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October 31, 2022

SVSU to host lecture on civility in politics

Inaugural Velasquez Lecture to feature Lawrence W. Reed, founding president of Mackinac Center for Public Policy

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As the 2022 mid-term elections draw near, Saginaw Valley State University will host economist and historian Lawrence W. Reed, who will discuss civility in politics. The inaugural Velasquez Lecture on Liberty and Free Markets presents “Liberty, Character and Civility in Politics” on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 7:00 p.m. in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall in SVSU’s Curtiss Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public. Registration is required online or at the door.

An economist and historian, Reed is president emeritus of the Foundation for Economic Education ( in Atlanta. Before retiring to the emeritus role in 2019, he served as president of FEE for 11 years. Prior to that, he was founding president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, a role he held for 21 years.

Reed is the author of seven books and more than 2,000 articles and newspaper columns published around the world. He has lectured in all 50 states and most of the 87 countries he has visited.

Earlier this year, the Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, announced that he will soon bestow upon Reed the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic Poland, the highest honor his country gives to a foreigner.

He holds two honorary doctorates (in Public Administration and in Laws) from Central Michigan University and Northwood University. He blogs at

The Velasquez Lecture on Liberty and Free Markets, established by Christian and Jenée Velasquez, is designed to highlight and educate on the fundamental idea that the United States form of government is based on the idea of individual liberty, with its success tied to a financial system of free markets. As free speech is critical to the protection of our freedoms and the functioning of free markets, it is also important to put emphasis on the role of civility and ethics in politics, business and public policy.

Christian Velasquez has a long, distinguished career in strategic leadership, community involvement and public service in the Great Lakes Bay Region. Following a 30-year career with Dow Corning Corporation, where he held positions in a variety of focus areas, he established a consulting business that provides strategy and market insights in the chemical industry.

Jenée L. Velasquez began as the first executive director for the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation in October of 2005. Previously, she rose to the position of chief executive officer of Midland Tomorrow and was also Midland’s first Downtown Development Authority coordinator.

Both Christian and Jenée Velasquez are active in professional organizations and community service throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region.