History of the Ballenger Trust


William S. Ballenger Sr.
William S. Ballenger Sr.
Photo courtesy of Kettering University Archives
In 2005 The Foundation for Mott Community College announced the return of the Ballenger Lecture Series, an impressive line up of speakers since it began in 1955 that has included national and international leaders such as Rocket Scientist Werner Von Braun, Journalists Alistair Cooke and Peter Jennings, Art Critic Stanley Kaufman, Talk Show Host Geraldo Rivera, Writers Alex Haley and William Buckley, Humorist Art Buchwald and Black Activist Julian Bond. The Ballenger Lecture Series was created in 1955 through a generous gift by the Ballenger Trust to enhance educational opportunities for students of MCC as well as create a public discussion of issues facing the greater Flint community.

The College Board of Trustees asked The Foundation for MCC to return the Ballenger series to the greater Flint community. The Ballenger Trust underwrites the necessary finances to offer a free lecture series and create a Ballenger Chair at MCC to provide in depth instruction into urban studies. In April of 2005, the series was launched with nationally renowned Film Director Spike Lee. A grant was obtained to offer a Spike Lee Film Festival prior to his speaking engagement.

Every two years a Ballenger Chair is selected from among MCC faculty by a select committee. The Chair's responsibility is to lead the charge for this initiative in his/her field of expertise.

Appointed Ballenger Chairs since 2005:

  • 2005 to 2007 - Terrence Stewart (Urban Studies)
  • 2008 to 2009 - Robert Dudock (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics)
  • 2010 to 2011 - James Shurter (Fine Arts)
  • 2012 to 2013 - Lisa Banks (Business)
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