Mary Blake Distinguished Lecture Series

The Mary Blake Distinguished Lecture Series

The LLI Lecture Series honors Mary Blake for her enthusiasm and continuous efforts as Lecture Chairperson on the Board of Directors for many years.  She was dedicated to the goal of providing interesting and unusual presentations that enlighten as well as entertain.  She loved learning.

The lectures are listed below and others will be added to this schedule as they are confirmed.  All lectures will be presented in the FSW Charlotte Campus auditorium. 

Registration for the lectures can be made by clicking on the appropriate “Add to Cart” Button below, by printing and mailing the registration form from this website by clicking here,  or  in the LLI office ( 


“South Korean Art & Culture” —  March 5, 1:00—3:30 p.m.

50 Wonders KoreaThis is a presentation by the Korean Spirit and Culture Promotion Project, a not-for-profit organization formed in 2005 to promote Korean history and culture to the wider world.  It is designed to provide a basic introduction to Korea’s long and rich artistic history, the spirit of its people, and its cultural values. 

The program will include the viewing of a DVD about Korean history and culture.  Presenters will wear Korean clothing and will serve traditional Korean refreshments at the conclusion of the program.  This presentation is being provided to LLI at no cost.

Presented and recommended by LLI programs at Dartmouth, George Mason University and University of Maine, Farmington.

$10 FRIENDS members 

$15 Non members 


“The Middle East on Fire” —  March 30, 6:00—7:30 p.m.

Presented by Hasan Hammami, a Punta Gorda resident and well-known lecturer who continues to travel throughout the middle east, this lecture will share his insights on the complex and volatile background of the middle eastern countries that are embroiled in current conflict.

“Sykes Picot is dead. And the dream of a Federation of Arab Democratic Non Sectarian States from Iraq in the East to Morocco in the West is up in flames. “25 years after the end of the Cold War,” “15 Years after the Policy of Regime Change in Six Countries in Five Years,” and “13 Years after GW Bush’s Declaration of the End of Major Combat Operations in Iraq,” the Middle East is in flames the likes of which have not been experienced since the Crusades or the Mongol Invasion. Actually, the war involving Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, the US, UK, Russia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar started a long time ago, and has spawned Al Qaeda, ISIS, Al Nusrah, and before them the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, and scores of other groups of rebel-terrorist-freedom-defense fighters from Chechnya, Xingyang, Central Asia, West Africa, France, Belgium, the UK, Canada, and the US. Yet they all have roots with one or more issues in common. The major players including the US, Russia, Israel, the UK, France, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar are locked into a web of alliances, with surrogates, agents, free opposition forces that defy any logic, each trying to look after its own self-interest. Out of these asymmetric wars, sectarian regimes and movements seem to have gained the upper hand for the time being. Look who’s making money or gaining ground to get to the root cause. And to understand why the exceptions, Tunisia, has flourished after the Arab Spring, Israel and the United Arab Emirates have prospered while no other Arab or Western Country has.”

$10 FRIENDS members 

$15 Non members 



Watch for future announcements on additional lectures at later dates — equally exciting and interesting!


Charlotte Campus of Florida SouthWestern State College
26,300 Airport Road, Punta Gorda