LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A veteran female U.S. senator, a federal elections commissioner and a presidential scholar from Rhodes College will speak at the University of Louisville this spring through the McConnell Center for Political Leadership.

    U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) will discuss “Congress and a Nation in Crisis” on Jan. 28 at 10 a.m. in the Brandeis School of Law’s Allen Courtroom. She originally was scheduled to speak at U of L on Sept. 17 but rescheduled her talk after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon.

    Others in the lecture series will be Michael Nelson, presidential scholar from Rhodes College, who will give a President’s Day talk on Feb. 18, and Brad Smith, federal elections commissioner and professor of law at Capital University. Smith, who wrote the book “Unfree Speech,” will speak on April 2.

    Elected to the Senate in 1986, Mikulski is the longest-serving woman in the Senate and the first female Democrat to serve in both houses of Congress. She is regarded as a national leader on women’s issues, health care and the rights of working people.

    The time and location of the Nelson and Smith lectures will be announced later, said Gary Gregg, director of the McConnell Center.

    The non-partisan McConnell Center, founded at U of L in 1991, attracts students from around the state and grooms them for effective leadership. Former speakers have included U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and U.S. Sens. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) and Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.).

    The lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, check the McConnell Center’s website at www.mcconnellcenter.org or call Wanda Adams Taylor at (502) 852-3323.