Since 1982, the Dillon Lecture Series has provided distinguished and notable speakers that many in Hutchinson, Kansas and surrounding communities might not have the opportunity to experience. From poets, politicians, space scientist to American heroes, each are chosen by the Dillon Lecture Committee by following the teachings of Chinese philosopher Kuan-Tzam “learning is the key to enlightenment”, to educate and inspire audiences across a wide age span. All lectures are held in the Hutchinson Sports Arena beginning at 10:30 a.m. and last one hour. General admission tickets are $10. Students and school groups admitted free of charge. Tickets are available online or at the HutchCC Campus Store.
As a child, Byron Pitts was functionally illiterate and spoke with a stutter. Today, he is an Emmy Award winning journalist, author and co-anchor of ABC News “Nightline”. With over 20 years of experience as a news veteran, he’s known for his thoughtful storytelling, on-the-ground reporting and in-depth interviews. His 2009 Memoir, “Step Out on Nothing: How Faith and Family Help Me Conquer Life’s Challenges” chronicled his journey overcoming illiteracy and a stutter to become a journalist.
Bill Graves was the 43rd Governor of Kansas, serving from 1995-2003. Elected at the age of 41, he was one of the youngest governors in Kansas history. His term of office saw strong economic growth for Kansas after years of recession, and a continued excellence and emphasis on education. Following his tenure as governor, he has served as president of the American Trucking Association.
Col. Mark Tillman was chosen as the nation’s 12th Presidential Pilot and served as commander of Air Force One for eight years under President George W. Bush. The retired colonel was responsible for “the flying White House” throughout both of Bush’s terms and has edge-of-your-seat stories to share about keeping the President safe on Sept. 11, 2001, and clandestinely flying the President in and out of Iraq on Thanksgiving 2003.
Amanda Knox is an exoneree, journalist, public speaker, and author of the New York Times best-selling memoir, “Waiting to Be Heard”. Between 2007 and 2015, she spent nearly four years in an Italian prison and eight years on trial for a murder she didn’t commit. Amanda now works to shed light on the issues of wrongful conviction, truth seeking, and public shaming, and to inspire people towards empathy and perspective.
The Dillon Lecture Series is funded by patron membership and community corporate sponsorship. Hutchinson Community College serves as the coordinating entity for the series. The Dillon Lecture Series Committee selects three to four speakers each year. Individual patron membership is $135.00 per year.
PATRON ONLY BENEFITS
*Reserved Seating at all lectures
Enjoy the ability to obtain a premier seat for each lecture. Patron seats are the best in the house. They provide close up views and superior sound, allowing you to enjoy every minute of the presentation.
*Private catered lunch
Immediately following every lecture, a private catered lunch is offered to patrons only. This lunch is served in close proximity to the lecture, allowing patrons to enjoy fellowship and delicious food without traveling.
During the private luncheon for patrons, the visiting guest will provide supplementary presentations. Previous speakers have given additional lectures, initiated question and answer opportunities, and facilitated open discussions.
Book signings, meet & greet, autograph and photograph opportunities are often available at the luncheon by the visiting lecturer. Take advantage of this membership benefit and enjoy interacting with the guest speakers.
A variety of membership options are available. Please contact the coordinator to find out more information about the current choices for membership.
Call us for more information at 620-665-3505 or visit www.hutchcc.edu/dls
Seasonal Patron Membership Gift Certificates are available year round. They make a wonderful present for any age!
In 1981, Barbara Peirce, a part-time teacher of Kansas history at Hutchinson Community College, and her friend Jeanette Mull wanted to bring an event to the HutchCC Campus to be patterned after the Landon Lecture Series at Kansas State University.
With their idea in mind the two went to Ed Berger, then Dean of Continuing Education, who liked the idea of such a forum on campus. So Peirce and Mull proceeded to set up the program. They wanted to name the series in honor of Ray and Stella Dillon, long-time Hutchinson residents who were supporters of the community, in recognition of their contribution and their contributions and their interest in young people.
With the initial financial support of the Ray and Stella Dillon Foundation, and additional funding from friends who became the first patrons, the two were able to present the plan to the HutchCC Board of Trustees in November of 1981. Thus, the Ray and Stella Dillon Lecture Series was born, with a motto from the teachings of Chinese philosopher Kuan-Tze, that learning is the key to enlightenment.
The first Dillon Lecturer was former Iranian hostage Richard Morefield, who addressed a crowd of more than 2,000 people in the Hutchinson Sports Arena on March 29, 1982.
In the review of the lecture, the Hutchinson News said:
"The triumph is now part of the perfect inaugural in Hutchinson, in which the virtues of people helping people can be continually highlighted and stimulated. The Ray and Stella Dillon Lecture Series opens as a smashing success."
The first lecture ticket cost only three dollars, and the college was so overwhelmed with response from the public, that the lectures have remained open to the public since that time.
To date more than 150 speakers from all walks of life have addressed audiences at HutchCC.