Lectures and Events

Sponsored Lectures and Events to Enrich the Community

About Our Events

Free and open to the public, our events aim to allow students, faculty, and the community to explore all points of view on issues of the day. Our goal is to offer a forum for the campus and community to hear from renowned experts from a variety of fields, and understand multiple perspectives through civil, informed, and fruitful discourse.

University Distinguished Speaker Series

Co-sponsored with Western Carolina University’s Division of Academic Affairs and the Center for the Study of Free Enterprise, the Distinguished Lecture Series brings high-profile speakers to engage the campus and community in dialogue on national issues.

Each event will bring perspectives from leading figures in education, arts and music, politics, business and economics. The intent is to give students, faculty, staff and community members direct access to the voices that are shaping the nation, said Acting Provost Carol Burton.

Other scheduled speakers are:

  • Loretta Lynch, former U.S. attorney general.
  • Ken Langone, billionaire businessman, philanthropist and co-founder of Home Depot.
  • Michael Steele, former Republican National Committee chair and former Maryland lieutenant governor.
  • Cristina Henríquez, author of “The Book of Unknown Americans.”
  • Phil Drake, President & CEO of Drake Enterprises.

The Free Enterprise Speaker Series

Held three times per semester, WCU’s Free Enterprise Speaker Series gives WCU students direct access to leading thinkers on the importance of liberty and entrepreneurship to human flourishing. The Series is free and open to the public and is publicized through WCU and regional media.

Our speakers for Fall 2018 are as follows:

  • Siri Terjesen on September 10, 2018
  • Loren Lomasky on October 25, 2018
  • Ken Langone on October 22, 2018
  • Craig Richardson on November 12, 2018

Our speakers for Spring 2019 are as follows:

  • Jeff Percival on February 6, 2019
  • Samuel Myers & Steve Ha on April 3, 2019
  • Phil Drake on April 24, 2019

Upcoming Events

Previous Events

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A Conversation with Phil Drake

The Center for the Study of Free Enterprise, along side the Division of Academic Affairs at Western Carolina University welcomed Phil Drake, software pioneer, angel investor, community leader, and founder of Drake Enterprises, on April 24, 2019. Drake took the stage...

Building Success with Jeff Percival

On Februrary 6, 2019, The Center for the Study of Free Enterprise hosted Jeff Percival of Percival Enterprises for a workshop on success. The event was cohosted with Future Business Leaders of America - Phi Beta Lambda chapter at WCU. Jeff Percival has spent the last...