The memorial lecture is named after the late Clifford Smith, an educator and superintendent of schools for many years with School District No. 46, and a former board member and chair in the early years of Elder College. He was a passionate advocate of lifelong learning. When he died, it was determined by the Board of ElderCollege that we would present an annual lecture in his name, with a prominent speaker upholding Clifford's passions with interesting and challenging topics.
The event is free and open to all. It is presented annually at the start of the fall series of ElderCollege courses.
- Wally Oppal (former BC Attorney General)
- Fin Anthony (local raconteur)
- Dr. Eric Paetkau (author)
- Hon. Stephen Point (former BC Lieutenant Governor)
- 2016, Shelagh Rogers (host of the CBC Radio program The Next Chapter)
- 2017, Dr. Rand Rudland (local doctor and noted wildlife photographer)
- 2018, Mike McKay - an influential educational leader - presented When will what we know change how we educate our children?
- 2019, Dr. Michael C. Klein gave a presentation titled Challenging the Medical System: The Career of a Dissident Doctor.
- 2020, Dr. Erwin Diener gave a very timely presentation titled The Immune System; it's Protective and destructive Nature.
- 2021, Dr. Daniel Heath Justice presented Stories as good Relations: Imagining Together (and Apart) in Incurious Times.
- 2022, Dr. Rachel H. White presented Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events.
- 2023, Dr. Val Napoleon presented Indigenous Law and Conversations Across Generations