To read more about these and other wonderful events that PBK Southern California has held in the past, please be sure to check out our newsletters page.


Fall Event

Vanda Krefft, Author of The Man Who Made the Movies The Meteoric Rise and Tragic Fall of William Fox

In Conversation with Marc Wanamaker, Film Historian

Spring Program:

U.S.S. Iowa Tour


Fall Events

Key Connections: San Antonio Winery Tour

(En)Lightning Talks Los Angeles

Spring Program:

Luncheon with Emily Lakdawalla (senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist) of the Planetary Society and Frederick M. Lawrence, Secretary and CEO, Phi Beta Kappa Society


Fall Program

The Broad: An Inside View

Spring Program

An Inside View: Highlights of the Newly Renovated

Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum


Fall Program

Japanese Immigrants and the Legal Struggle for Equality

Dr. Megan Asaka

Winter Program

Inspiration: A Multimedia Exploration of Composers' Sources of Inspiration and How They Are Translated into Music

Dr. Alan Chapman

Spring Program and Annual Meeting

Interplanetary Navigation: Hitting a "Hole in One"

Dr. William Owen, Jr.


Fall Program

Sing a Song of Ella

Dr. Thom Mason, USC Pro­fes­sor of Jazz Stud­ies and Founder of the Jazz Stud­ies Depart­ment at the Thorn­ton School of Music,  gave a mul­ti­me­dia pre­sen­ta­tion on on the life and music of Ella Fitzger­ald, with rare pho­tos, videos and inter­views pro­vided by the Ella Fitzger­ald Foun­da­tion, to a lively and appreciative audience. 

Winter Program

Behind the Scenes at the L.A. Opera

LA Opera Senior Direc­tor of Pro­duc­tion Rupert Hem­ming greeted Alpha Chap­ter mem­bers in the Dorothy Chan­dler Pavil­ion to explain the intri­ca­cies of pro­duc­ing world-class opera. Behind him on the stage, the sets for the upcom­ingGhosts of Ver­sailles were being assem­bled. Mr. Hem­ming gave us a fas­ci­nat­ing look at the dif­fi­cul­ties and rewards of mount­ing opera pro­duc­tions.

Fol­low­ing Mr. Hem­ming's pre­sen­ta­tion, the mem­ber­ship was treated to a lively expo­si­tion on the "Figaro trio" presented over the 2014-15 season by the LA Opera  (Rossini's Bar­ber of Seville, Mozart's Mar­riage of Figaro,  and Corigliano's The Ghosts of Ver­sailles).

Spring Program and Annual Meeting

How I Killed Pluto

Astronomer Michael E. Brown, Pro­fes­sor at Cal­Tech, with his team has discovered many TNOs (Trans-Neptune Objects), including the "dwarf" planet ERIS. He is the author of the 2010 book, How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming.  In his illustrated talk, he discussed Pluto and its "demotion" and explored in depth several other discoveries and their implications.


Fall Program

Cali­for­nia Lost and Found: Recov­er­ing Faith in the Future

In cel­e­bra­tion of our 95th Anniver­sary as an Asso­ci­a­tion, Alpha spon­sored a talk by Cal­i­for­nia his­to­rian Kevin Starr.  His topic was “Cal­i­for­nia Lost and Found: Recov­er­ing Faith in the Future.”  Win­ner of the pres­ti­gious National Human­i­ties Medal for his work as a scholar and his­to­rian, Dr. Starr has writ­ten exten­sively on the his­tory of Cal­i­for­nia, and in the process has earned five hon­orary doc­tor­ates, the Gold and Sil­ver Medals of the Com­mon­wealth Club, mem­ber­ship in the Soci­ety of Amer­i­can His­to­ri­ans, a Life­time Achieve­ment Award from PEN USA, West­ern Cen­ter, the Pres­i­den­tial Medal­lion from USC, the Cen­ten­nial Medal from the Grad­u­ate School of Arts and Sci­ences at Har­vard, and the Human­i­ties Medal from the National Endow­ment for the Human­i­ties.

Joining the Asso­ci­a­tion in spon­sor­ing the pro­gram was USC’s Epsilon Chap­ter of PBK.  The event was held  at the Doheny Memo­r­ial Library on the USC cam­pus and was pre­ceded by a wine and cheese reception.

Winter Program

Explor­ing Mars with the Curios­ity Rover

In con­junc­tion with the Occi­den­tal Col­lege PBK Chap­ter, the Asso­ci­a­tion spon­sored a wine and cheese recep­tion followed by talk by Dr. Joy Crisp, Deputy Project Sci­en­tist for the Mars Sci­ence Lab­o­ra­tory Project, NASA Jet Propul­sion Laboratory. In early August, 2012, the world held its breath for the amaz­ingly suc­cess­ful land­ing of the Curios­ity Rover in Gale Crater, Mars.  Just over a year later, her talk pro­vided an overview of the objec­tives and capa­bil­i­ties of the awe­some Rover mis­sion, the chal­lenges in oper­at­ing it, and how the sci­ence team have been using the Rover to address impor­tant ques­tions about Mars.

Spring Program and Annual Meeting

L.A. Law: Life as a Supe­rior Court Judge

For this event, five Supe­rior Court judges came together to dis­cuss our court sys­tem and the issues that impact the courts today. Drawn from  areas of exper­tise across the system, they gave fascinating insights into their career paths, courtroom experiences, and issues. Moderated by Judge Anthony J. Mohr, the panel included Judge Michelle Williams Court (fam­ily law courts), Judge Gail Rud­er­man Feuer (crim­i­nal law courts), Judge Elaine Man­del (men­tal health/competency to stand trial), and Judge D. Zeke Zei­dler (juve­nile and depen­dency courts).  A lively question/answer period followed.

PBK Alumni in Southern California is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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