Lectures are held the third Friday of the month. Join us for refreshments at 9:15 a.m. followed by presentations from outstanding speakers from 10–11 a.m. in the Franciscan Center of Lourdes University. Free for members and first-time visitors.

For questions call 419-824-3707 or email


Protesting in America

Friday, January 19

During the 2016 NFL season Colin Kaepernick ignited a firestorm of controversy when he began “taking a knee” during the playing of the National Anthem. President Trump made his disdain for these actions public and a debate raged over the role of protests in American life.

Join Professors Thomas Estrella and Dale Lanigan as they explore issues of free speech and public debate. Does the First Amendment allow for unlimited speech? Are some forms of speech so hurtful that they should be regulated? Sparks are sure to fly when these two academics clash from opposite ends of the political spectrum. Thomas Estrella is Associate Professor of Psychology and Dr. Dale Lanigan is Chairperson of the Department of Sociology & Justice Studies at Lourdes University.


Visit with Johnny Appleseed    

Friday, February 16

Legends tell of a man who walked barefoot through Ohio’s worst snows, wore a saucepan on his head, and scattered seeds. Stories of Johnny Appleseed were based on the life of John Chapman, a frontiersman who traveled through Ohio and Indiana in the early 1800s. Chapman did more than plant orchards; he was also an early environmentalist, missionary, and real estate investor. He exemplified respect, simplicity, and kindness throughout his life.

Johnny Appleseed will be portrayed by Doug Bahnsen, whose love of early American history helps him bring historical characters to life through stories, songs, and humor. Bahnsen has been an historical interpreter for more than 25 years, focusing on American leaders who have addressed social, economic, and environmental injustices.


Spring Migration in NW Ohio: Marketing the Warbler Capital of the World

Friday, March 16

Each May, birders from around the world flock to northwest Ohio for Black Swamp Bird Observatory’s “Biggest Week In American Birding”. Timed to coincide with the peak of songbird migration through the area, the Biggest Week connects birders with one of the greatest concentrations of migratory birds in the western hemisphere. In her presentation, Kimberly Kaufman will explain why the birds are here, and how much the visiting birders mean for our local economy.

Ms. Kaufman is the Executive Director of Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO). She played a key role in building BSBO’s school programs. Additionally, she founded the highly successful Ohio Young Birders Club, a group for teenagers that has served as a model for youth programs in 16 other states. She has co-authored two books, received several awards recognizing her work in education and conservation, and writes a monthly column for Birds and Blooms magazine.


The American Irish – America’s First Unwanted Immigrants 

Friday, April 20

Unlike other immigrant groups, the Irish came to America in several historically distinct stages. Their emigration began early in the 1700s, prior to the American Revolution, when they left an island dominated by British colonialism only to arrive in a British colony where they endured the same anti-Irish prejudice they had fled. Although each wave of emigration was driven by different conditions – one of which included the Great Starvation – those Irish arriving on America’s shores encountered opposition that required adjustment.

Dr. Metress will take the listener on their varied journeys and their attempts to make it in America. He teaches the “Irish-American Experience” as well as “Conflict in Northern Ireland” at the University of Toledo, writes on Irish issues, and has done fieldwork in Ireland’s six northern counties. He is presently completing a book titled The American Irish and Their Journey: America’s First Unwanted Immigrants, coauthor


Creating Laughter with Others: An Introduction to Improv

Thursday, May 17

“Laughter is the best medicine” may be cliché, but we do feel better after a good laugh. How long can a few laughs sustain us before whatever is truly ailing us resurfaces? If laughter is the best medicine, then improvisational comedy, or the act of creating laughter with others, can be a cure. Far more impactful than simply getting some laughs, improv offers a new approach to interacting with other people.

Nick Morgan will introduce the core principles of improvisation and lead us in a wide range of improv exercises and games. Nick is the Director of the Improv Program at the Toledo Repertoire Theatre and also produces and performs in ‘The Monthly’ improv show at The Valentine Theatre every final Friday of the month. A Toledo native, he began his comedy career in Chicago, training at the Second City and the iO Theater.