• Napa on Providence
  • Rooster's
  • The Community Culinary School of Charlotte

Thursday, October 18     6 to 8 p.m.

Queens University in the Belk Chapel


Perspective on Wealth & Racial Segregation

Faculty Facilitator:
Dr. Robert Whalen, Carolyn G. and Sam H. McMahon, Jr., Professors, History Department, Queens

Community Guest Speakers:
Dr. Pamela Grundy, Author, Color & Character
Dr. Jennifer Dixon-McKnight, Assistant Professor of History, Winthrop University


Segregation runs deeper than what?s visual to the eye. Longstanding historical patterns have and continue to shape today?s economic opportunity. Understand not only what has happened in the past, but understand how today?s choices make tomorrow?s history.

More information and registration 

Friday, October 19


Dr. Kevin Sodden can now be seen each day as the host of Healthline and Whole Body Health on Retirement Living Television. He was a national medical reporter for NBC News and has appeared regularly on NBC's "Today Show." He has also been a regular guest on the nationally syndicated golf show "Par For The Course."

Kevin currently serves as the worldwide Medical Director for Texas Instruments and the Cardinal Health Corporation and teaches as a courtesy Professor at the University of Florida College of Medicine. His other awards include the 2001 National Award for Excellence in Medical Reporting from the National Association of Medical Communicators, a finalist for the International Freddie Awards in 2001, and as the Executive Producer for "Rush of the Palms" received the 2003 International Film Critics award for short films. He served 23 years as an ER physician and was also the founder of the oldest, largest, physician owned managed care organization in the Carolinas.

In 2003, Kevin published "The Art of Medicine: What Every Doctor and Patient Should Know", a critically acclaimed book focusing on doctor patient communications and how to improve the doctor patient relationship. He is also a contributing author to the recently published "A Practical Approach to Occupational and Environmental Medicine" and to "Physician Leaders: Who, How and Why Now?" He is soon to publish his third book, "Women, Stress and Happiness: 10 Steps to Having It All and Saving Your Life."

Dr. Sodden graduated with honors from the University of Florida College of Medicine and is one of the original inductees into the University of Florida Medical Wall of Fame. He also has a Masters in Public Health from the Medical College of Wisconsin and a Masters in Personnel Administration from Florida State University. He graduated from Belmont Abbey College with a degree in History.

Kevin has 5 children, ages 40, 31, 30, 9 and 8 (these are not typos and he is crazy) and lives happily and relatively stress-free in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife, Dr. Meg Humphrey.

Lunch Bunch


J.D. Vance is an investor, commentator, and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, described by the National Review as a brilliant book and by The Economist as one of the most important reads of 2016. Ron Howard and Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment have announced plans to produce a movie based on Vance's book.

Raised by his working class grandparents in Middleton, Ohio, Vance graduated from Middleton High School in 2003 and then immediately enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in the Marines, he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

When he finished his four year enlistment, Vance enrolled at Ohio State University, where he studied political science and philosophy, and helped coordinate the university's bipartisan voter education drive in 2008. After graduating from college, he studied at Yale Law School, where he worked at Yale's Veterans Legal Services Clinic, providing free legal counsel to veterans of our nation's wars in Vietnam and Iraq. Vance earned his law degree in 2013.

After a stint at a large corporate law firm, Vance moved to San Francisco to work in the technology industry. He serves as a principal at the leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm Mithril Capital, cofounded by Peter Thiel and Ajay Royan. As an investor, Vance has taken a special interest in the biotechnology industry and other transformative sectors of the economy.

In early 2017, Vance joined as a partner in AOL founder Steve Case's venture capital company, Revolution LLC, which concentrates on bolstering entrepreneurship and disruptive, high growth companies outside of the sphere of Silicon Valley. He also returned home to Ohio to found Our Ohio Renewal, a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the state opioid crisis and bringing high-quality employment and educational opportunities to Ohioans.

He regularly discusses politics and public policy, having appeared on ABC, CBS and FOX News, and currently serving as a contributor on CNN. Vance lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife and two dogs, where he works on his nonprofit and investment activities.

Ticket Sales SOLD OUT

Ticket prices range from $25 - $65.

Queens University of Charlotte offers Senior Scholars a 20% discount - use the  code LSFALL  at checkout. 

Carolinatix: J. D. Vance

If you prefer to purchase tickets via phone, call the CarolinaTix box office at 704.372.1000.

Wednesday, October 24     6:30 to 8 p.m.

Queens University in the Crown room

On the Table CLT Discussion

Topic: The Legacy of Segregation and Its Continued Impact.

Queens is a host site for the annual On the Table program. On The Table CLT is a day for Mecklenburg County residents to come together and talk about ways to make our community more connected, dynamic, and opportunity-rich. Last year more than 5,000 people gathered as small groups in homes, parks, businesses, libraries, and restaurants to interact and exchange ideas.

Register by emailing


More information and registration 

Tuesday, October 23       7 p.m.
Knight Theater

J. D. Vance


Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Friday, October 26 

Dr. James Tabor

UNC Charlotte 

Professor, Religious Studies

James Tabor  (Ph.D., Chicago, 1982) is a Professor of Christian Origins and Ancient Judaism in the Department of Religious Studies. Before coming to UNC Charlotte in 1989, he taught at the University of Notre Dame (1979-1985) and the College of William and Mary (1985-1989).  In 1986 Tabor published his first book, based on his Chicago dissertation, Things Unutterable: Paul's Ascent to Paradise (University Press of America). In 1989 Dr. Tabor published, with co-author Arthur Droge, A Noble Death (Harper). Dr. Tabor is also the co-author, with Eugene Gallagher, of Why Waco? (University of California Press, 1995).  His 2006 book, The Jesus Dynasty, published by Simon & Schuster was featured on ABC's  Nightline & 20/20 as well as the cover of  USNews&WorldReport.

Tabor's most recent books are The Jesus Discovery: The New Archaeological Find that Reveals the Birth of Christianity (with Simcha Jacobovici) and Paul and Jesus: How the Apostle Transformed Christianity (both with Simon & Schuster).

Tuesday, October 30 at 6 p.m.

Queens University (e-mail registration required)


Hear From the West Charlotte Alum

Moderator: Dr. Pamela Grundy

A panel of engaged community members who graduated West Charlotte share their Charlotte-centric educational experiences.

  • Jesse Cureton, West Charlotte ?78, Queens University of Charlotte, MBA ?02
  • Madge Hopkins, West Charlotte alumna and former vice principal

More information and registration 

Friday, November 2

Maestro James Meenas 

      General Director & Principal Conductor

Opera Carolina


Meena was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Meena did his undergraduate studies at Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1973. He studied conducting with Robert Page, the chorus's Director and a professor at Carnegie Mellon University where Meena received his Master of Fine Arts in conducting in 1978.

Opera Carolina, founded in 1948 by the Charlotte Music Club as the Charlotte Opera Association, the company was renamed Opera Carolina after its 1986 merger with North Carolina Opera which combined the main stage, educational, and touring operations of the two companies.

Opera Carolina is a member of Opera America and is supported by the Arts and Science Council the National Endowment for the Arts, and the North Carolina Arts Council. Opera Carolina presents three main stage productions, featuring the Opera Carolina Chorus and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, in the Belk Theater.  Opera Carolina also presented an annual concert, Art  Poetry  Music, at the Knight Theater. Opera Carolina's season begins in October and runs until mid April.

James Meena has also maintained an active career as guest conductor of opera and concerts in the United States and abroad, having conducted the National Symphony ROC, the KBS Symphony Orchestra (Seoul), the Cairo Philharmonic, Orchestra Regionale Toscana and the orchestra of Teatro Massimo Bellini in Italy, as well as Opera de Montreal, Portland Opera, Washington Opera as well as the opera companies in Phoenix, Sarasota, Edmonton, Ottawa and Winnipeg (Canada) where he led the world premiere performances of Victor Davies The Transit of Venus, which was broadcast nationally over the CBC.

James Meena's performances of Verdi's Il Trovatore, Gounod's Faust and Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin have been recorded and broadcast over National Public Radio's World of Opera.

Opera Carolina Video Overtures:

Wednesday, November 7   6-7 p.m.

Queens University Belk Chapel (registration required)

Dr. Pamela Grundy


Lessons from the Past & Lessons for the Future.

Author lecture by Dr. Pamela Grundy. At a time when race and inequality dominate national debates, the story of West Charlotte High School illuminates the possibilities and challenges of using racial and economic desegregation to foster educational equality. West Charlotte opened in 1938 as a segregated school that embodied the aspirations of the growing African American population of Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Register by e-mailing:

Friday, November 9

Dr. Peter S. Turk


The History of Cancer:

From Halsted's Radical Surgeries to Novel Targeted Therapies

An Indiana native, Dr. Turk received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Indiana University in 1981 and graduated with honors from Indiana University School of Medicine in 1985. Dr. Turk completed a five-year General Surgery residency at the University of Tennessee, Memphis in 1990, serving as Administrative Chief Resident the final year. Dr. Turk completed a Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Brown University/Roger Williams Medical Center, Providence, Rhode Island in 1992, followed by positions as Staff Surgeon and Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology at Brown. Dr. Turk came to Charlotte in 1993 as a staff surgeon at Randolph Surgical Associates. His current position is at Carolina Surgical Clinic where he has been a partner since 1998.

Dr. Turk has a distinguished history of serving in various capacities in, among others, Charlotte Surgical Society; North Carolina Commission on Cancer; North Carolina Chapter, American College of Surgeons (currently on Board of Directors and Speakers Bureau); and Novant-Presbyterian Hospital (currently Director of Breast and Gastrointestinal Multidisciplinary Programs). Dr. Turk states that he is passionate about clinical research and optimizing patients' experiences when faced with a new diagnosis of cancer.

Dr. Turk has been a member of the teaching faculty at Carolinas Medical Center (1994-2014) and Assistant Consulting Professor of Surgery at Duke University (1996-2002). Since 1994, Dr. Turk has been Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Turk has authored/co-authored 7 textbook chapters and 19 peer-reviewed articles with a focus on breast and gastrointestinal cancer. He is named annually on the list of Best Physicians in Charlotte Magazine and North Carolina Business Journal. 

Dr. Turk holds current memberships in Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honorary Society; Christian Medical and Dental Society; Piedmont Oncology Association; Society of Surgical Oncology; Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract; and American Society of Breast Surgeons. Dr. Turk is a Fellow of American College of Surgeons as well as a Fellow of Southeastern Surgical Congress. He serves as a consultant on new product development and speaker/instructor on new technology for Medtronic Corporation in its cancer surgery division.

Dr. Turk has been married to fellow Hoosier, Julie, for 33 years ("and counting," as Dr. Turk says); they have two adult children. He enjoys endurance events - running, biking, swimming - as in "exercising in a straight line."

November 13th or 14th    6 to 7 p.m.

Queens University in the Belk Chapel

Healthcare Providers?
Perspective on Education & Resource Stability:

Faculty Facilitator:
Dr. Tama Morris, Dean, Blair College of Health Science, Queens

Community Guest Speakers:

Dr. David Martin Cook, SVP Population Health and Value Based Care at Novant Health and Founder and Medical Director of Lake Norman Community Clinic

To deliver effective long-term care, today?s healthcare providers must be alert to not only their patient?s immediate needs, but the holistic condition of their families and their communities. Learn how providers are engaged in health inequity, social determinants of health and access to healthcare.


 More information and registration 

Friday, November 16

Developed by Tom Hachett and John Howard

Take a Tour

Catch a ride on the Community Building Initiative Bus Tour. The tour is an innovative, interactive approach to bringing the history of Charlotte to life, while exploring how our shared history and ?what?s in the ground? in our community impacts our present and our future. Tours have been developed in collaboration with Tom Hanchett (Levine Museum of the New South) and John Howard (City of Charlotte, Historic Districts Commission).

Members of the Queens? Community will have the opportunity to participate in the bus tour, but individual community members can sign up for public tours directly through Community Building Initiative Charlotte.

Friday, November 16

Scott D. Syfert

Member, Moore & Van Allen PLLC
Co-Founder  May 20th Society
Author: The First American Declaration of Independence?

Scott Syfert is a corporate attorney at Moore & Van Allen in Charlotte. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, the London School of Economics and the University of Virginia. He was admitted to the North Carolina Bar in 1997.  He has professional affiliations with the North Carolina Bar Association and the International Bar Association.

He is a co-founder of the May 20th Society, a nonprofit dedicated to commemorating the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. The May 20th Society promotes Charlotte rich history as first American body to declare independence from Great Britain more than a year before Thomas Jefferson's national Declaration. Though the original MeckDec was destroyed in a fire some 200 years ago, the spirit of MeckDec lives on " a spirit of freedom, leadership and courage.

He writes frequently on local North Carolina history and politics. His book The First Declaration of Independence? The Disputed History of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence of May 20, 1775 was published in 2013 by McFarland & Co.

Friday, November 30 @ 12 noon

Christmas Luncheon

Carmel Country Club

Cost: $25

Registration opens 10/26

Organized and coordinated by Carol Kesmodel

Friday, January 11

Dr. Pamela Davies


Queens University

Pamela Davies, who led Queens University of Charlotte as it transformed from a quiet liberal arts college to a university offering master's degrees and a suite of professional programs, said Tuesday she will step down after 16 years as president.

Davies, 61, isn't leaving Queens. She plans to leave the job as president at the end of the 2018-19 academic year, in June 2019, take a sabbatical year for research and writing but return as a professor of strategy in Queens' McColl School of Business.

Her doctorate in strategic planning proved to be a timely fit for the leafy campus in Myers Park. For most of its 161 years, until 1987, Queens admitted only women. Last fall, men made up 40 percent of the incoming class. Davies took office in 2002 with a vision of what else a small, private university set in the heart of a fast-growing city could become.

"The single thing I'm most proud of is that we brought together a team of people who are passionate about this institution," she said Tuesday. "It's like anything else, if you have a compelling vision and if you treat people with respect and honor, it builds momentum."

Davies stayed on as president to shepherd through a $20 million fundraising campaign, completed early this year, for one last campus project. Work will start this summer on the Sarah Belk Gambrell Center for Arts and Civic Engagement, which will transform an existing 50-year-old building considered the "front porch" of the campus into a state-of-the-art meeting space.

Friday, January 18

To be scheduled


Friday, January 25

To be scheduled


Friday, February 1

To be scheduled


Coordinated by BG Metzler and Ruth McDevitt

Kevin Sodden, MD, MPH, MA

Medical journalist and author

Topic: The Art of Medicine

Exploring Economic Opportunity

Queens students, faculty and staff are spending the fall semester focused on the topic of economic opportunity. The learning experience begins broadly with topics discussed in J.D. Vance's Hillibilly Elegy and then narrows to localized reflections through Pamela Grundy's Color & Character. We invite you to join us.

What's Going on at Queens University

Queens University Calendar

A native of Oakland, California, Philip L. Dubois attended the University of California, Davis, where he graduated in 1972 with an undergraduate degree in political science, earning election to the Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. He then earned master's (1974) and doctoral (1978) degrees in the field from the University of Wisconsin Madison. Dubois began his academic career in 1976 at the University of California, Davis.

Over the next 15 years, he rose through the faculty and administrative ranks to full professor and held various administrative posts, including associate vice chancellor for academic affairs. In 1991, Dubois was recruited to UNC Charlotte, where he spent the next five and a half years as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. Dubois was credited with drafting a strategic academic plan, leading the development of the university's first comprehensive campus wide plan for information technology, and initiating programs to better serve nontraditional adult students. Under his leadership, UNC Charlotte also planned and launched its first doctoral programs.

On March 18, 2005, Dubois was named UNC Charlotte's fourth chancellor and assumed that role on July 15. Dubois has focused his efforts on building the University's visibility and support in the Charlotte region; long range planning for an expected enrollment of 35,000 students; completion of key capital construction and renovation projects in excess of $1.2 billion; improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness of critical business processes; and implementation of an intercollegiate football program starting in the fall of 2013. During his tenure, completed applications among freshmen and transfer students have grown by 91%, while overall enrollment has climbed to nearly 29,000 (a 38% increase).

Recent community recognition for Dr. Dubois and UNC Charlotte includes the Charlotte World Affairs Council World Citizen Award (2016), the CASE District III Inclusion and Diversity Leadership Award (2015), the Leo M. Lambert Engaged Leader Award (2014), the Belk Innovation in Diversity Award (2013), the Charlotte Energy Leadership Award (2013), the Charlotte Cornerstone Award (2012, for positive economic impact), the Creative Thinker's Award (2012, for UNC Charlotte Center City), and the Charlotte Regional Partnership Jerry Award (2009, for public sector contributions to economic development).

To Be Scheduled


Dr. Philip Dubois  

Chancellor, UNC Charlotte

Topic: Ten Things to Watch at UNC Charlotte


James Comey led the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 2013 to 2017, appointed to the post by President Barack Obama. His tenure was tested by new forces within and outside America's borders. He oversaw the federal response to mass shootings in San Bernardino in December 2015 and at Pulse nightclub in Orlando the following June, at the time the deadliest in the country's history. He also worked to address key leadership agility, and diversity issues within the Bureau.

Prior to his service at the FBI, Comey worked as a federal prosecutor in New York and Virginia as well as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York and the U.S. deputy attorney general in the administration of President George W. Bush. In the private sector, he has worked at law firms and as the general counsel of Lockheed Martin, the world's largest defense contractor, and Bridgewater Associates, the world's largest hedge fund.

Comey is the 2017-2018 Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy at Howard University. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond School of Law and a Hertog Fellow in National Security Law at Columbia Law School.

A native of the New York metropolitan area, Comey attended the College of William & Mary and the University of Chicago Law School. He and his wife Patrice have five children and live in northern Virginia.

                                                                                                                                        Presented By:

Ticket Sales

Ticket prices range from $25 - $65. 

Queens University of Charlotte offers Senior Scholars a 20% discount - use the code LSSPRING at checkout.

Carolinatix: James Comey

If you prefer to purchase tickets via phone, call the CarolinaTix box office at 704.372.1000.


Tuesday, March 26   7 p.m.

Belk Theater

Former FBI Director James Comey


Friday, February 8

Dr. Justin Conrad

Department of Political Science & Public Administration
UNC Charlotte

Topic: U.S. Global Engagement and the Military

Justin Conrad is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dr. Conrad studies international security issues, including terrorism and interstate conflict.

His research is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense, and his work has been published in leading academic journals, including International Organization, the Journal of Politics and the British Journal of Political Science.  He is the author of the new book, Gambling and War: Risk, Reward, and Chance in International Conflict.  Dr. Conrad has appeared in, and his research has been cited by, a variety of international media outlets, including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Slate France, Salon, and Voice of America.

Dr. Conrad is also a key researcher at the Resources and Conflict Project, and co-editor of the “Future of Global Security” book series at the U.S. Naval Institute Press.  Professor Conrad received his Ph.D. from Florida State University and a master’s degree from UCLA.