Jealous to Replace Dees as Calvaruso Keynote Speaker


April 18, 2016

Benjamin JealousAlbion College received word on Friday, April 15 that due to health concerns, Morris Dees, co-founder and chief trial attorney of the Southern Poverty Law Center, would be unable to give the 2016 Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote that will conclude the College's 27th annual Elkin R. Isaac Student Research Symposium.

Over the weekend, the College arranged for Benjamin Jealous (right), president and CEO of the NAACP from 2008-2013, to come to campus and deliver the keynote, titled "The Secret to Unleashing Inner Greatness." The schedule for the Calvaruso Keynote remains the same: Thursday, April 21, at 7 p.m. in Goodrich Chapel.

"We are sad that Morris Dees can't come to Albion and we hope for his speedy recovery," said Mike Van Houten, library co-director and symposium coordinator. "We are also very pleased that Benjamin Jealous will be able to join us on short notice for what I'm sure will be a fantastic event."

Jealous was the youngest president in NAACP history. Under his leadership, the NAACP grew to be the largest civil rights organization online and on mobile, and became the largest community-based nonpartisan voter registration operation in the country. He began his career at age 18 opening mail at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and prior to leading the NAACP, he spent 15 years as a journalist and community organizer.

Jealous has been a leader of successful state and local movements to ban the death penalty, outlaw racial profiling, defend voting rights, secure marriage equality, and end mass incarceration. A Rhodes Scholar, he was named by Fortune and Time magazines to their “Top 40 Under 40” lists, and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Currently, Jealous is a partner at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kapor Capital, where he invests in high-growth companies that have a positive social impact and continues his goal of increasing opportunities for minorities in the tech economy.

The symposium opens Wednesday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m., with Mallory Brown, '08 giving the Elkin R. Isaac Alumni Lecture in the Norris Center's Towsley Hall.

From 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, more than 130 Albion students will present research papers and other scholarship during the Isaac Student Research Symposium. The Symposium honors alumnus Elkin "Ike" Isaac, '48, who served Albion for 25 years as a coach, professor and athletic director. Isaac later taught and served as athletic director for the University of the Pacific. The Symposium was established in 1991 by Isaac's former students and team members.

The day's events also include the Honors Convocation, an annual recognition of outstanding students in academic departments, programs and academic honorary societies across the College, at 10:45 a.m. in Goodrich Chapel.

All Symposium events are free and open to the public. For further information, please visit