The Bainbridge State College cultural arts and lecture series was founded in 2013 by a group of faculty and staff who wanted to bring a diverse educational experience to students and the community, with all events being free and open to the public.
During its first year, the series presented notable lecturers such as Max Brooks, Natasha Tretheway; and entertainment, The Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, The Second City—and even former U.S. President and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Jimmy Carter. Bainbridge State College’s Arts and Lecture Series became known as the Carter Arts and Lecture Series thanks to the former president donating back to the College his honorarium for his lecture held in February 2014. His wish was for Bainbridge State to retain the honorarium for the benefit of the college and its students.
That same year, the College collaborated with the Georgia Poetry Circuit to bring a variety of poets from all over the country to the campus. Bainbridge State College is one of the ten institutions in Georgia working together to bring three poets of national and international reputation annually to all members’ campuses, providing an important access to the literary arts for Georgia residents across the state. Past Circuit poets include Billy Collins, former United States Poet Laureate; Albert Goldbarth, winner of two National Book Critics Circle Awards in poetry; Kim Addonizio, a National Book Award Finalist, and many other major award winners.
Since then the College has been providing students with opportunities that they may not have the chance to experience. Other notable lecturers and entertainers include Popular conservative voice, Mary Matalin; Mythbuster’s Kari Byron, the Grammy Award Winning, Fairfield Four; Holocaust survivor, Eugen Schoenfeld; The Walking Dead’s Scott Wilson; Dr. Bernard Harris, the First African-American to walk in space; and the Georgia Tech Symphony Orchestra.