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2022 Series Speakers

2022 Series Speakers


Salem State Series


The Power of Flexible Philanthropy

Ways unrestricted funds have been mobilized for good:

40th anniversary Salem State Series Committee

Salem State Series Information

John Legend and Lisa Hughes 2017 Salem State Series

The Salem State Series was founded in 1982 under the auspices of the Salem State University Alumni Association and Foundation, Inc. as one of the first high-profile speaker series in the country. It has hosted countless world leaders, artists, athletes, and intellectuals on its suburban North Shore campus. Annually, thousands of patrons come to Salem State to hear what Series speakers have to say on a wide variety of subjects.

A self-supporting community enrichment program presented through the generous and dedicated support of corporate and individual sponsors alike, the Series is but one facet of the university’s progressive public education mission.

2022 Series Sponsors

Platinum Sponsor

Kim Gassett-Schiller '83, '18H and Philip Schiller

Presenting Sponsor

Denorabilia.Com Dennis Drinkwater '67, '12H

Gold Sponsor

Axial Financial Group 

Silver Sponsors

Eastern Bank Foundation

Karen M. Morrissey '71, '93H

Salem State Alumni Association

The Hotel Salem 

Bronze Sponsors

Annalisa and Dino Di Palma 

Boston Advisors

Hawthorne Hotel on the Commons 

North Shore Bank


WXRV/92.5 the River

Rich Bane '12H

DGI Communications

Cheryl Webster and Michael Crounse

Henry '60, '62G and Claire Dembowski

Merry Glosband

Gorton's Seafood

Andrea and Gary Gregory

John J. Walsh Insurance Agency, Inc.

Elliot '78 and Donna '78, '98G Katzman

Andrea Liftman '75G

Cynthia McGurren '83

Mike ’07 and Estrella ’07 Mitchell

Joanne ’68, ‘19H and Phil ‘19H Ricciardiello

Eugene and Kathleen Skrabut 

Salem Five Charitable Foundation

St. Jean’s Credit Union Charitable Foundation

Sterling Insurance  

SSU Student Government Association

C. David '88 and Debbie Surface

The Tin Whistle

Fall 2022

Award-winning Layer, Amal Clooney

Amal Clooney






Spring 2022

Iconic MLB Player, David Ortiz "Big Papi"

David Ortiz at the 2022 Series in May

Spring 2020

Paul Farmer, MD, PhD, chief strategist and co-founder, Partners In Health, moderated by Mallika Marshall, MD, health reporter, WBZ-TV Boston

Paul Farmer, MD, PhD

Fall 2019

Rebecca Eaton, Executive Producer, MASTERPIECE, moderated by Jared Bowen, WGBH

Fall 2019 Series with Rebecca Eaton with Jared Bowen

Spring 2019

Sam Kennedy, General Manager, Boston Red Sox, moderated by Steve Burton, CBS Local

Sam Kennedy and Steve Burton with Cynthia McGurren, Dennis Drinkwater and John Keenan


Paul Farmer MD, PhD moderated by David Walton, MD, MPH and Jim Ansara '10H

2018 Speaker Series with Paul Farmer MD, PhD, John Keenan, president Salem State University and moderators


John Legend moderated by WBZ-TVs Lisa Hughes

John Legend at the Salem State Series


Ed Davis and Richard DesLauries moderated by Lisa Hughes 


Tom Brady and Jim Gray 

Tom Brady with Jim Gray


Cory Booker
Tony Kushner and Robin Young


Bobby Valentine and Peter Gammons


Newt Gingrich
John Irving


Ted Kennedy Jr.
Dr. Deepak Chopra


Jay Leno
Bob and Lee Woodruff


Bill Belichick 
George F. Will


Cal Ripken Jr.
President George H.W. Bush and Natalie Jacobson
Tom Wolfe
Maya Angelou


Robert Redford and Joyce Kulhawik
Patrick Buchanan
Bianca Jagger


Thomas Friedman
David Halberstam
Jack and Suzy Welch and Anne Driscoll ’76


Goldie Hawn
Jesse Ventura
Christopher Reeve and Dr. Robin Cook


Dr. Christiane Northrup
Jamling Norgay and Peter Hillary
Rudy Giuliani


David McCullough
Dr. Jane Goodall
Mia Hamm and Dale Arnold
The Motley Fool


Mark Russell
Molly Ivins
Bill Russell and Mike Lynch
President William Jefferson Clinton


Sebastian Junger and Linda Greenlaw
George Mitchell
Walter Cronkite and Natalie Jacobson


Beverly Sills
George Stephanopoulos
Doug Flutie


Benazir Bhutto
Dave Barry
Barbara Bush


Mike Wallace
Joan Rivers
Shimon Peres


Brian Mulroney
Ken Burns
Ann Richards


Mary Matalin and James Carville
Colin L. Powell
Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu


Capitol Steps
Mary Higgins Clark
President George H.W. Bush


Mario Cuomo
Gloria Steinem
Mary Fisher


Marvin Kalb
Judy Woodruff
Robert Fulghum


William Bennett
Alex Haley
Ed Koch


C. Everett Koop
Pat Schroeder
Mark Russell


Mario Cuomo
Helen Thomas
Elie Wiesel


Thomas “Tip” O’Neill
Lesley Stahl
Abba Eban


Geraldine Ferraro
Ed Bradley
Helmut Schmidt


Jeane Kirkpatrick
Sam Donaldson
Reverend Jesse Jackson


President Jimmy Carter
Doris Kearns Goodwin
Kevin McCarthy


Alexander Haig
Howard K. Smith
Art Buchwald


President Gerald Ford
Douglas Kiker
Henry Kissinger

The Power of Flexible Philanthropy

Ways unrestricted funds have been mobilized for good:

  • Funded 498 Student Emergency grants
  • Expanded the Center of Civic Engagement's 2021 Day of Service
  • Maintained technology, including Bloomberg Terminals in the Cabot Wealth Management Lab
  • Funded 118 internship scholarships for students
  • Funded a graduate assistant for the Inclusive Excellence Office
  • Provided meal plans for participants of the Massachusetts -Student Housing Security Pilot Program
  • Funded 14 scholarship and departmental awards

Finding Meaning through Civic Engagement: Lizabeth Davis ’23

Lizbeth Davis '23

“Through Salem State’s First Year Day of Service, which gives 100 first-year students the chance to spend a day giving back to the local community made possible by unrestricted funds, I volunteered at the food pantry at Citizens Inn Haven from Hunger. After this, I applied for and became a Civic Engagement Fellow through the university’s Center for Civic Engagement. A lot of the issues students face, like accessing resources and food insecurity, shouldn’t be their problems. I’ve learned from the Center how to advocate for people without speaking for them. If I see an issue on campus that other students want to solve, I can be part of the solution by amplifying their voices and helping them push it through. It’s really empowering.”

Prioritizing the Needs of Vulnerable Students: Rachel Frank ’19G, MSW

Rachel Frank '19G MSW

“Students aren’t going to graduate if they’re hungry and have nowhere to sleep. Thanks to the Massachusetts Student Housing Security Pilot Program and unrestricted gifts to Salem State, we’re able to provide our most vulnerable students with the basic security, dignity and autonomy they need to succeed in college. We guarantee 12 months of campus housing and cover meal plans. When these individuals can stay enrolled and ultimately graduate, upward socioeconomic mobility becomes possible for these motivated and deserving students.”

Providing Experiential Learning Opportunities: Sanjay Kudrimonti, assistant professor of accounting and finance

Sanjay Kudrimonti

“Thanks to unrestricted funds, the Cabot Wealth Management Lab can continue to provide hands-on experience outside and inside the classroom, an essential tool for my students managing the Student Investment Fund. The lab provides access to the financial information via 12 Bloomberg Terminals and elevates the abilities of student asset managers to investigate and analyze the work in the process portfolio.”

Ways to Engage

Sponsor the Series

As a sponsor, you will enjoy valuable interaction with key change-makers in the greater Boston community and the world, while receiving valuable marketing benefits and exclusive access to our speakers.

Stay in the Know

Be among the first to know about upcoming Salem State Series events, speakers, exclusive ticket promotions, news, and more.

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