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About the Learning Society

Our History

The Learning Society of Queens is comprised of a group of leading citizens from the Charlotte area and surrounding counties whose membership fees provide the major funding for a national speaker series held annually at Queens. Started in 1988 to connect a group of community members who wanted to support intellectual discourse, the Learning Society has been bringing leading thinkers and doers to the doorsteps of Queens University of Charlotte. Both then and now, this group of community leaders recognized the importance of enhancing the intellectual fabric of Queens and the greater Charlotte community. So, for over 35 years, renowned authors, journalists, physicians, scientists, artists, economists, politicians, government leaders, scholars, historians, entrepreneurs, business executives, environmentalists, and social activists have shared their knowledge and life experience with Queens students and the greater Charlotte community.

Thanks to the Learning Society members’ commitment and generosity, relevant and important speakers like Deepak Chopra, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Mark Hyman, Bob Woodruff, Salman Rushdie, Michelle Alexander, Henry Kissinger, James Comey, and Condoleezza Rice are just a few of the speakers who have been part of the speaker series.

As described by one of its members, “The Learning Society is just that. A truly unique organization that brings inquisitive life-long learners together in community to build understanding and elevate the dialogue around relevant, interesting, and timely subjects.”

What the Learning Society Offers

Every season, the Learning Society hosts a semiannual series of speakers. The chosen speakers align with Queens academics and with discourse relevant to the Charlotte region. Queens staff and faculty actively plan advanced learning opportunities before the speakers’ presentation and immerse the community in a robust dialogue on the issues at the core of the speaker books.

Seats at the lectures are offered to Learning Society members as part of their membership packages, and also to the greater Charlotte community through individual ticket purchases. Student engagement is a vital part of the Learning Society’s purpose. The guest lecturer’s impact at the podium is magnified by weeks of student engagement and immersion in the speaker’s topic, viewpoint, and background. It culminates in a student-led discussion between the speakers and the Queens students.