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 –or to suggest a speaker– please call 419-824-3707 or email

U.S. Immigration Policy
January 18

As caravans of migrants seeking asylum descend upon our border with Mexico, the debate on our approach to immigration intensifies. Should immigration laws be restructured? Should we build the wall? Do immigrants have a role in “Making America Great Again”? Join retired Psychology Professor Tom Estrella and Dr. Dale Lanigan, Assistant Professor of Sociology & Justice Studies when they discuss and debate immigration policy in the United States. Good friends from opposite sides of the political aisle, they will tackle the history of domestic immigration policy as well as the positions taken by the major political parties.

Virtual Tour of the Toledo Botanical Garden
February 15

The Toledo Botanical Garden is 60 acres of display gardens and relevant plant collections operated by Metroparks Toledo. Experience a photographic tour to learn about the history of this public garden as it evolved from George Crosby’s horse farm into a regional center for horticulture with its nationally recognized plant collections, an Artist Village, community events, volunteer involvement, a public art collection, and the various garden areas that truly make this place a living museum of plants.

Jonathan Milbrodt is the Lead Horticulturist at the Toledo Botanical Garden with Metroparks Toledo and has worked at the botanical garden since 2008. He received his BS degree in Landscape Horticulture from The Ohio State University.

Criminal Justice Reform
March 15

The United States houses almost a quarter of the world’s prison population at a cost of roughly $80 billion per year. Does this really make us safer? The First Step Act is the most far-reaching prison reform agreement that Congress has passed in decades. The impacts of this legislation will be discussed by Ronnie L. Wingate, a practicing criminal defense attorney. A graduate of UT Law School, Mr. Wingate received the 2017 Liberty and Justice Award from the Maumee Valley Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

Smart Cars, Smarter Transportation
April 12

Transportation is a basic need in our daily lives and the transportation industry is vital to the economy. For the past 100 plus years, cars and buses have been the primary mode of transportation for most people. Many technologies being developed will improve the safety and efficiency of these vehicles. Self-driving technology promises to drastically reduce collisions and improve mobility for many, including seniors and disabled people. Exciting developments and their widespread impacts will be discussed.

Dr. Eddie Y. Chou, PhD., P.E. is Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the Transportation Systems Research Laboratory at the University of Toledo. He has been a transportation engineering researcher for over 30 years, and has conducted numerous research projects for various agencies including US DOT, Ohio DOT, City of Toledo, among others.

Introducing Canada, Our Northern Neighbor
May 10

Come on, isn’t Canada really just like the United States? Why should we learn more about our northern neighbor and its outlook on the world? As tensions between the US and Canada have grown in recent years, it’s important to think about our shared and divergent interests. Northwest Ohio and southern Michigan have extensive links to Canada—concerning trade, security, the environment, and culture—so why aren’t we getting along?

Join Dr. Rebecca Mancuso for a crash course on Canada that will help you appreciate our neighbor and its importance to us. Dr. Mancuso is an Associate Professor of History at Bowling Green State University who has taught and written on Canada for 25 years. She promises that after the seminar, you’ll be able to hold an informed conversation with any Canadian you meet.