The series welcomes world leaders, authors and activists to share their insights with the Greater Boston community
Thursday, March 21, 2013
The series features an impressive line up of activists, authors and world leaders, as the series celebrates its third season.
Opening with best-selling author Bill Bryson on October 2, the series will also feature former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou; former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates; Apple computers co-founder Steve Wozniak; former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins; Ambassador and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr.; and preeminent American historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin.
“We look forward to Lesley University’s engagement with these seven speakers and the Greater Boston community on a diverse range of contemporary issues,” said Lesley University President Joseph Moore. “The public response to this speaker series demonstrates a genuine interest in lifelong learning and an appreciation for the historical role of public forums within a participatory democracy. Presenting this series is another manifestation of Lesley’s mission of education and service.”
Bill Bryson, Wednesday, October 2, 2013 – Bill Bryson is the New York Times Best-Selling Author of “A Walk in the Woods” and “A Short History of Nearly Everything.” A beloved and prolific writer, Bryson has chronicled his travels around the world for nearly three decades, from hiking the Appalachian Trail to his experience of moving from England back to the United States. His writing honors include the Aventis Award and TIME’s All-TIME 100 Best Nonfiction Books, and he is a recipient of an honorary Order of the British Empire for his contribution to literature. Bryson’s latest book, titled “Next Summer,” is scheduled for release in Fall 2013. Read a Professor's Prologue by Lesley Professor Mary Dockray-Miller here. Read coverage of Bryson's lecture here.
George Papandreou, Wednesday, October 16, 2013 – As Prime Minister of Greece from 2009 to 2011, George Papandreou led the government during the country’s deepest crisis in post-war history, and was named one of Foreign Policy magazine’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers” in 2010 for “making the best of Greece’s worst year.” From 1999 to 2004, he served as Greece’s Foreign Minister, leading diplomatic bridge-building, championing human rights at home and abroad, and deploying “Green Diplomacy” for environmental protection measures. Most recently, he was a Fall 2012 Visiting Fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics. Read a Professors' Prologue by Bryan Brophy-Baermann and Nancy Heims here. Read coverage of Papandreou's lecture here.
Robert Gates, Wednesday, November 13, 2013 – Robert Gates served as Secretary of Defense under President Bush and President Obama, and worked nearly 27 years in the CIA, during which he spent nine years at the National Security Council serving four presidents of both political parties. In 2011, on Gates' last day in office, President Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor. He has also been awarded the National Security Medal, the Presidential Citizens Medal, the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal (three times), and the CIA's highest award, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal (three times). He is the author of “From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insiders Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War,” and now serves as Chancellor of the College of William and Mary. Read a Professor's Prologue by Dean Mary Coleman here. Read coverage of Gates's lecture here.
Steve Wozniak, Wednesday, January 15, 2014 – Called one of “Silicon Valley’s most creative engineers,” Steve Wozniak single-handedly invented the early Apple computers, helping to shape the personal computer revolution. He co-founded Apple Computer Inc. with Steve Jobs in 1976 and led its research and development. A Silicon Valley icon and philanthropist for more than thirty years, Wozniak was awarded the National Medal of Technology by the President of the United States in 1985, and was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame in 2000. He authored a New York Times bestselling autobiography, “iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon,” and serves as Chief Scientist for Fusion-IO. Read a Professor's Prologue by Dr. Robert McGrath here. Read coverage of Wozniak's lecture here.
Billy Collins, Wednesday, February 26, 2014 – A Guggenheim fellow whose last three collections of poems have broken sales records for poetry, Billy Collins served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. His work has appeared in publications including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The American Scholar, and he has appeared on National Public Radio. He has published eight collections of poetry and edited two anthologies. Collins has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, and has been awarded the Oscar Blumenthal Prize, the Bess Hokin Prize, the Frederick Bock Prize, the Levinson Prize, and in 2004, he was the inaugural recipient of the Poetry Foundation’s Mark Twain Prize for Humor in Poetry.
Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. has served four U.S. Presidents in critical roles around the world including Ambassador to Singapore, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Asia, U.S. Trade Ambassador and, most recently, U.S. Ambassador to China. Twice elected Governor of Utah, Huntsman brought about strong economic reforms in Utah, tripled the state’s rainy day fund, and helped bring unemployment rates to historic lows. He currently serves on the board The U.S. Naval Academy Foundation, is a distinguished fellow at the Brookings Institution, and serves as a Trustee of the Reagan Presidential Foundation. Most recently, he was a candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Wednesday, April 30, 2014 – World-renowned historian Doris Kearns Goodwin is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who appears regularly on television and was an on-air consultant for PBS documentaries on Lyndon Johnson, the Kennedy Family, Franklin Roosevelt, and Ken Burns’ "The History of Baseball." She launched her literary career in 1976 with her first book, “Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream,” which became a New York Times bestseller. Her most recent work, a monumental history of Abraham Lincoln entitled “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln,” was an immediate bestseller that director Steven Spielberg used as the basis for his 2012 major motion picture, “Lincoln,” starring Daniel Day Lewis. She is currently working on a book about the progressive era on Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft and the golden age of journalism.
All of the presentations will begin at 8 p.m. at Boston Symphony Hall. Tickets are sold by series subscription only; prices range from $275 to $475 per person. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact the ticket office for information on subscriptions at www.bostonspeakersseries.com.
Lesley University educates more than 8,000 women and men a year, and is one of the nation's largest providers of graduate professional education opportunities to K-12 educators, boasting 45,000 education alumni, and over 80,000 alumni in all. Anchored by a strong liberal arts curriculum, Lesley offers undergraduate and graduate programs in education, the arts, human services and the environment at its Cambridge and Boston campuses, online, and in a number of states. Lesley University prepares individuals for lives and careers that make a difference, and serves the evolving needs of students and a diverse society through innovative programs and pedagogy, high quality instruction, scholarship, advocacy, and outreach.
See the full speakers schedule and read coverage of the events.
2013-2014 Boston Speakers Series
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