This year's Westchester Community College Celebrity Salon Series includes national figures from the fields of literature, media, politics and music. As the first series of its kind in Westchester County, these events continue to attract top names who help the Westchester Community College Foundation raise funds for student scholarships.
All events take place in private homes; the series will be held as follows:
- Thursday, April 19 at 7:00 p.m.
- Hosts: Theresa and Mark Stagg
- Location: Purchase
- Guest: H.W. Brands
History professor H.W. Brands likes to say that he pushes the idea of American history not only because it's interesting, but it might even give readers some insight into their lives today. Brands, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, has written more than twenty books, many of them about U.S. Presidents. Two of his works, "Traitor to his Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt" and "The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin," were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. His latest, "The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War," looks at the contest of wills between these two great historical figures.
Police & Policy
- Thursday, April 24 at 6:00 p.m.
- Hosts: Helene and Ken Ocre
- Location: Edgemont
- Guest: Heather Mac Donald
Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. She is a recipient of the 2005 Bradley Prize. Mac Donald’s work at City Journal has covered a range of topics, including higher education, immigration, policing, homelessness and homeless advocacy, criminal-justice reform and race relations. Mac Donald will discuss her newest book, "The War on Cops."
Connections with a Conscience
- Tuesday, May 1 at 7:00 p.m.
- Hosts: Amy Koch-Oman and David Oman
- Location: Bronxville
- Guest: Duff McDonald
Everyone knows that an MBA from Harvard Business School can open doors and puts graduates on a kind of conveyor belt to success. In "The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite," Duff McDonald stops to examine the inner workings of this storied place. He investigates the dynamics that have made HBS a dominant force for almost a century and asks what this iconic institution might owe those who never enter its classrooms.
Hear Her Out
- Thursday, May 3 at 6:30 p.m.
- Hosts: Theresa and Jim Kilman
- Location: Scarborough
- Guest: Joanne Limpan
How do we eradicate sexual harassment in the workplace? What steps need to be taken to close the gender pay gap? Veteran journalist Joanne Lipman addresses these questions in her new book, "That’s What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) About Working Together." Join in to hear anecdotes culled from Lipman’s extensive interviews for the book, current statistics from across the globe, as well as personal tales from Lipman’s own experience.
- Saturday, May 5 at 6:00 p.m.
- Hosts: Lynne and Merrell Clark
- Location: Scarsdale
- Guest: Cynthia Rosenzweig
Droughts, wildfires, mudslides, super storms, melting ice, rising sea levels, increased global temperatures, shifts in plant blooming times…is this the new normal? Cynthia Rosenzweig, a senior research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, where she heads the Climate Impacts Group, will discuss the signs of climate change in our own backyard. The NASA team member aims to understand how climate affects agricultural productivity and food security, regional water resources, coastal habitation and wetlands, as well as energy generation and demand.
An Extraordinary Life
- Wednesday, May 9 at 6:00 p.m.
- Host: Leona Kern
- Location: Scarsdale
- Guest: Annette Libeskind Berkovits
Annette Libeskind Berkovits thought her attempt to have her father record his historically significant personal story for posterity had failed. But three years after his death, she found a box of tapes detailing his spectacular triumphs and tragedies. In "In The Unlikeliest of Places," Berkovits details how Nachman Libeskind survived a pre-war Polish prison; witnessed the 1939 Nazi invasion of Lodz; was held in a brutal Soviet gulag, where he helped his fellow inmates persevere; and upon regaining his freedom, trekked the foothills of the Himalayas, where he found the love of his life. Later, lingering postwar anti-Semitism in communist Poland drove Nachman and his young family to Israel, before making the United States their home. Come hear this personal account of how the power of the human spirit endures.
A New Era at the Met
- Wednesday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m.
- Hosts: Rebecca and Arthur Samberg
- Location: Ossining
- Guest: Daniel Weiss
With approximately two million objects in its collection representing more than five thousand years of artistic achievement from around the world, seven million visitors annually and an operating budget of $320 million, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the largest and most diverse art museums in the world. At the helm is President and CEO Dan Weiss, the former president of Haverford and Lafayette colleges. Weiss will discuss the challenges and rewards of stewarding this national treasure as he sketches out his plans for The Met’s future.
The Middle East Dilemma
- Tuesday, May 29 at 6:00 p.m.
- Hosts: Denise and Camillo Santomero II
- Location: Bedford
- Guest: Elliott Abrams
Elliott Abrams, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, believes in policy that “combines both practical politics and idealism in supporting those struggling for democracy and human rights in the Arab world.” Abrams served as deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor in the administration of President George W. Bush, where he supervised U.S. policy in the Middle East for the White House. In his new book, "Realism and Democracy: American Foreign Policy after the Arab Spring," Abrams examines America’s role in the region from the Cold War through the Barack Obama presidency. He asks how much we should care about the internal dynamics of these countries: While it is a given that we are invested in how these fractious neighbors get along, what should America really be doing?
Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage
- Wednesday, May 30 at 7:00 p.m.
- Hosts: Emily and Paul Kandel
- Location: Edgemont
- Guest: James Esseks
The American Civil Liberties Union has a long history of fighting for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community (LGBTQ). Lawyer James Esseks is at the forefront of this effort as the director of the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project. Esseks represented the late Edie Windsor in United States v. Windsor, the successful challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act; represented Jim Obergefell in Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that brought marriage equality to the entire country; and directed the ACLU’s marriage work in legislatures and ballot campaigns across America. Hear the inside scoop on the making of this cultural and legal sea change.
The Best TV Now
- Sunday, June 3 at 4:30 p.m.
- Host: Michael Bakwin
- Location: Ossining
- Guest: Emily Nussbuam
What we watch, how we watch, when we watch and what we watch on, has changed dramatically when it comes to television in the last decade. Pulitzer Prize winner and TV critic, Emily Nussbuam, is here to help us get our entertainment house in order, so to speak. As the television critic for The New Yorker, she has written about hit series including "The Good Wife," "Girls" and "Madmen," among many others. Emily has also promised to share how watching "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" as a young girl made her into the vaunted TV critic she is today.
- Wednesday, June 13 at 6:30 p.m.
- Hosts: Sharon Cunningham Jaccoma and Brian Jaccoma
- Location: Rye Brook
- Guest: Carla Harris
Morgan Stanley Vice Chairman, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor Carla Harris is a real Wall Street standout and model for other women. Appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the National Women’s Business Council, Harris has been included on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in Corporate America multiple times, as well as many others including Black Enterprise’s Top 75 Most Powerful Women in Business last year. The author of two books about how to succeed, and an accomplished gospel singer to boot, Harris once vowed that when she reached senior management, and people came to her for advice, she would provide them with the tools and strategies that helped her achieve her goals.
Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served at all salons. Salon fees are $165 per event. For further details, call 914-606-6558 or click here.