Women’s Lecture Luncheon Series announces 2015-16 lineup​

Women’s Lecture Luncheon Series announces 2015-16 lineup​

Tue Aug 25, 2015

Brazosport College’s Women’s Lecture Luncheon Series has become known for bringing in interesting and empowering guests to speak to the local community.

This year’s lineup not only continues that tradition, it’s among the Series’ best-ever lineup.

Among the speakers scheduled for the 2015-16 Women’s Lecture Luncheon Series are NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, Boston Marathon Bombing survivor Rebekah Gregory and child abduction victim Elizabeth Smart.

All three guests will speak of their experiences and how they overcame adversity while finding personal success.

The year begins with Cassidy on Oct. 15, followed by Gregory on Feb. 11 and Smart on April 7.

The Women’s Lecture Luncheon Series was created by the Brazosport College Foundation to promote cultural enrichment for all women. The mission of the BC Foundation is to raise and administer funds for the enhancement of educational opportunities at Brazosport College.

The cost is $150 and includes all three lectures with lunch. Please make series reservations by Sept. 14.

To learn more about Brazosport College’s Women’s Lecture Luncheon Series and its 2015-16 guests, contact the Brazosport College Foundation at (979) 230-3234.

The following is more information about this season’s guests:


Oct. 15: Chris Cassidy 

“Experiences of a NASA Astronaut & Navy Seal”

Before becoming an astronaut, Commander Chris Cassidy served 10 years as a Navy Seal. He made four six-month deployments: two to Afghanistan, and two to the Mediterranean. He deployed to the Afghanistan region two weeks after September 11, 2001, served as ground assault force commander for international and U.S.-only combat missions in Afghanistan, and led two months of noncompliant ship-boardings in the Northern Arabian Gulf.

In 2004, Commander Cassidy was selected as an astronaut by NASA. Before completing his first flight, he served as Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) in Mission Control. Cassidy flew on STS 127, which helped complete the construction of the Japanese Kibo module on the International Space Station. Most recently, Cassidy served as a flight engineer on Expedition 35/36, living and working on the station for more than five months.

During his NASA career, Cassidy has completed six spacewalks, totaling 31 hours, 14 minutes and has accumulated 182 days in space. Cassidy is currently in charge of the NASA Extravehicular Activities (EVA) branch within the Astronaut Office. He resides in York, Maine with his wife, Julie Byrd, and their three children.


Feb. 11: Rebekah Gregory 

“The Best & Worst Day of My Life”

Rebekah Gregory is a simple small-town woman and mother whose life was forever changed due to the events of the Boston marathon bombings on April 15, 2013. This horrible act of terrorism left her as one of the 17 amputees and therefore permanently handicapped at only 26 years old.

Instead of being bitter, she has used her platform in a huge way by encouraging others worldwide. Speaking out about her story and own daily obstacles, she believes that life’s struggles are not only meant to teach us lessons, but make us better versions of ourselves than before.

Gregory’s delivery, filled with quick wit and contagious optimism, is sure to have everyone feeling inspired and ready to make their own life changes. Outlining her popular phrase, “with every new day comes new hope,” she never fails to leave her audience ready to “change the world.”


April 7: Elizabeth Smart 

“Overcoming Adversity – The Elizabeth Smart Story”

The abduction of Elizabeth Smart is one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. Smart was abducted on June 5, 2002, and her captors controlled her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape. Fortunately, the police safely returned Elizabeth back to her family after being held prisoner for nine grueling months.

Through this traumatic experience Smart has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs and national legislation. She triumphantly testified before her captor and the world about the very private nightmare she suffered during her abduction, which led to conviction.

The founder of the “Elizabeth Smart Foundation,” she has also helped promote The National AMBER Alert, The Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act and other safety legislation to help prevent abductions.

Her abduction and recovery continues to motivate parents, law enforcement and leaders worldwide to focus on children’s safety. She emphasizes vigilance by “everyday” people and the belief that hope always exists to find every missing child.