Public Honor


To celebrate the launch of its political science and public policy major, in 2008, MCLA instituted a lecture dedicated to discussions of national and international public policy. Since 2008, experts have come to campus to speak to our students and the community on contemporary issues pertaining to public policy.

Speakers have included legendary journalist and author Bob Woodward; President Barack Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe; world-renowned environmentalist Vandana Shiva; and Lisa Cortes, executive producer of the Oscar award-winning film, Precious, who participated in a panel discussion on social, economic and racial issues with Emmy award-winning journalist Carole Simpson and Jonathan Kozol, an educator, social activist and author.

Last week, the College announced that the MCLA Board of Trustees voted to honor former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis and his wife by naming the campus' annual fall public policy address the "Michael S. and Kitty Dukakis Lecture."

The announcement came just prior to this fall's lecture on Nov. 1, which featured Dr. Robert M. Gates (pictured above), former U.S. secretary of defense, who served in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for 26 years.

According to Steve Crowe, MCLA Board of Trustees chair, the Board decided to honor the Dukakises because of their lifelong commitment to public service and education, which is a perfect fit with MCLA.

"The Board of Trustees is excited and extremely grateful to the Ruth Proud Charitable Trust for their commitment to ensure that MCLA will be able to continue this lecture series." Crowe said. "The Dukakises have deep connections in the Berkshires and Gov. Dukakis was instrumental in the evolution of MASS MoCA. With the new name of this series, we will honor the Dukakises in recognition of their service to the Commonwealth, their instrumental role in the creation of MASS MoCA, and their long history of support for North Adams and Berkshire County."

According to Francis Oakley, president emeritus of Williams College, "From the Governor's Task Force for Economic Development in the Northern Berkshires, commissioned by Gov. Dukakis in response to the massive unemployment following the 1984 closure of Sprague Electric, to his stubborn insistence on the highest quality design and construction of the now-landmark French King bridge, to his heroic sponsorship of MASS MoCA's enabling legislation in 1988, Michael Dukakis has brought expansive, fluid thinking and the highest of standards to public policy."

Gov. Dukakis served the Commonwealth for three terms. In 1988, he was
the Democratic Party nominee for President of the United States. He
serves as a professor of political science at Northeastern University, and as a distinguished fellow of the Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern. He also teaches as a visiting professor of public policy in the Department of Urban Planning at the UCLA School of Public Affairs.

Mrs. Dukakis is a distinguished fellow of the Kitty and Michael Dukakis
Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern. She is involved with
a range of public service and philanthropic activities, including serving
on the President's Commission on the Holocaust, on the United States
Holocaust Memorial Council, on the board of the Refugee Policy Center, and
on the Task Force on Cambodian Children.

The Michael S. and Kitty Dukakis Lecture is made possible through the generosity of the Ruth Proud Charitable Trust. For more information, go to notablespeakers/publicpolicylecture .