The Thurgood Marshall College Speaker Series (formerly the Scholar and Citizen Speaker Series) brings notable intellectuals, social activists, educators, and artists to campus who uphold the college philosophy of a more just society.  Over the last ten years we have hosted Nobel Laureates (Derek Wolcott, Wole Soyinka) , Pulitzer authors (Nicholas Kristoff), MacArthur “Genius” Fellows (Dr. Henry Louis Gates) and Oscar Nominees (Gregory Nava).  On occasion, the topic and the scheduled speakers can cover an entire week of symposia and master classes for our students.  All events are free and open to the public. The list below reflects distinguished speakers of years past.


Jim Sobieski - Winter Quarter 2018


Date: Wednesday, February 21st 

Time: 6:30 - 8:00 pm 

Location: Atkinson Hall Auditorium (Warren College neighborhood)

Jim Sobieski is a civil rights attorney whose work during the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964 was pivotal in the statewide and national battle for civil rights. 

Mr. Sobieski asks prior to his tenure as our guest speaker for Winter Quarter 2018, that those who are interested in attending his speech review the following:


Jim Sobieski - 2018

Jim Sobieski



John Marshall - 2016

Commencement Announcement

Bill Keller - 2016

Bill Keller

Pulitzer Prize winner, former Executive Editor of the New York Times, Editor-in-Chief of The Marshall Project

Bill Keller

Bill Keller is editor-in-chief of The Marshall Project. Keller worked for The New York Times from 1984 to 2014 as a correspondent, editor, and op-ed columnist. As a correspondent, he covered the collapse of the Soviet Union, winning a Pulitzer Prize, and the end of white rule in South Africa. From July 2003 until September 2011, he was the executive editor of The Times.


Date: Tuesday, May 17th

Time: 10:00am – 11:30am

Location: Thurgood Marshall College Administration Building, Conference Room 127

Achieving Judicial Diversity in San Diego - 2016


judicial diversity

The Journey to Justice Speaker Series: "Achieving Judicial Diversity in San Diego," honors the legacy of the first African-American U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, for which UC San Diego's Third College (1970) was renamed (1993).

It also serves to honor the legacy of the Hon. Earl B. Gilliam, San Diego's first African-American Municipal (1963)Superior Court (1975) United States District Court for the Southern District of California (1980) Judge and the Hon. Elizabeth A. Riggs, the first African-American woman Municipal (1979) Superior Court (1998) Judge.


Thurgood Marshall College, African & African-American Studies Research Center, Department of Political Science, and Department of Sociology.


The Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association

Frank Bruni - 2015


Celebrated New York Times columnist Americans Today and their Customized Cocoons

frank-bruni-imgFrank Bruni, prominent Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times, will discuss a troubling effect that web and social media technologies have had on American lives. While these tools open the world to us and enable unprecedented connections, they also have the effect of creating narrowly personalized niches that separate us from one another. Bruni will examine how this occurs and the way this contributes to the fracturing of our society. Drawing examples from politics to popular culture, he will talk about how, in his own life, he resists becoming confined to his own customized cocoon.
Bruni’s career has run a fascinatingly diverse gamut. He has covered presidential campaigns, flew on the papal plane with Pope John Paul II, rode in a Bradley fighting vehicle in Saddam’s Iraq, and as The New York Times’ restaurant critic from 2004 to 2009, has dined his way through Manhattan’s best bars and eateries. Bruni joined The New York Times in 1995. In addition to the wide variety of hats that he has worn at The Times,he has also written two New York Times bestsellers: a memoir, “Born Round,” and “Ambling Into History,” a chronicle of George W. Bush’s campaign for the presidency.


Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: UC San Diego Mandeville Theater
free and open to the public
no tickets or reservations required
parking is $4.00 after 4:30 p.m.


Thurgood Marshall College, Helen Edison Lecture Series, and Council of Provosts 

Myrlie-Evers Williams - 2015


Nathan East - 2014


Lewis Black - 2013


Larry S. Gibson - 2013


Tom Hayden - 2012