Mullin Welch Endowed Lecture

The Mullin Welch Lecture is named for Elizabeth Charlotte Mullin Welch. The CEW+ Mullin Welch Series was established in 1989 by Frances Daseler and Marjorie Jackson in memory of their sister Elizabeth Charlotte Mullin Welch. This fund brings to campus outstanding women who exemplify Elizabeth’s characteristics: creativity, strength of character and expansive vision.

Growing up in El Paso in the 1920s, Elizabeth Charlotte Mullin confounded many around her. She was a bright, tough, energetic personality who thrived on challenging the expectations set forth for a privileged woman of that era.

In the Journalism Department at the University of Michigan, Elizabeth was part of the late Depression, pre-World War II culture, which inspired her wide-ranging interests in the arts, literature, politics, and the theater. She was the rare woman in the intellectual and artistic circle that included Arthur Miller, Mike Wallace, and Jerome Wiesner. In 1939, her parents’ graduation gift bespoke their ambivalence about their daughter’s future–she received tuition to both a prestigious writing seminar and a secretarial course. But Elizabeth wasn’t interested. Finished with schooling, she entered the world of work, first at a Detroit radio station, and then in New York at the Ladies Home Journal. Later in her career, Elizabeth rose through the ranks of a major department store chain to become one of the few women comptrollers nationwide. She was the office manager of the Plays and Players theater group and welcomed actors and playwrights to her home in a historic section of Philadelphia where she lived with her husband Charles Welch, a professor of history. She also created jewelry and collected and sold fine antiques. Elizabeth passed away in 1974. The Mullin Welch Lecture Series was established in 1989 by her sisters, the late Marjorie Jackson and Frances Daseler, in Elizabeth’s memory, bringing to campus lecturers who exemplify her characteristics: creativity, strength of character, and expansive vision.

CEW+ thanks the families of Marjorie Jackson and Frances Daseler for making this lecture series possible.

Past Lecture Series Speakers


Sohini Chakraborty, Ph.D.
Sociologist, Dance Activist, Founder of Kolkata Sanved


CEW+ Advocacy Symposium
C. Nicole Mason, PhD, President and Chief Executive officer of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research


CEW+ Advocacy Symposium
Shannon Cohen, MPA, founder and principal of Shannon Cohen, Inc, award-winning industry leader, strategist, innovator, and inspirational leader
Stephanie Land, author


CEW+ Advocacy Symposium
Laverne Cox, Emmy-nominated actress, Emmy-winning producer


Florine Mark, Founder of Weight Watchers Group, Inc.


Michel Martin, Journalist and NPR correspondent


Sara Paretsky, Author


“The New Faces of Female Activism”

  • Robin Wright, Award-Winning Journalist, Author, Scholar


“Ordinary, Extraordinary People”

  • Jo Luck, President, Heifer International

Zana Briski, Founder, Kids with Cameras Screening: Born into Brothels

  • Zana Briski, Founder, Co-directer, Co-writer


It’s Just Common Sense: Women Building a High Wage Economy

  • Sara Gould, President, Ms. Foundation


Sarah Weddington, Attorney, Adjunct Professor


Presenting the University of Michigan Affirmative Action Cases

  • Maureen Mahoney, Attorney, Member of the UM Defense Team in Grutter v. Bollinger


Barbara Ehrenreich, Author, and Social Critic

Sima Wali, International Humans Rights Activist and President of Refugee Women in Development, Inc.