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Speakers Programs

Among our notable speakers from past programs: First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Poet Laureate Robert Frost, Chief Justice William O. Douglas, Sen. Eugene McCarthy (MN), Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (NY); Poet Laureate Maya Angelou;  CBS Anchor Walter Cronkite, Former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel. Today’s speakers are supported by the following endowed funds: the Martin Laird Koldyke ’79 Fund for Adlai Stevenson ’18 Lectures; the Charles A. Krause ’51 Public Speaking Fund and Lecture Series; the Ambassador S. Davis Phillips ’61 International Lecture Fund; the Williams G. Spears ’56 Endowment for Spiritual and Moral Education and the Thalheimer Educator-in-Residence Program.

2016-2017 Speakers Program Schedule:

January: Nicholas Kristof

New York Times Op-Ed Columnist

April: Sherman Alexie

Author of Flight

April: Bill McKibben

Environmentalist Author and Journalist

Last year’s speakers programs featured:

September 15, 2015: Rosalind Wiseman

Ms. Wiseman’s work focuses on teens, specifically bullying and peer pressure. Social justice and ethical leadership as well as social competency. She wrote Queen Bees & Wannabees, on which the film “Mean Girls” was based. Wiseman’s other writings include Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads, which address the social hierarchies and conflicts among parents. Each year Wiseman works with students, educators, parents, counselors, coaches, and administrators to create communities based on the belief that each person has a responsibility to treat themselves and others with dignity. She was one of the principal speakers at the White House Summit on Bullying.

November 3, 2015: Ralph Wales (Spears Endowment)

Mr. Wales is Headmaster at the Gordon School in Providence and has done groundbreaking work on diversity and privilege.

January 26, 2016: Dr. Tricia Rose (Phillips Lecture Series)

Dr. Rose is Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University. She is best known for her work on the emergence of hip hop culture, Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America. She has recently returned to hip hop in her 2008 book The Hip Hop Wars, in which she argues that hip hop artists and the commercialization of black culture generally have more power than ever to shape racial and gender images, perceptions, and policies.

March 22, 2016: Dr. Jordan Ellenberg (Krause Lecture Series)

Dr. Ellenberg is the John D. MacArthur Professor of Mathematics and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His most recent book, How Not to be Wrong: the Power of Mathematical Thinking, was published in May 2014, positively reviewed in The New York Times. He also writes the "Do the Math" column for Slate and has written articles for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and Wired, among others. Prior to joining the faculty at Madison, he was an assistant professor at Princeton University.