Assemble. Listen. Learn. 

The Assembly Series, Washington University’s signature lecture series, enjoys a long and rich tradition. When the speaker series was established in 1953, its programs were held Wednesdays at 11 a.m. in Graham Chapel, and no classes were scheduled so the entire campus community could assemble.

Since 1953, the Series has presented more than one thousand of the most important voices of our time and has featured such luminaries and visionaries as First Ladies Eleanor Roosevelt and Rosalyn Carter, scientific pioneers James Watson and Francis Crick, public intellectuals Noam Chomsky and Bill Moyers, literary stars Toni Morrison and Ralph Ellison, creative ground breakers Aaron Copeland and Harold Ramis, Supreme Court justices Harry Blackmun and Antonin Scalia, courageous activists Ralph Nader and Bella Abzug, and pioneers in a broad range of fields that complement the curriculum and reflect the interests of our students and faculty.

Check out the Past Speakers page for a fascinating trip back in time, and hear what some of these significant historical figures had to say.

Check out the Upcoming Events page for the current speaker schedule.

Assembly Series programs are always free and open to the public, although some events may have limited seating. Please check this site for new information or changes in the schedule, and subscribe to receive announcements.

You may browse speakers by general topic here or by semester, under Past Speakers.

Faculty and students may submit recommendations for speakers to the Assembly Series Committee using the contact form.