The Hiram H. Lesar Distinguished Lecture Series was established by the School of Law in 1992 to honor founding Dean Hiram H. Lesar, whose many personal and professional concerns included an interest in civil rights.
In 1999, Dean Lesar was posthumously awarded the Founders' Medal by the School of Law for his leadership, integrity, and the vital role he played in establishing the Southern Illinois University School of Law.
The Gene and Katy Simonds Lectureship in Democracy was established through a gift form Emma K. (Katy) Simonds, a longtime supporter of Southern Illinois University Carbondale and the southern Illinois region. The funds support a lecture, symposium or debate each year on a topic of current or recurring public interest, which explores common sense solutions to issues related to the common good by applying the principles of limited government, popular sovereignty, personal liberty, personal responsibility and federalism.
The John and Marsha Ryan Bioethicist in Residence was established in 2006 to fund an annual residence and lecture by a law and/or medicine ethics scholar at the School of Law and School of Medicine at Southern Illinois University.
Each year, a leading bioethics scholar will present a public lecture on his or her scholarship, as it relates to law and medicine, at the law school in Carbondale and will present to students and faculty at the medical school in Springfield. The bioethics scholar will also provide a presentation to the joint bioethics committees at Southern Illinois Healthcare.