Club history

We’re gathering information about the history of AAS in anticipation of the 10 year anniversary of the founding of the club. For more information about any event, please use the search bar to the left. We’re working on posting news articles and member testimonials about past events. Please email if you can fill in any more details or if you would like to write a guest post! Post your personal stories about AAS in the comments.

  • Fall 1999 /Spring 2000  Club founded by Dr. Hector Avalos and Douglas Ficek
  • Fall 2000 / Spring 2001
    • 24 October2000 hosted joint lectures on secular humanism by Dr. Paul Kurtz, perhaps the most prominent secular humanist philosopher, and Dr. Anthony Pinn, Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University.
      • This was our first big event, and we nearly filled the Grand Ballroom.
  • Fall 2001 / Spring 2002 President Will Christopher
    • 18 October 2001 hosted Dr. Hector Avalos and Dr. John Patterson in the forum “Why God Didn’t Answer on 9-11: An Alternative, Non-Religious View”
  • Fall 2002 / Spring 2003
  • Fall 2003 / Spring 2004   Co-Chair Eric Lindstrom
    • 6 February 2004 hosted Dr. Hector Avalos and Dr. William Lane Craig in the debate “The Resurrection of Christ”
      • We broke the attendance record for any debate at ISU, with over 2700 in attendance in Stephens Auditorium.
      • See the SSA Newsletter for Lindstrom’s article about the event.
    • Fall 2004 / Spring 2005   Co-Chair Eric Lindstrom
      • 15 October 2004 hosted Dr. Hector Avalos and Dr. John Patterson in a joint lecture on “Intelligent Design: Is it science or religion?”
      • 5 April 2005 hosted Ibn Warraq, a well-known secular humanist who left Islam.
      • 14 April 2005 hosted Dan Barker in “Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist”
    • Fall 2005 / Spring 2006   President Eric Lindstrom
      • 6 February 2006 hosted Robert M. Hazen in “Why Intelligent Design Is Not Science!”
    • Fall 2006   President Lindsay Altenhofen
      • Instituted social events
    • Spring 2007   President Louie Schanus
    • Fall 2007 / Spring 2008   President Nathaniel Ginder, Social Chair Anastasia Bodnar
      • Fall 2007 hosted Hector Avalos response to William B. F. Ryan “The Catastrophic Drowning of the Black Sea and the Science behind Early Flood Legends”
      • 31 October 2007 co-hosted Christopher Hitchens “How Religion Poisons Everything” with the ISU Committee on Lectures
      • Spring 2008 hosted Hector Avalos response to Expelled
    • Fall 2008 / Spring 2009   President Anastasia Bodnar, Vice President Matt Tillman, Treasurer David Griffin (Fall 2008), Treasurer Luke Harvey (Spring 2009)
      • Instituted Sunday brunch
      • 2008 hosted Hector Avalos and Jan Mickelson debate on same-sex marraige
      • 26 September 2008 co-hosted Pulpit Freedom Sunday protest with Collegiate Methodist Church
      • 13 February 2009 hosted DJ Grothe “Darwin Made Me Do It”
      • 4 March 2009 attended Richard Dawkins “The Purpose of Purpose” at the University of Minnesota, followed by meet and greet with Richard Dawkins and PZ Meyers
      • 9 April 2009 hosted Hector Avalos “How to Fight Intelligent Design and Win”
      • 15 April 2009 organized “(Mostly) Silent Protest Against Tom Short”
      • 23 April 2009 hosted” Your Choice, Our Voice” charity fundraiser
    • Fall 2009 / Spring 2010   President Anastasia Bodnar, Vice President Brian Gress, Treasurer Tori Aletheia, Social Chair Matt Tillman, Discussion Chair Zack Aletheia
      • 1-2 September 2009 “Ask an Atheist” recruiting booth in the Free Speech area.
      • Date TBD “Fiction for Fiction”
      • 13 November 2009 10th Anniversary Superstition Bash

    3 comments on “Club history

    1. Zach says:

      In the fall of 2004 Tori and I came to ISU. I was still a Christian at the time, but soon after coming here, I lost my faith in Christianity and began searching for something else. I started going to the ISU Pagan Community. At the Pagan Community I met an atheist who talked about going to the Atheist & Agnostic Society, which is where I first heard about the group. In the spring of 2005 we went to see a lecture by Dan Barker who came to speak during First Amendment Week, which was put on by AAS. During First Amendment Week there was also a debate which included 2 members of AAS, a member of Cru and a member of Salt Company.

      In the Fall of 2005 I took a cultural anthropology class which made me realize that all religions were just as absurd as all others. Then I read a book that Tori had, called Why Atheism by George H. Smith. At that point I decided to go to my 1st AAS, and since Tori was already an atheist, she was all for it. Four years later, we are still attending. Between then and now we’ve seen 5 presidents of the group.

    2. Eric Lindstrom says:

      Here’s to 10 more 😉

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