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Signature Events

Jack Paynter Lecture

James Madison College celebrates the life of founding faculty member Jack Paynter annually with the Jack Paynter Endowed Lecture, funded generously by gifts from former students, friends, family, and colleagues. The Paynter lecture brings renowned speakers to James Madison College to discuss historical, philosophical, social, legal, and political subjects in the spirit of Jack's career and intellectual curiosity. Learn more about Professor Paynter's legacy here.

  • Previous Paynter Lecture Speakers

    2022 - Dr. Susan Collins, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame,  "The Spartans and the Ancient Regime: Political Order in a World of Conflict". Livestream available here

    2019 - Dr. Forrest Nabors, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alaska-Anchorage, "The Missouri Compromise and the Coming of America's Peloponnesian War."

    2018 - Richard Cordray (JMCD '81), first Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate 2018, "Consumer Protection and Economic Inequality in America".

    2016 - M. Richard Zinman, University Distinguished Professor Emeritus, James Madison College, Michigan State University, "Democracy Nobility, and Philosophy: Nietzsche and the 'Pathos of Distance'" Livestream available here

    2015 - Arthur Melzer, Professor of Political Science, Michigan State University, "Philosophy and Secrecy: The Forgotten Practice of Esoteric Writing" Livestream available here

    2014 - Michael McConnell (JMCD '76), Professor of Law, Director of Law Center, Stanford University Law School, "Turning the Clock Back?: What Did the Framers of the Fourteenth Amendment Think About School Segregation?"

    2013 - Michael Zuckert, Nancy Dreux Professor of Political Science, University of Notre Dame2011 - Peter Ahrensdorf, Professor of Political Science, Davidson College
    2010 - Paul Stern (JMCD'75), Professor of Political Science, Ursinus College
    2008 - David Blight, Professor of American History, Yale University
    2006 - Peter Lyman (1940-2007) Professor, School of Information at UC Berkeley and JMC faculty member

Parade of Honors

For over thirty years, JMC has hosted Parade of Honors as an annual banquet to recognize students for their various academic and service achievements throughout the year. While the event has evolved since it's inception, the purpose is to honor students who have received scholarships or awards either at the College, University, or Nationally. The event has not been held since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research Showcase

As the next generation of practitioners, policy makers, scholars, and leaders in public and international affairs, JMC seniors are invited to present their scholarly work at the annual JMC Research Showcase. Since 2013, the showcase features panels and presentations that highlight the research-based achievements of Madison students.