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Bicknell Family Center for the Arts

The Women in Government Lecture Series

established at Pittsburg State University through a generous gift from the Helen S. Boylan Foundation to the PSU Foundation in 2001.

This lecture series has had a huge impact on what the University has been able to offer to students and residents of this region. 


As an institution that is partially funded by tax dollars, PSU is aware of the impact that the government plays in the life of our institution, as well as our stakeholders. The government exists at three key levels and branches.  PSU strives for awareness and sensitivity to all levels.


One key objective of this series is to emphasize the relationship that government and PSU share with one another.  A second key objective is to recognize the contributions of key leaders in government. A third key objective is to expose the university community to accomplished leaders. Guest speakers have shared their experiences as well as their path to leadership.


Jim Spradling (G’72) was serving as the president of the Helen S. Boylan Foundation when he shared his vision for a new lecture series.  It was his vision and the private support of the Boylan family foundation that established the Women in Government Lecture Series and made it possible for PSU to host such speakers as those listed below:

Women in

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Soledad O'Brien

an award-winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor, producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist.

Tina Tchen

Chief of Staff to Michelle Obama

Dr. Jackie McClaskey

KS Secretary of Agriculture

Laura Bush

Former First Lady

Susan Wagle

Kansas State Senator

Jane Cox

(Iowa) Women’s Suffrage

Lynn Jenkins


Tierney Cahill

Inspirational Teacher of Civic Duty

Helen Thomas

Legendary White House Correspondent

Consuelo Castillo Kickbush

Army Veteran and Author

Winona LaDuke

Native American Indian Activist

Ruth Perry

President of Liberia

Kerry Kennedy

Human Rights Activist

Dr. Jeanne M. Hogarth

Federal Reserve

Kay McFarland

Kansas Supreme Court Justice

Carla Stovall

Kansas Attorney General

Kathleen Sebelius

Kansas Commissioner of Insurance