The Bonner and Bonner Lecture Series was established in 1992 and was named in honor of Drs. Thomas and Mary Bonner, ESU’s first and second African American faculty members. The series provides a valuable window to diversity, promoting tolerance and understanding on campus, in the community and throughout the state. We are grateful to former faculty and staff members Beverly Thompson, Dr. William E. King, Dr. Harry L. Stephens, and Kimera Maxwell who recognized the need for this lecture series back in the early 1990s and whose advocacy helped establish it as an important tradition at Emporia State.
In 2015 the Honors College, with its focus on civic leadership for the common good, assumed the responsibility of sponsoring and organizing this landmark annual event. Consistent with the tradition of the lecture series to promote diversity and inclusion, the role of civic leadership in making progress on challenges facing our communities will also be included in each lecture.