Thank you to our Sponsors, Producers and all those who attended for a memorable 2021/2022 Season!

The goal of the Campus at the Cultural Center is to support and sustain the life-long love of learning by sponsoring programs and presentations on topics that engage our members. The Speaker Series covers a variety of mind-expanding topics, presented by dynamic speakers who will inform and entertain. Dining with the Presidents offers a relaxed and delicious way to learn more about this country’s historic leaders. New this season is Great Decisions, a series of virtual lectures focusing on the most thorny problems facing the world today. The popular Food & Film presents carefully selected films with culinary content which are introduced by our Film Historian and followed by a dinner with a menu inspired by the film. 

$57++ per person includes dinner and speaker; reservations required.

Meet and greet our guest speaker during cocktails starting at 6:00pm. Be seated at the table to listen to our speakers presentation, followed by a specially prepared dinner. During dessert, you will hear answers to written questions submitted by your and other tables.

AjBaime_web_150x191CANDICE MILLARD
James Garfield
Thursday, January 13

On July 2, 1881, President James Garfield was shot by a madman in a train station in Washington, DC, setting off a cascade of events that would leave his country forever transformed. In her critically acclaimed, New York Times best-selling book, Destiny of the Republic: Madness, Medicine and Murder of a President, Candace Millard reveals extraordinary life and tragic death of a man who, had he lived, might have been one of our greatest presidents.

Millard is best-selling author and former editor and contributing writer at National Geographic magazine. She has the rare talent of making history assessable. In her animated lectures, she draws on meticulous research and a passion for giving forgotten history new life.

AjBaime_web_150x191MARK UPDEGROVE
Lyndon Baines Johnson
Thursday, February 3

Based on his book Indomitable Will: LBJ in the presidency, Mark K. Updegrove, the former Director of the LBJ presidential Library, explores the enduring, often surprising legacy of the 36th president. Playing a series of taped telephone conversations from LBJ's administration, the audience will hear LBJ in rare, intimate moments that shed light on his consequential presidency: partnering with Martin Luther King, Jr., and seminal civil rights legislation; expressing his anguish about the Vietnam War with Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara; bolstering the spirits of Jacqueline Kennedy in the wake of her husband's assassination. The audience will get a revealing sense of LBJs bigger than life personality, passion for reform, and uncanny knack for getting things done.

AjBaime_web_150x191EVAN THOMAS
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Thursday, March 10

Upon assuming the presidency in 1953, Dwight Eisenhower set about to make good on his campaign promise to end the Korean War. Yet while Eisenhower was quickly reviewed by many as a doddering lightweight, but he was a master tactician. To end the hostilities, Eisenhower took a colossal risk by bluffing that he might use nuclear weapons against the Communist Chinese, while at the same time restraining his generals and advisers who favored the strikes. Ike's gamble was of such magnitude that there could be but two outcomes: thousands of lives saved, or millions of lives lost. Ike's Bluff is enormously relevant to the growing crisis with China over Taiwan. 

Thomas is an American journalist, historian, and author of nine books, including Ike's Bluff: President Eisenhower's Secret Battle to Save the World.

These four complementary lectures, with a wide variety of topics, are open to all members. Reservations are not required.

AjBaime_web_150x191JESSICA PAYNE, PhD
The Science of Sleep and Stress
Thursday, February 17

What's going on in your head while you sleep? The research of Notre Dame Professor Jessica Payne shows that the non-waking hours are incredibly valuable for your day-to-day life, especially for helping to commit information to memory and for problem solving. Many regions of the brain - especially those involved in learning, processing information, and emotion - are actually more active during sleep than when you're awake. Professor Payne's research has focused on what types of information are submitted to memory, and has been instrumental in better understanding how the brain stores the information.

AjBaime_web_150x191GEN. ROBERT NELLER
Global Assessment
Wednesday, March 9

Robert B. Neller is a U.S. Marine Corps four-star general who retired in 2019 as the 37th Commander of the Marine Corps, after 45 years of active duty. He has served in Europe, Asia, and domestically. He will review current and global conditions and take questions from the floor.

AjBaime_web_150x191JEFFREY MORTON, PhD
Great Decisions in Person
Thursday, March 24

Jeffrey S. Morton, PhD, is a professor of Political Science at Florida Atlantic University, where he founded and developed three major programs: the Diplomacy Program, which trains undergraduate students in the art of diplomacy and conflict resolution; the FAU Peace Studies Program and; the Peace, Justice & Human Rights Initiative.

AjBaime_web_150x191DAN HUDAK
The 2021 Oscars: Best Picture
Sunday, March 27

Dan Hudak, Film Critic in print, radio, and television will discuss each Best Picture Oscar nominee in respect to why each film was nominated with accompanying clips and critique. Dan's lively lecture will review the Academy’s voting habits along with background trivia about Oscar history, and conclude with predictions that may be surprisingly accurate.

AjBaime_web_150x191MO ROCCA
Mo Rocca Unleashed
Thursday, April 7

The American humorist, actor, journalist who has contributed to all forms of today’s media — podcasts and books, TV and stage, late night humor and even daytime cooking shows! Few people are as multi-talented as Mo, or as active in the industry through all the changes from print to digital to audio. Mo Rocca will be interviewed by our own Alex Woodsum, who will draw out the author on his love of dogs as Presidential pets and other topics, in a wide-ranging review.

Dinner with Mo Rocca
Thursday, April 7
$57++, Reservations Required

This will be a special evening on the theme of the Love of Reading and Good Books — and the many forms that those books come in today. Where years ago hardbacks ruled, then audiobooks, and Kindles, now podcasts are transforming the landscape. Ocean Reefers do it all — and love to recommend their favorites to each other. An evening of sharing how and what we read, with the innovator, Mo Rocca, as commentator. Book trivia, reading lists and swapping will all be part of the evening’s activity.  Bring your book group and share the fun.



Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion group on world affairs. The ORC format will be Dr. Morton remotely delivering the eight lecture series. He will be building a factual basis for informed discussions and deeper understanding of critical issues. 

Jeffrey Morton specializes in International Law with a principal focus on the laws of armed conflict. He is considered a pragmatist in his conceptualization of world affairs and U.S. foreign policy. Dr. Morton lectures widely on matters of international law, U.S. foreign policy, conflict and terrorism. He will be at Ocean Reef in person on March 24 as part of the Cultural Center Campus Speakers series.

Tuesday, February 1 • 5:00PM
Changing Demographics
The world experienced remarkable demographic changes in the 20th century that continue today and have resulted in far-reaching social, economic, political, and environmental consequences all over the globe. These consequences are creating mounting challenges to development efforts, security, the environment, as well as the sustainability of human populations. By Joseph Chamie

Tuesday, February 22 • 5:00PM
Outer Space
The launch of Sputnik 1 in October 1957 marked the beginning of the space era and of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. in the 21st century, there are many more participants in space, including countries such as India and China, and commercial companies such as SpaceX. How will the United States fare in a crowded outer space? By Eric Berger

Wednesday, March 2 • 5:00PM
Climate Change
The ideological divide in the United States on the subject of climate change has impeded progress in curbing greenhouse emissions. But extreme weather events at both ends of the thermometer have focused attention on the consequences of inaction. What role will the United States play in future negotiations on climate? By Ron Bee

Tuesday, March 15 • 5:00PM 
Russia and the U.S.
Russia and the United States have many areas of conflict and some possible areas of mutual interest. Arms control, Russian interference in U.S. elections and support of cyberattacks, the status of Ukraine, the fate of opposition politcians in Russia, all continue to be concerning. How will the new administration in Washington approach these issues? By Allen Lynch

Tuesday, March 22 • 5:00PM
Myanmar and ASEAN
The situation in Myanmar, including the coup by the military in February 2021 and the ongoing human rights crises, coupled with civil resistance by those opposed to the regime, has led to the chaos in the Southeast Asian country. How are neighboring countries reacting, and what role will ASEAN play? By Hunter Marston

Tuesday, March 29 • 5:00PM
Quad Alliance
As part of the U.S. pivot to Asia, the United States has been in dialogue with Japan, Australia, and India in an effort to contain China. Recently, the Quad countries held joint naval exercises in the South Pacific. How effective will the actions of this alliance be? By Kevin Rudd

Tuesday, April 5 • 5:00PM
Drug Policy in Latin America
The issue of migration to the United States from Latin America has overshadowed the war on drugs, which has been underway for decades with little signs of progress. What are the roots and the bureaucratic logic behind today's dominant drug policies in Latin America? Is it time to reconsider punitive drug policies that disrupt supply chains and punish drug possession? By Mónica Serrano

Tuesday, April 19 • 5:00PM
Industrial Policy
The current discussion of industrial policy in the United States is not simply about whether or not to support specific companies or industries, but about trust or mistrust of the government and its ability to manage the economy and deal with a rising China. The upheaval in supply chains during the pandemic exposed weaknesses in the international economy. What policies can the United States implement to deal with trade and the economy? By Jonathan Chanis

Tuesday, April 26 • 5:00PM
Biden's Agenda
The new administration in Washington promised to reverse many of the policies of the past administration, especially in foreign policy. How will issues such as climate, the pandemic, and alliances be treated under the Biden administration? By John Ikenberry