical Journal Ethics Committee, and as a member of the International Bioethics Commission of UNESCO.

McCall Smith is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Crime Writers’ Association’s Dagger in the Library Award, the United Kingdom’s Author of the Year Award (2004), the Saga Award for Wit, and Sweden’s Martin Beck Award. In 2007 he was made a Commander of the British Empire for his services to literature. He holds honorary doctorates from 12 universities, and the Presidential Order of Merit given by the president of Botswana. He lives in Edinburgh.

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