Southwestern College alumnus and visionary writer J. Michael Straczynski will deliver the keynote speech at Southwestern College’s 2022 Opening Day.
Straczynski is a Southwestern College alumnus, mentored by Professor Emeritus Bill Virchis, who created the groundbreaking science-fiction series “Babylon 5,” co-created the Netflix series “Sense8,” wrote a legendary run on “The Amazing Spider-Man” and wrote the screenplays for “Changeling” and Marvel Studios’ “Thor.”
Straczynski was invited by Erica Johnson, foundation development coordinator, because of his tremendous impact on popular culture and his embodiment of Southwestern College’s impact on student success.
“J. Michael Straczynski’s story is the epitome of what Southwestern College is about,” Johnson said. “As a young man who struggled in every way imaginable, the experiences and relationships at Southwestern played a key role in supporting him to grow his confidence, reach his potential, and make incredible contributions to the current zeitgeist. Having him as our Opening Day keynote speaker is an amazing opportunity for college employees to see a living, breathing example of how the work we do is deeply important in the lives of students, and that there is a ripple effect of good in both our immediate community and far beyond.”
This will be one of Straczynski’s many returns to Southwestern College. Most recently Straczynski returned to Southwestern College in 2019 to receive the Southwestern College Foundation’s Jaguar Award. In addition to his contributions to popular culture, Straczynski was awarded the Jaguar Award for his altruism toward Southwestern College programs and students, including supporting the Jag Kitchen Food Pantry and The Southwestern College Sun.
Opening Day is a districtwide day of professional development, training and workshops for Southwestern College employees. Opening Day is not open to the public.