About the Cal Anderson Memorial Lecture Series

The Cal Anderson Memorial Lecture Series is the cherished legacy of a deeply committed public servant, a champion of civil rights and an accomplished legislator.

Washington state's first openly gay legislator, Cal Anderson was appointed to the Washington state House of Representatives in 1987 and elected to three full terms after completing his original appointment.  In 1994, he was elected to the state senate, where he served until his death in 1995.  A Vietnam-era veteran, Anderson was awarded two Bronze Stars and four U.S. Army Commendation Medals. 

The Cal Anderson Memorial Lecture Series is a forum to capture the spirit of reasoned discussion of public policies and ideas that marked Cal Anderson's career.  Anderson labored for campaign finance and regulatory reform, motor-voter registration, veterans' issues, environmental protection and open access to government.  He introduced many bills related to AIDS programs and led the on-going battle for equal civil rights protection for gay and lesbian citizens.

"Cal was a man of great stature and great substance," said the Rev. Michael Ryan at the state legislator's funeral.  "He believed that all people counted, the little as much as the great, the marginalized as well as the mainstream."

During Cal Anderson's battle with AIDS, as well as after his death, public support for the senator was tremendous.  By establishing a permanent lecture series in his memory, The Evergreen State College seeks to encourage open-minded, responsible examination of issues that are important to us all.

The lecture guests have included:

1998     David Mixner
1999     Rebecca Brown
     Barney Frank
     Ira Glass
2003     Kate Bornstein
2006     Evan Wolfson
2007     Martha Nussbaum
    Kenji Yoshino
2009     Susan Stryker

The lecture series is funded from an endowment held by The Evergreen State College Foundation.