Perseverance, narcissism, the environment, gang intervention, schools for AIDS orphans: all were topics of discussion presented by some of the world’s leading critical thinkers at the 2011 edition of the January Series.

Returning to the newly renovated Covenant Fine Arts Center after a year in another location, the series once again offered an eclectic mix of provocative topics to audiences on campus and 30 remote sites across the United States and in Canada and Lithuania.

Krista Tippett, an award-winning broadcaster, opened the series with a talk about the intersections of spirituality, faith and everyday life. 

Calvin philosophy professor Kelly Clark spoke of the religious contradiction in contemporary China. Glenn Geelhoed ’64, a surgeon and faculty member at George Washington University Medical Center, shared his experiences from his medical missions that have taken him all over the globe during the last 40 years. 

Cal Ripken, Jr., Major League Baseball’s “Iron Man,” revealed insights on his 21-year career with the Baltimore Orioles, while Theary Seng shared memories of her childhood living in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, which killed both of her parents.

In all, 15 presenters informed and enlightened audience members, including many Calvin students, while challenging them to learn and discern what is constructive and beneficial.

Most of the January Series lectures are archived and can be accessed at the website