The 2014 series will feature four lecturers, starting with Retired CIA Officer, Tony Mendez, Tuesday February 11th.

2014 Patron memberships are on sale now, and cost just $125.  Patron members receive reserved seating at the lecture, and tickets to the luncheon.  To become a patron subscriber, call Laurie Sawyer at 620-665-3505. 

Individual tickets for the Dillon lectures are also available for $10, with all students and HCC faculty/staff admitted free.

All lectures begin at 10:30 am.


Tony Mendez - February 11, 2014

Retired CIA Officer

Tony Mendez is a retired CIA officer, an author and an award winning painter. Tony led two lives. For 25 years he worked undercover participating in some of the most important operations of the Cold War. To his friends he was a quiet bureaucrat working for the U.S. military. To the CIA, he was their disguise master.

In January 1980, he was awarded the Intelligence Star for Valor for engineering and conducting the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Iran during the hostage crisis. This rescue operation involved creating an ostensible Hollywood film production company, complete with personnel, scripts, publicity and real estate in LA which is the subject of the Academy Award winning movie, “Argo”.


Laura Ling - April 1, 2014


In March 2009, journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee were apprehended by North Korean soldiers while filming a documentary along the China-North Korea border. They were convicted by the North Korean government for illegal entry and committing “hostile acts” against the country. Ling and Lee were each sentenced to 12 years of hard labor for their alleged crimes. Ling stated that she never intended to cross into North Korea. In August of 2009, former president Bill Clinton engaged in diplomatic talks with North Korea in an effort to secure Ling and Lee’s releases. He returned to the U.S. with the two women later that day.

Captain Richard Phillips - September 23, 2014

Mariner and Author

Richard Phillips was the captain of the Maersk Alabama when it was taken hostage by Somali pirates in 2009. Phillips was held at gunpoint on a tiny lifeboat by the ruthless hijackers until his dramatic rescue at sea by Navy Seals. His story has been made into an Oscar nominated film with Tom Hanks in the lead role as Phillips.

Dr.Adam Steltzer - November 4, 2014

NASA Engineer

Dr. Steltzner was the Lead Landing Engineer of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover project. For 10 years, he led the team of engineers that invented the pioneering landing system that spectacularly placed the Curiosity rover on the Martian surface.