The Mary and Louis Fusco Distinguished Lecture Series is a major intellectual event in the greater New Haven area. Each year, the series brings a political, social, or creative leader to campus.
The lectures present the Southern community and the community at large with rare opportunities to hear a variety of viewpoints on topics that influence their lives and profoundly affect their futures.
The series also involves the community by offering businesses and individuals an opportunity to become sponsors at various levels of financial support. Proceeds from the event provide scholarship support for Southern students through the Endowed Awards of Excellence, a merit-based scholarship program that attracts and recognizes academically talented students.
- 2019 Michael Phelps, Olympic Champion
- 2018 Joe Biden, Former U.S. Vice President
- 2017 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, NBA Legend, Social Justice Advocate, Cancer Survivor
- 2016 Robin Roberts, Co-Anchor, ABC News' Good Morning America
- 2015 Mariano Rivera and Joe Torre, New York Yankees Legends
- 2014 Jay Leno, Former Host of The Tonight Show
- 2013 Alan Alda, Actor, Science Advocate
- 2012 Mark Kelly, Astronaut
- 2011 Michael J. Fox, Actor and Author
- 2010 Apolo Ohno, Olympic Speed-Skating Champion
- 2009 Peter Gammons, ESPN Commentator; Brian Cashman, New York Yankees General Manager
- 2008 Tim Russert, Political Journalist and Analyst
- 2007 Whoopi Goldberg, Actor, Comic, Humanitarian
- 2006 Bill Belichick, Head Coach, New England Patriots
- 2005 Madeleine Albright, Former U.S. Secretary of State
- 2004 Mario Cuomo, Former Governor, New York
- 2003 Rudolph Giuliani, Former Mayor, New York City
- 2002 Ehud Barak, Former Prime Minister of Israel
- 2001 Dana and Christopher Reeve, Actors, Disability Rights Activists
- 2000 Walter Cronkite, Former Broadcast Journalist
- 1999 Colin Powell, Former U.S. Secretary of State