Previous Speakers

 

Andrew Young

Andrew YoungThis annual event is an opportunity for the campus and local community to gather and celebrate the life and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Andrew Young has led a lifetime of public service and worked tirelessly to improve human and civil rights around the world. He has served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, U.S. Congressman and Atlanta Mayor. He is a best-selling author and an Emmy-nominated television show producer of “Andrew Young Presents” through the Andrew Young Foundation which works to end racism, war and poverty.

This event was held on January 22, 2014 at 7:00 PM at the Performing Arts Center. The event was sponsored by Multicultural Student Center and the Vice President of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management.


Heather Maggs

Heather MaggsThis program offered proactive safety tips for: party situations, safe sex, binge drinking, predatory drugs, air/car/hotel safety, and ways to avoid crime targeted at tourists. Heather Maggs demonstrated her favorite self-defense techniques that could be used to escape a violent confrontation. Using her signature style of combining humor with straight talk, students were urged to have a blast on spring break…but to make safe choices in the process.

This event was held on March 4, 2014 at 7:00 PM at the Russell Union Ballroom. The event was sponsored by Health Services Office of Health Education.


Travis A. Williams

Travis WilliamsThe new documentary Gideon’s Army follows a group of young public defenders in the Deep South who contend with low pay, long hours, and staggering caseloads to represent the poor. The film’s title comes from the landmark 1963 Supreme Court ruling in Gideon v. Wainwright that established the right to counsel to defendants in criminal cases who are unable to afford their own attorneys. Subject of Gideon’s Army, Travis A. Williams, dives deep into the discussion of the deficiencies of the US criminal justice system, including mass incarceration, and what it takes to maintain the passion and commitment to be a public defender.

This event was held on March 25, 2014 at 7:00 PM at the Russell Union Ballroom. The event was sponsored by the Sociological Society, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Multicultural Student Center, Justice Studies Club, NAACP, Association of Latin American Students, and Campus Life Enrichment Committee.


Dr. Maura Cullen

Maura Cullen (2)Many of our conversations around diversity have us walking on eggshells. This program offered practical ways to quickly transform the quality and effectiveness of our interactions. Participants learned ten very common statements that are often well intended but may be offensive. Knowing the actual statements is helpful, however, the real learning comes by implementing the ten core concepts that ultimately increases diversity skills and competency for you and those you work with.

This event was held on March 27, 2014 at 6:00 PM at the Russell Union Ballroom. The event was sponsored by University Housing, Multicultural Student Center,Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management, University Wellness Program, Student Activities, Fraternity & Sorority Life, and Leadership & Civic Engagement.


Dr. Michael Moloney

Michael Moloney

In this compelling, illustrated talk, the world–‐renowned musician and musicologist, Dr. Mick Moloney, revealed how African and Irish musical traditions blended together in the Blue Ridge region of Appalachia to power forward the development of a distinctive American musical tradition. Moloney, the Global Distinguished Professor of Music at New York University, is renowned for the engaging quality of his lectures, which are enlivened by performance snippets.

This event was held on April 1, 2014 at 7:00 PM at the Nessmith-Lane Auditorium. The event was sponsored by the Multicultural Student Center, Center for Irish Research and Teaching, and Campus Life Enrichment Committee.

Dr. Moloney was also be featured on April 2, 2014 at 10:00 AM inside the Foy Building’s Carroll Recital Hall with his talk, “The American Popular Song: If It Weren’t for the Irish and the Jews.”


Dr. Steven Chu

Steven Chu

Dr. Steven Chu, Nobel Prize Winner in Physics and former U.S. Secretary of Energy, will be the keynote speaker for No Impact Week. A distinguished physicist, innovative professor and the first science laureate to serve as U.S. Secretary of Energy, Dr. Steven Chu offered insight on our energy future—and how advances in science are the key to solving our most confounding global issues.

This event was held on April 15, 2014 at 7:00 PM at the Performing Arts Center. The event was sponsored by the College of Science and Mathematics, Department of Physics, Center for Sustainability, Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, University Wellness Program.


 


 

Ernesto Mejia

Ernesto Mejia (2)Ernesto, the proud son of Mexican immigrants, is a true example of the American dream. Diagnosed with the rare disease of Guillain-Barré Syndrome at the age of 16 that left him temporarily paralyzed, he was not supposed to be a successful student, much less a College Dean of Students. Through his hardships, Ernesto learned to never give up on life, and now he coaches and lectures on never giving up on the American dream: Education.

Ernesto was the Hispanic Heritage Month Speaker on October 3, 2013 in the Russell Union Theater. His appearance was sponsored by the Multicultural Student Center.


Patrick Combs

Patrick CombsThe Office of Career Services was proud to bring back award winning author, Patrick Combs for the 8th year! His dynamic presentation, “Major in Success” focuses on the following areas: five steps to land a great job after graduation; how to discover your true passion; how to Triumph over fears; how to beat a tough job market and much more!

The event was held on September 25, 2013 in the Performing Arts Center.  The event was sponsored by Career Services and the Campus Life Enrichment Committee (CLEC)


Laura Bush

Bush_Laura_PROMOPICOne of the most beloved and admired American First Ladies, for decades Laura Bush has championed key issues in the fields of education, health care, and human rights. She has traveled to more than seventy-six countries, including two historic solo trips to Afghanistan, and has launched groundbreaking education and healthcare programs in the U.S. and abroad. The author of the bestselling memoir, Spoken From The Heart, Mrs. Bush also founded both the Texas Book Festival and the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. Today, as the Chair of the Woman’s Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute, Mrs. Bush continues her work on global healthcare innovations, empowering women in emerging democracies, education reform, and supporting the men and women who have served in America’s military.

Born in Midland, Texas to Jenna and Harold Welch, Laura Bush holds a degree in education and a master’s degree in library science. She taught in public schools in Dallas, Houston, and Austin, and worked as a public school librarian. She was jokingly dubbed “the old maid of Midland” before her 1977 marriage to George W. Bush, “Midland’s most eligible bachelor.” The Bushes are the parents of twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna.

The event was held on September 17, 2013 at Hanner Fieldhouse from 7:00-8:00 PM. The event was sponsored by The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management and the Office of Student Leadership & Civic Engagement.


Carrie Zimmerman

Carrie ZimmermanCarrie Zimmerman presented “Diversity, Civility, Respect, & Community Building” on September 16, 2013 at 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM in the Russell Union Theater

Program Description:
The program asks students to take responsibility for themselves, and work towards creating a respectful, caring community. Throughout this presentation we incorporate the mission and values of GSU, and ask our community to hold one another to the highest standards of respect and civility. This powerful program uses pop culture references, multi-media components, current news clips and the strongest voice of all – our own students – to make an impact. The structure of the presentation ensures that the conversation will continue long after the program has ended. The presentation is a balance of levity and urgency, reality and inspiration. It uses real life language and situations, and most importantly it empowers students to create a campus culture that includes rather than excludes, embraces rather than marginalizes. Students will walk away having a greater understanding as to what it means to be a part of the Eagle Nation.

The event was sponsored by Dean of Students, Multicultural Student Center & Student Conduct.


Van Jones

Photo by Mona T. Brooks | monabrooks.comVan Jones was the keynote speaker for Georgia Southern’s 3rd Annual No Impact Week presentation at 7:00 PM on April 17, 2013 at the Performing Arts Center. Van Jones is president and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, a platform for bottom-up, people-powered innovations to help fix the U.S. economy. A Yale-educated attorney, he has written two New York Times Best Sellers: The Green Collar Economy, the definitive book on green jobs, and Rebuild the Dream, a roadmap for progressives in 2012 and beyond. Van is the founder of Green For All, a national organization working to get green jobs to disadvantaged communities. He was the main advocate for the Green Jobs Act; signed into law by George W. Bush in 2007, the Act was the first piece of federal legislation to codify the term “green jobs.” Under the Obama administration, the Green Jobs Act has resulted in $500 million for green job training nationally. In 2009, Van worked as the green jobs advisor to the Obama White House. There, he helped run the inter-agency process that oversaw $80 billion in green energy recovery spending.

His seminar was hosted by the Center for Sustainability in partnership with the Multicultural Student Center and with support from CLEC, the Office of the Vice President for Research & Economic Development, and the College of Science and Mathematics.


Soledad O’Brien

speaker_obrien

CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien was the featured speaker during Georgia Southern University’s 2013 MLK celebration. O’Brien’s theme focused on social justice, public service and continuing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Soledad O’Brien is a veteran, Emmy award-winning journalist who anchors the CNN morning show Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien. She has traveled the world covering stories and producing documentaries focusing on minorities and their challenges and struggles in America.

Soledad’s appearance was sponsored by the Office of Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and the Multicultural Student Center.


President Jimmy Carter & First Lady Rosalynn Carter

speaker_carters

Jimmy Carter served as President from 1977 to 1981. Successful in the Camp David Accords, the Panama Canal Treaties, and SALT II treaty with the Soviet Union, he may be most notable for his admirable humanitarian efforts following his presidency. Since leaving office, Carter has gained a reputation as a tireless champion for social justice. In 1982, he founded The Carter Center, a nonpartisan and nonprofit center that addresses national and international issues of public policy. He is a University Distinguished Professor at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. and is the author of 27 books. On Dec. 10, 2002, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Carter “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter has worked for more than three decades to improve the quality of life for people around the world. Today, she is an advocate for mental health, caregiving, early childhood immunization, human rights and conflict resolution through her work at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Ga. A full partner with the President in all the Center’s activities, the former First Lady is a member of the Carter Center Board of Trustees.

Mrs. Carter served as distinguished centennial lecturer at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Ga., from 1988-1992 and is currently a distinguished fellow at the Emory University Department of Women’s Studies in Atlanta. She is a graduate of Georgia Southwestern College where she serves as president of the board of directors for the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving. Mrs. Carter has received numerous honors including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. She has written five books and continues to travel and speak throughout the world. A mother of four, she has maintained a lifelong dedication to issues affecting women and children.

The Carters’ program was presented on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 7:00 PM in Hanner Fieldhouse.  The event was sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement.

 


 

Richard “Dick” Gregory

speaker_gregoryAn African American civil rights activist and comedian whose social satire changed the way white Americans perceived African American comedians. Through the 1960s, Gregory spent time on social issues and participated in marches and parades to support a range of causes, including opposition to the Vietnam War, world hunger, and drug abuse in addition to fasting in protest more than sixty times. Inspired by the work of leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and organizations such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Gregory took part in the Civil Rights Movement and used his celebrity status to draw attention to issues of segregation and disfranchisement. When local Mississippi governments stopped distributing Federal food surpluses to poor blacks in areas where SNCC was encouraging voter registration, Gregory chartered a plane to bring in tons of food. He participated in SNCC’s voter registration drives and in sit-ins to protest segregation.

Mr. Gregory was the 2012 Martin King Luther King Day Celebration speaker on Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM in the Performing Arts Center. The event was sponsored by the Multicultural Student Center and Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.


Reza Aslan and Jessica Jackley

speaker_aslanjackleyImprovements in technology have led to an explosion in the use of social media throughout the world. Going beyond common social networking, the couple presented on the international impact social media is having on politics, activism, and philanthropy.

Mr. Aslan and Ms. Jackley presented The Promise and Peril of Social Media on Monday, January 30, 2012 at 7:00 PM in the Russell Union Ballroom. The event was sponsored by the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement.


The Buried Life

speaker_buried3Members of The Buried Life cast were the keynote speakers for the Life after College Conference, an event designed to prepare students for their job search and life after college. The goal of their program was to provide motivation and encouragement as students begin their job search process and help them learn first-hand that they can accomplish any goal that they set.

The Buried Life originated in 2006 when four now-twenty-something’s set out in an old RV to complete a list of “100 Things We Want To Do Before We Die,” and help strangers along the way accomplish something on their own lists. They work to keep it authentic to their original vision: “Simple and practical things demonstrate that, with creativity and the help of others, a person can accomplish anything; anything is possible.” During their presentation, they provide advice about reaching your goals, working with others, and treating others with respect.

The Buried Life program was presented on Monday, February 20, 2012 at 7:00 PM in the Performing Arts Center. The event was sponsored by Career Services and the University Wellness Program.


Dr. Sandy Grande

speaker_grandeDr. Sandy Grande is an Associate Professor of Education at Connecticut College. Her current research examines the intersections between critical theory and American Indian Intellectualism. Her approach is profoundly inter- and cross-disciplinary, and has included the integration of critical, feminist, and Marxist theories of education with the concerns of American Indian and environmental education.

Dr. Grande presented Deconstructing the White Man’s Indian on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 7:00 PM in the William Center Multipurpose Room. The event was sponsored by the Multicultural Student Center.


Dr. Chang’aa Mweti

speaker_mwetiDr. Mweti is an inspiring storyteller originally from Kenya and currently an assistant professor of education at the University of Minnesota in Duluth, Minnesota. Using dramatic skits and African music, a sitting stool, walking stick, and native clothes, he tells both his own humorous story, ” Coming to American, ” about cultural differences and a traditional African story, ” A Father’s Gift to His Children, ” about the power of unity.

Dr. Mweti presented African Storyteller on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 7:00 PM in the Russell Union Theater. The event was sponsored by the Multicultural Student Center.


Rudy Giuliani

speaker_giulianiAs Mayor Rudy Giuliani began his first mayoral term, he inherited a New York City awash with violence, a crumbling infrastructure and residential flight to the suburbs. A TIME magazine cover story summed up the conditions as “The Rotting of the Big Apple” TIME put New York City on its cover 10 years later, and thanks in large part to Giuliani, the magazine revisited its assessment of the city by touting it as America’s safest city where economic development thrived and families flocked to live. Just when New Yorkers were beginning to enjoy the city’s revitalization, the unimaginable hit on 9-11. Giuliani swiftly marshaled his remarkable leadership skills to pull his city, and perhaps the entire nation, through the crisis. It was no accident that Giuliani was able to accomplish miracles during those grim days.

Mayor Giuliani presented Principled Leadership: In the Face of Change and Crisis on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:00 PM in the Hanner Fieldhouse. The event was sponsored by the Offices of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and Student Leadership and Civic Engagement.


Keith Farrell

speaker_farrellIreland born, Keith Farrell lectures on the subject of Oliver Cromwell’ s mid-seventeenth century invasion of Ireland. The Cromwellian invasion of Ireland and the Irish Confederate Wars are an example of the clash of cultures and divisions within society. Cromwell’ s invasion drove some of those competing interest together in the face of what was perceived as an attack by outside forces on Ireland. This was also a defining moment in the creation of a unitary Irish national identity made up from what had been competing Celtic-Irish, Norman, and Old English interest. Cromwell’ s invasion of Ireland is still a matter of continuing international importance.

Mr. Farrell presented Oliver Cromwell In Ireland: Multicultural Showdown in 17th Century Europe on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 7:00 PM in the Williams Center Multipurpose Room. The event was sponsored by Multicultural Student Center, Irish Studies, and Campus Life Enrichment Committee.


Madeleine Albright

speaker_albrightFormer U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright spoke at Georgia Southern University’s Hanner Fieldhouse on Tuesday, September 18 at 7p.m. The event was sponsored by the Offices of the Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management and Student Leadership & Civic Engagement.

Albright was chosen by President Clinton as the first female U.S. Secretary of State in 1997. At the time, she was the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S.government. Albright will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Obama later this spring.

Prior to becoming Secretary of State, Albright served as the U.S. Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations from 1993-1997. She is a professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and chairs both the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the Pew Global Attitudes Project and serves as president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation and a member of an advisory body, the U.S. Defense Department’s Defense Policy Board.

Albright is chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm, and chair of Albright Capital Management LLC, an investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets. She is also the author of five best-selling books, including Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War: 1937-1948.


Tim Wise

speaker_timwiseTim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and activists in the U.S. He has spoken in 48 states and on over 350 college campuses, including Harvard, Stanford, and the Law Schools at Yale and Columbia. Wise has provided anti-racism training to teachers nationwide, and with physicians and medical industry professionals on how to combat racial inequities in health care. He has trained corporate, government, and law enforcement officials on methods for dismantling racism in their institutions and has served as a consultant for plaintiff’s attorneys in federal discrimination cases in New York and Washington State.

Mr. Wise presented White Like Me on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 3:30 PM and 7:00 PM in the Russell Union Ballroom. The event was sponsored by the Multicultural Student Center.


Patrick Combs

speaker_combsPatrick Combs is the author of the national best-selling book “Major in Success: Make College Easier, Fire up Your Dreams and Get a Very Cool Job”. His book is used in hundreds of colleges, schools and youth programs nationwide; was featured on National TV with Barbara Walters; and was given the “Best Book” Award by the New York Public Library. Mr. Combs is also widely known as a motivational speaker, a humorous stage performer, and a television personality for PBS’ Career Advantage. For more than a decade he has dedicated his career to helping people live with more courage, passion, inspiration and meaning.

Combs presented Major in Success:Make College Easier, Fire up Your Dreams and Get a Very Cool Job on Wednesday, September 26, 2011 at 2:30 PM and 7:00 PM in the Performing Arts Center. The event was sponsored by Career Services and FYE Success Series.


Aaron Moore

speaker_mooreAs a licensed mental health counselor, Aaron Moore sees a wide range of struggling adults and teenagers searching for healing and recovery. Moore became involved with the non-profit organization To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) in 2006 to speak against the secrecy and silence accompanying depression and addiction. Moore encourages people to speak openly about their personal struggles to battle the stigma of shame and weakness with honesty and compassion.

Aaron presented Pain, Hope, Questioning: An Evening with TWLOHA on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 7:00 PM in the Performing Arts Center. The event was sponsored by Health Services and Counseling Center & Career Development.


Shalini Kantayya

speaker_kantayyaHaving come of age between Brooklyn and Bombay, Kantayya first became passionate about water rights while filming at the Kumbha Mela, a religious festival that happens at the confluence of three sacred rivers. She found the statistics alarming: two-thirds of the world’s people will not have adequate access to clean drinking water by the year 2027. And there are no borders to this crisis. As demand rapidly exceeds supply, every species on the planet is in danger. Your access is at risk. The question is what will you do about it? In this gripping film screening and interactive talk, Shalini Kantayya fuses personal and political to explore the mounting worldwide water crisis, helping audiences to see water as a basic human right and inspiring them to make change.

Shalini presented Inside the Mounting Water Crisis on Monday, October 8, 2012 at 7:00 PM in the Performing Arts Center. The event was sponsored by the University Wellness Program.


Adam Braun

speaker_braunAdam Braun, founder of Pencils of Promise, is one of the world’s most impactful and fastest growing nonprofits in the country having built more than 40 sustainable schools across Laos, Nicaragua and Guatemala with expectations to build another 60 schools in 2012. Pencils of Promise’s work and their leadership in social media engagement, sustainable development, youth empowerment and digital innovation has been recognized by Nobel peace prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, President Bill Clinton, Barbara Walters, Katie Couric, and Pencils of Promise spokesperson Justin Bieber.

Adam was the keynote speaker at the 2012 Southern Collegiate Leadership Conference held on Saturday, October 20, 2012 in the Russell Union. The event was sponsored by the Office of Student Leadership & Civic Engagement.

Angela Davis

speaker_davisInternationally renowned author, lecturer, educator and social justice advocate Angela Davis shared her perspective with members of Georgia Southern University and the local community at a celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, January 27th, in the University’s Performing Arts Center.

A political activist since the 1970s, Davis has remained entrenched in the struggle for social justice and equality. Through activism and scholarship in the educational and public spheres, she aims to reshape the future for those facing injustice in the realms of economics, race and gender. Professionally, she teaches feminist studies and history of consciousness at the University of California Santa Cruz.

Davis is a member of the executive board of the Women of Color Resource Center, a San Francisco Bay area organization that emphasizes popular education about women who live in conditions of poverty. She also works with Justice Now, which provides legal assistance to women in prison and engages in advocacy for the abolition of imprisonment as the dominant strategy for addressing social problems. Internationally, she is affiliated with Sisters Inside, a similar organization based in Queensland, Australia.

The event was co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and the Multicultural Student Center.


Frank Warren

speaker_warrenGeorgia Southern University welcomed “America’s Most Trusted Man” Frank Warren for a special presentation at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 2nd, in the Performing Arts Center Theatre.

Creator of the PostSecret Project, Warren shared with guests the unheard voices and untold stories discovered during the last six years, and he addressed the important issue his blog supports – suicide awareness and prevention.

Warren gained recognition in 2004 when he invited people from around the world to send him creative postcards bearing never-revealed secrets to be featured in a special blog. His idea was to create an art-based community project to provide an anonymous medium of expression and honesty, safe from judgment.

Since PostSecret’s inception, Warren has received more than 400,000 postcards, with topics ranging from deep family secrets, criminal activity, secret habits and fears to funny reflections and hidden acts of kindness. His efforts have helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

In 2009, Forbes listed Warren as the fourth most influential person on the Internet. His award-winning online blog, which now garners views from more than seven million people each month, is one of the most popular on the Web, and has been featured in USA Today, on “The Today Show,” “20/20,” CNN, MSNBC, CBC, NPR and FOX News. The creatively illustrated secrets have been featured in an international traveling art exhibit, and in four bestselling books: PostSecret, My Secret, The Secret Lives.


Lee Mun Wah

speaker_wahA nationally-acclaimed lecturer and Master Diversity & Communications Trainer, Lee Mun Wah is a Chinese American community therapist, documentary filmmaker, Special Education educator, performing poet, Asian folkteller and author. He is also the Executive Director of StirFry Seminars & Consulting, which works with corporations, government agencies, educational institutions, and social agencies to facilitate diversity issues through healthy and authentic cross cultural relationships.

In 1993 his first film on Asian Americans, Stolen Ground, won the San Francisco International Film Festival’s Certificate of Merit Award for Best Bay Area Documentary. The National Media Network voted his second film, The Color of Fear, the Gold Medal for the Best Social Studies Documentary in 1995. In 1998 The Color of Fear 2 won the Cindy International Film Festival’s Silver Medal for Best Social Studies Award. In 1995 Oprah Winfrey presented a one-hour special on his work and life, which was viewed by over 15 million viewers.

Lee spoke at the Georgia Southern Diversity Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, February 10th at 7:00 PM. The event was sponsored by Georgia Southern’s Multicultural Student Center.


Bill Rancic

speaker_rancicThe first winner of Donald Trump’s reality TV competition, “The Apprentice,” Bill Rancic shared his experience and wisdom on Monday, February 21st, in the Performing Arts Center.

Rancic’s presentation shared tips for securing a job, recognizing and seizing opportunities, and balancing high expectations with personal shortcomings. Audience members enjoyed stories from his first post-college jobs to his experience working for Donald Trump. His advice was applicable to students, entrepreneurs and professionals at any level.

Author of The New York Times best-selling book, You’re Hired: How to Succeed in Business and Life, Rancic now stars in a new reality show on A&E TV, “We Mean Business.” He also funds philanthropic causes through proceeds from his second book, Beyond the Lemonade Stand, which challenges readers to learn the value of money and leverage skills, talents and abilities at a young age.

The event was sponsored by Georgia Southern’s Office of Career Services, the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement and the Campus Life Enrichment Committee.


Tim Wise

speaker_wiseTim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and activists in the U.S. He has spoken in 48 states and on over 350 college campuses, including Harvard, Stanford, and the Law Schools at Yale and Columbia. Wise has provided anti-racism training to teachers nationwide, and with physicians and medical industry professionals on how to combat racial inequities in health care. He has trained corporate, government, and law enforcement officials on methods for dismantling racism in their institutions and has served as a consultant for plaintiff’s attorneys in federal discrimination cases.

Mr. Wise presented White Like Me on Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 3:30 PM and 7:00 PM in the Russell Union Ballroom.


Dr. Na’im Akbar

speaker_akbar2Dr. Akbar is a Life Member and has remained active in the Association of Black Psychologists since two years after its founding in 1968. He served on the Board of Directors of this prestigious professional organization for numerous terms and was elected president of the Organization in 1987. This international organization, which is the largest Black mental health professional association in the world, has bestowed all of its most prestigious honors on this distinguished psychologist and scholar.

In the late 1980′s Dr. Akbar formed his own publishing company, Mind Productions and Associates and a private consulting company, Na’im Akbar Consultants. As president and CEO of these companies, Na’im Akbar has been able to expand his teaching to a worldwide classroom, gain greater control over the dissemination of his ideas and to target his work into areas subject to his determination.

Dr. Akbar presented Developing Black Men in the 21st Century on Saturday, September 24,2011 at the Russell Union Ballroom.


Patrick Combs

speaker_combsPatrick Combs is the author of the national best selling book “Major in Success: Make College Easier, Fire up Your Dreams and Get a Very Cool Job”. His book is used in hundreds of colleges, schools and youth programs nationwide; was featured on National TV with Barbara Walters; and was given the “Best Book” Award by the New York Public Library. Mr. Combs is also widely known as a motivational speaker, a humorous stage performer, and a television personality for PBS’ Career Advantage. For more than a decade he has dedicated his career to helping people live with more courage, passion, inspiration and meaning.

Mr. Combs presented Major in Success:Make College Easier, Fire up Your Dreams and Get a Very Cool Job on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 2;30 PM and 7:00 PM in the Performing Arts Center


Robert Kenner

speaker_kennerAward-winning filmmaker Robert Kenner worked for over six years to bring Food, Inc. to the screen. Kenner’s previous films have played theatrically, on television, and to President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore at the White House.

Robert’s other notable work includes his co-filmmaking endeavor on the Martin Scorsese documentary, The Blues Series. His The Road to Memphis included interviews with legendary B.B.King. Newsweek called it, “as fine a film ever made about American music” and “the unadulterated gem of the Scorsese Series.” His exceptional documentaries for The American Experience include War Letters, reflecting on the experiences of American soldiers and their loved ones from the Revolutionary War to the Gulf War. War Letters weaves a seamless tapestry of archival footage, historical recreations and readings by Kevin Spacey, Joan Allen, Bill Paxton, Edward Norton, and others.

Mr. Kenner presented on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 7:00 PM in the Nessmith Lane Assembly Hall.


Diana Yanez

speaker_yanezComedian and actress Diana Yanez tells a powerful and fantastically funny, personal account of growing up Cuban, Catholic and closeted in Miami! She is the winner of the Overall Excellence Award at the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival and has appeared Off-Broadway in Margaret Cho’s “Sensuous Woman” as well as with Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Henry and Rosie O’Donnell. http://www.dianayanez.com/

Ms. Yanez presented Viva La Evolcion on Saturday, October 22, 2011 at the Russell Union Ballroom.


Christina Chan

speaker_chanThis one woman show shatters the exotic, subservient, China doll image. In this powerful one woman show Christina portrays three real Chinese American women from China in the 1800s and their personal stories of being sold into slavery, prostitution, and abandonment in the streets of China.

Ms. Chan presented Unbind Our Lives on Thursday, October 27, 2011 at the William Center Multipurpose Room.


River Huston

speaker_hustonIn this exciting, interactive presentation River Huston uses current media such as twitter, texting, IMs and audio streaming. It is designed to encourage lively discussions on sensitive topics such as sexuality, sexual assault, alcohol abuse, binge drinking, body image and relationships. This successful approach provides useful information while eliminating any awkwardness often associated with some of this material. This forum puts a new twist on important information about how alcohol and drugs impact decision making, safe sex and sexual assault. Ms. Huston creates a talk show/game show atmosphere and by using a multi-media approach she is able to bring the whole audience into the discussion.

Ms Huston presented SEXED! on Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 7:00 PM in the Russell Union Ballroom.

Michael Eric Dyson

speaker_dysonProfessor and best-selling author Michael Eric Dyson spoke on campus as part of Georgia Southern University’s annual MLK Celebration. Author of the New York Times best-seller April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Death and How It Changed America, Dyson spoke on Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. at Georgia Southern’s Performing Arts Center.

A sociology professor at Georgetown University, Dyson is a renowned scholar and cultural critic on issues of race, religion, popular culture and contemporary issues in the African-American community. He bridges gaps between generations, connecting civil rights identity to hip-hop culture while forging links between older and younger Americans, especially black Americans.

Named by Ebony magazine as one of the 100 most influential black Americans, Dyson has authored 16 books commentating on modern social and intellectual thought, interwoven with a combination of cultural criticism, race theory, religion, philosophical reflection and gender studies. His works include Holler if You Hear Me; Is Bill Cosby Right? Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?; and I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King Jr.

Dyson’s visit to campus was sponsored by Georgia Southern University’s Multicultural Student Center.


Blake Mycoskie

speaker_mycoskieBlake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS Shoes and former Amazing Race contestant, spoke on Monday, February 1st at Georgia Southern University’s Performing Arts Center.

Mycoskie’s presentation, The New Rules for Tomorrow’s Business: A Student’s Guide to Making a Difference in the World, is designed to show students how businesses and their leaders can embrace social responsibility in a way that has far-reaching benefits well beyond the company’s financial bottom line. Mycoskie traces his own journey from a young entrepreneur focused mainly on money to a businessman with a global commitment to children in poverty.

TOMS is just one of six businesses that Mycoskie started while still in his twenties. From a dry cleaning pick-up and delivery service he began in college, to an outdoor media company aimed at the country music industry in Nashville, Mycoskie has repeatedly demonstrated his ability to turn an idea into a successful business. But, it is the business model he created for TOMS, where one pair of shoes is donated to a child in need for every pair that is sold, that has garnered the most attention and is making a global difference. To date, TOMS has donated more than a half million pairs of shoes to children in need around the world.

Mycoskie’s visit was part of the Speaker Series sponsored by the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement.


Majora Carter

speaker_carterGeorgia Southern University welcomed renowned environmental and economic sustainability expert Majora Carter on Monday, February 15th at the Performing Arts Center.

Carter’s lecture entitled Green the Ghetto and How Much It Won’t Cost Us focused on how environmental and economic sustainability can go hand-in-hand, creating both jobs that lead to economic stability and green initiatives that improve the health of individuals and their surrounding environment.

Carter is the founder and president of the Majora Carter Group LLC, a consulting firm that helps groups create environmental initiatives that are economically beneficial. She is also host of the National Public Radio show “The Promised Land”.

Carter began her career by creating Sustainable South Bronx, a group formed to fight both the economic and environmental disparities in that section of New York City. The program advocated against increased industry-fed pollution, searched for environmentally-friendly solutions, and created jobs to go along with those solutions.

Carter’s visit was part of Georgia Southern University’s Sustainability Seminar Series and was sponsored by the Center for Sustainability, the University Wellness Program, and the Campus Life Enrichment Committee.


bell hooks

speaker_hooksRenowned intellectual bell hooks examines popular culture in the context of patriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalism. Although hooks is mainly known as a feminist thinker, her writings cover a broad range of topics on gender, race, teaching and the significance of media for contemporary culture. bell hooks (nee Gloria Watkins) is a Distinguished Professor of English at Berea College in Kentucky. She is the author of numerous critically acclaimed and influential books on the politics of race, gender, class, and culture. Her first book, Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism (South End Press, 1981) was named one of the “twenty most influential women’s books of the last twenty years” by Publishers Weekly in 1992. Contemporaries of hooks express admiration for her intellect, breadth, and influence. Cornel West, hooks’ contemporary and co-author, calls hooks “the most prolific intellectual of her generation-a bold and courageous writer who probes the neglected dimensions and dark corners of our culture” (from The Cornel West Reader p. 541).

hooks presented Cultural Criticism and Transformation on March 25th at 7:00 PM in the Russell Union Ballroom. bell hooks’ appearance was presented by the Multicultural Student Center, Women and Gender Studies, the Department of Counseling and Education, the Department of Curriculum Studies, and the Campus Life Enrichment Committee.


James Carville & Mary Matalin

speaker_carvillematalinGeorgia Southern University welcomed political consultants James Carville and Mary Matalin to campus on Wednesday, September 22nd.

Carville, a Democrat who ran President Bill Clinton’s campaign in 1992, and Matalin, a Republican who ran President George H.W. Bush’s re-election campaign that same year, are a married couple whose wildly differing political views have made them sought-after guests on political news programs for nearly two decades. The pair co-wrote the best selling book All’s Fair: Love, War, and Running for President that chronicled the 1992 presidential campaign. Both are known for their steadfast loyalty to their parties and ideals, and for their quick-witted political humor.

“At Georgia Southern University, we believe an important part of education is providing our students the opportunity to hear from leaders with different views and life-experiences,” said Dr. Teresa Thompson, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. “James Carville and Mary Matalin are engaging, passionate speakers and advocates for their political parties. They are also terrific examples to our students who prove you can have differing viewpoints on important issues”and engage in some fairly heated debate”but still walk away with your relationship in tact. That is a lesson that will serve our students well while they are in college and for the rest of their lives.”

James Carville serves as a Professor in Practice at Tulane University. In addition to his political campaign work in the U.S. and abroad, Carville is a frequent contributor to CNN and co-hosts Sirius XM radio’s 60/20 Sports show. He is a best selling author, actor, and political speaker. Carville is also one of the founders of Democracy Corps, which is an independent, non-profit polling organization.

Mary Matalin is editor-in-chief of Threshold editions, which is a division of Simon & Shuster. Matalin is a CNN political contributor who has also hosted her own political radio talk show and served as host of the television show Equal Time, which she co-founded. Matalin’s 2004 book Letters to My Daughters made the New York Times and Washington Post’s best-seller lists. Matalin and Carville will serve as co-chairs of the host committee for the 2013 Superbowl, which will be played in the Louisiana Superdome.

Tavis Smiley

speaker_smileyTelevision and radio host Tavis Smiley spoke at Georgia Southern University’s Performing Arts Center on Thursday, January 15th at 7 p.m. as part of the University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Program. Smiley spoke on diversity, politics, current events and inspiring the youth who will become the leaders of tomorrow.

Smiley is host of the late night television talk show “Tavis Smiley” on PBS and the radio program “The Tavis Smiley Show” on Public Radio International. The first American to ever simultaneously host signature talk shows on both public television and public radio, Smiley also offers political commentary twice a week on the “Tom Joyner Morning Show.” Newsweek profiled him as one of the “Twenty People Changing How Americans Get Their News” and dubbed him one of the nation’s “captains of the airwaves.” Smiley also created the Tavis Smiley Foundation whose mission is to enlighten, encourage and empower African-American youth.

Smiley’s appearance at Georgia Southern University was sponsored by The Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and the Multicultural Student.


Jim Lovell

speaker_lovellCaptain Jim Lovell, whose famous space mission was depicted in the film Apollo 13, spoke at Georgia Southern University’s Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, January 28th at 6:30 p.m. Lovell presented his lecture, A Successful Failure, and shared tales from his 11-year-career with NASA, tracing the history of America’s sometimes turbulent and always amazing space program, and drawing on his experience as a successful telecommunications executive.

Lovell takes his audiences to the moon, brings them into the tension-filled cockpit of the Apollo 13 mission, and gives them an exciting look at the possibilities of the twenty-first century. His story embodies the spirits of teamwork, leadership, crisis management, goal-setting and excellence.

He educates and fascinates as he relates the skills required to turn a failed system into a successful mission and the tools needed to succeed in the business world of today and tomorrow.

The lecture was sponsored by Georgia Southern’s Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement as part of their Spring Leadership and Civic Engagement Week.


Martin Yate

speaker_yateMartin Yate, author of Knock Em Dead!, presented the keynote message as part of Career Services annual Life Planning Conference. Yate CPC (Hon)*, is an executive career strategist and NY Times bestseller with over thirty years in the career management field.

This experience spans international headhunting (one of the first technology management headhunters in Silicon Valle)), Director of HR for Bell Industries Computer Memory Division in Mountain View California, and Director of Training and Development for the Dunhill Personnel System in New York. He has worked with corporations and associations on four continents on job search and career management, along with recruitment and selection issues, and counsels executives from all over the world in job search and career-management strategies.


Donald Asher

speaker_asherDonald Asher, author of How to Get Any Job with Any Major, presented the keynote message as part of Career Services annual Life Planning Conference. Asher is an internationally acclaimed author and speaker specializing in careers and higher education. He is the author of ten books. He is a contributor to the Wall Street Journal’s online editions, CareerJournal.com and CollegeJournal.com. He is the education columnist for MSN Encarta, one of the top worldwide destinations on the Web, and is the career columnist for USAirways Magazine, with 2.7 million readers monthly. He has in the past been a contributing writer for Dow Jones publications such as The National Business Employment Weekly and Managing Your Career magazines, NACE Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, monster.com’s college edition, monstertrak.com, award-winning career portals jobstar.org and wetfeet.com, the Los Angeles Times’s career development web site, and similar. His books are available worldwide in English, and also in Korean- and Portuguese-language translations.

He is known in the United States as America’s Job Search Guru and is a consultant to top MBA programs and undergraduate institutions nationwide on hidden-job market and self-directed-search issues. For over a decade he has served as the keynote speaker for the Career Development Series of national teleconferences sponsored by the University of Tennessee. He presents at over 100 colleges and universities annually.

Asher’s appearance was sponsored by Career Services and the Campus Life Enrichment Committee.


Romeo Dallaire

speaker_dallaireFormer United Nations Commander Lt. General Romeo Dallaire spoke at the Georgia Southern University Performing Arts Center at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 17th.

Dallaire served as the commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda and was in command during the Rwandan genocide of 1994. In his book Shake Hands With the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda, Dallaire gives his account of the Rwandan genocide which took 800,000 lives in 100 days. In addition to speaking about his experiences in Rwanda and how he feels the United Nations and world reacted to the crisis, Dallaire’s presentation at Georgia Southern University focused on the many challenges facing today’s peacekeepers around the world.

Dallaire’s visit to Georgia Southern University was sponsored by the Department of Writing and Linguistics with support from the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Campus Life Enrichment Committee, Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Office of the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Center for Africana Studies, Department of History, Center for International Studies, Multi-Cultural Student Center, Department of Political Science, University Honors Program, Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, STAND, Amnesty International, ROTC, Department of Geography and Geology, and First Year Experience.


Ed Begley

speaker_begleyActor and activist Ed Begley Jr. spoke at Georgia Southern University on Monday, February 16th , at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center . Begley, a six-time Emmy-nominated actor and current star of “Gary Unmarried” and “Living with Ed,” presented his theme, Live Simply So That Others Can Simply Live, as part of LivinGreen Month. He is the third speaker in Georgia Southern’s Sustainability Seminar Series.

Few people are known for having Begley’s track record of taking personal responsibility for the environment. Known for turning up at Hollywood events on his bicycle, he has served as chairman of the Environmental Media Association and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Begley serves on the boards of a variety of organizations including the Thoreau Institute, the Earth Communications Office, Tree People and Friends of the Earth.

Begley’s work has earned awards from numerous environmental groups including the California League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Coalition for Clean Air, Heal the Bay, the Santa Monica Baykeeper and the Southern California Gas Company. His hit HGTV series “Living with Ed” looks at the day-to-day realities of “living green” with his not-so-environmentalist wife Rachelle Carson.

Begley’s visit was co-sponsored by the University Wellness Program, the Office of Sustainability in the Allen E. Paulson College of Science and Technology, and Campus Recreation and Intramurals.


Samuel Kyles

speaker_kylesCivil rights pioneer Rev. Samuel Kyles spoke at Georgia Southern University’s Performing Arts Center at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3rd.

Rev. Kyles’ involvement with civil rights goes back more than forty years. In 1968, Kyles was instrumental in bringing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Memphis, Tenn. to support striking sanitation workers. Kyles and King met on April 4, 1968 in King’s Memphis hotel room as King prepared to go to dinner at the Kyles family home. King was assassinated moments later, making Kyles the only person still living who spent the last hour of Kings life with him.

After King’s death, Kyles continued his civil rights work. Kyles is a founding member of the National Board of People to Save Humanity, and worked on Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaigns in 1984 and 1988. President Bill Clinton appointed Kyles to serve on the Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad. Kyles has appeared in several documentaries about the life and assassination of Dr. King and travels the country speaking to audiences about King’s message.


Condoleezza Rice

Photo-Condoleezza-Rice

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke to more than 4,700 people at Georgia Southern University on September 8, 2009 about leadership and the power of education.

“You are so lucky, you who are students. You are experiencing the one great equalizer that we have, which is education,” Rice told the crowd.

Speaking on what she called the “transforming power of education,” Rice urged students to find their passion, accept challenges as part of the learning process, and to realize “you can come from humble circumstances and do great things.”

“It doesn’t matter where you come from, it matters where you’re going,” Rice said.

Rice’s visit, which was sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement, was designed to give Georgia Southern University students insight into what makes a great leader and how they respond in times of crisis.

Rice was national security advisor to President George W. Bush during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and was later named secretary of state.

C.L. Lindsay

speaker_lindsayAttorney C.L. Lindsay, founder and executive director of the Coalition for Student and Academic Rights (CO-STAR) presented “Campus Computing: From Free Speech to Facebook” at Georgia Southern University on Tuesday, February 5th.

Lindsay is a nationally recognized expert and leader in the field of student rights and academic freedom. His syndicated column, “Ask CO-STAR” is distributed nationwide on Knight Ridder/Tribune’s College Wire Service. The column, published weekly, has become one of Knight Ridder/Tribune’s most popular features. CO-STAR is a national student rights organization that helps thousands of college students with their legal problems, free of charge, each year.

He is also the author of The College Student’s Guide to the Law: Get a Grade Changed, Keep Your Stuff Private, Throw a Police-Free Party, and More! published by Taylor Trade Publishing.Lindsay has appeared on national television, radio and has been featured in many regional and national publications, including “US News & World Report” and “The Chronicle of Higher Education”. He graduated magna cum laude from Denison University, and received his J.D. from the University of Michigan. In his spare time, he teaches courses in Law and Literature at the University of Pennsylvania.

Lindsay’s presentation was sponsored by First-Year Experience, CLEC, Athletics, Student Activities, and Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.


Cornel West

speaker_westCornel West, one of America’s best-known scholars and public intellectuals, spoke at Georgia Southern University on Tuesday, January 22nd , as part of the University’s 2008 Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Day Program. His presentation took place at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center.

West, who is the Class of 1943 University Professor in the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University, has been a champion for racial justice since childhood. His writing, speaking, and teaching weave together the traditions of the black Baptist Church, progressive politics, and jazz. The New York Times has praised his “ferocious moral vision.”

West burst onto the national scene in 1993 with his bestselling book, Race Matters. a searing analysis of racism in American democracy. Race Matters has become a contemporary classic, selling nearly a half-million copies to date. In addition, West has written 16 other books and edited 13 texts.

His most recent book, Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight against Imperialism, was published in 2004. The recipient of more than 20 honorary degrees and a National Book Award, West is a longtime member of the Democratic Socialists of America, for which he now serves as one of several honorary chairs.

West was an influential force in developing the storyline for the popular Matrix movie trilogy and has served as its official spokesperson. He played a recurring role in the final two films.

West’s appearance at Georgia Southern was sponsored by the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and the Multicultural Student Center.


Lisa Ling

speaker_lingLisa Ling, special correspondent for the “Oprah” show and contributor to the National Geographic channel and the Oxygen Network, spoke on Tuesday, January 29th as part of the Leadership & Civic Engagement Week.

The Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement sponsored Ling’s presentation as one part of Leadership and Civic Engagement Week that ran from Monday, January 28th through Friday, February 1st. The week was designed to help students learn how their goals and passions can lead them to opportunities that will make a difference.

Ling’s presentation, titled Opening Minds and Hearts to the Issues Surrounding Us, is built around a career in television that began at the age of 16. She went on to become one of the youngest reporters for Channel One News, a network that appears in middle and high school classrooms across the country. Beginning in 1999 she shared her opinions with millions of Americans as a co-host on the daytime talk show “The View.” In 2002 she became the first woman to host “Explorer” on the National Geographic channel where she compiled stories ranging from the complex issues surrounding China’s one-child policy to female suicide bombers.


Andy Masters

speaker_mastersAndy Masters, author of Life After College: What to Expect and How to Succeed in Your Career, presented the keynote message as part of Career Services annual Life Planning Conference. Masters’ presentation provided strategies for success after graduation including strategic career planning, networking, personal development and leadership.

Masters’ appearance was sponsored by Career Services and the Campus Life Enrichment Committee.


Na’im Akbar

speaker_akbar2Georgia Southern University hosted a lecture by psychologist, author and orator Dr. Na’im Akbar. Akbar’s extensive work on African American mental life and functioning has become required reading for African American Studies programs throughout the world. His lecture took place at the Performing Arts Center on March 25th at 7 p.m.

Akbar’s research surrounds the cultural basis of African Americans and African American psychology. His books Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery, The Community of Self, Visions for Black Men, and Know Thyself, have received national press and recognition, including an interview on the “Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Hailed by Essence Magazine as a “pioneer,” Akbar has received international awards and recognitions for his work. Florida State University awarded Akbar the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Scholar Award. He has received honorary doctorates from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and Lincoln University.

The event was sponsored by the Campus Life Enrichment Committee (CLEC), the Multicultural Student Center, and the Educational Opportunity Program.


Wally Amos

speaker_amosGeorgia Southern University welcomed Famous Amos founder, entrepreneur and inspirational speaker Wally Amos to campus on Tuesday, August 26, 2008.

As founder of Famous Amos Cookies in 1975 and father of the gourmet chocolate chip cookie industry, he utilizes a very upbeat and unique style. Amos addresses issues such as commitment, integrity, attitude, imagination, faith, and love.

In addition to speaking at Georgia Southern, Amos took a few moments to read to children at the University’s Child Development Center and take a VIP tour of campus.

Amos is a literacy advocate and serves on the board of many organizations. His latest venture, www.chipandcookie.com, which features two plush chocolate chip cookie dolls, named Chip and Cookie, are the newest additions to Wally’s long line of amazing entrepreneurial success stories. His honors and awards include the President’s Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, the Horatio Alger Award and Outstanding Business Leader Award. Two of his trademarks, his famous Panama hat and shirt have been on display at the Smithsonian Institute.


Morris Dees

speaker_deesGeorgia Southern University welcomed Morris Dees as its Fall Civic Engagement Speaker on Wednesday, September 24th, in the Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m.

Dees is a civil rights leader who is the co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit group specializing in lawsuits involving civil rights violations, domestic terrorism, and hate-motivated crimes.

Dees presented his lecture With Justice for All, in which he discussed how a commitment to justice for all will chart our nations future as America becomes more diverse and economic disparity widens. Dees shared his experiences and insights, explaining how and why he sold a lucrative publishing business to become an attorney and then founded the Southern Poverty Law Center. Dees also discussed hate crimes across the country and the need for the teaching of tolerance, love, and respect for one another.

Bernice King

speaker_kingRev. Bernice King, youngest daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, spoke at Georgia Southern University on Tuesday, January 16th for the campus-wide celebration of Dr, King’s birthday.

A nationally known orator, Rev. King has inspired thousands of people from all walks of life. First called to the ministry at age 17, King preached her trial sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 1988 and was ordained in 1990. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Spelman College. On the morning of her ordination she was awarded both a master of divinity degree and a doctor of laws degree from Emory University.

King is the assistant pastor at Greater Rising Star Baptist Church in Atlanta, where she oversees the youth and women’s ministry. She is a member of the board of directors of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.

She is also an attorney and a member of the Georgia Bar. Previously, as a law clerk in the Fulton County Juvenile Court System, King experienced first-hand the growing number of teens who have become victims of the legal system. As a result, she has become an advocate for the rehabilitation of at-risk youth.

King is the author of Hard Questions, Heart Answers, a collection of her sermons and speeches, and is working on a second book. She has been named by Ebony Magazine as “one of the 50 leaders of tomorrow.”


Alvin Benn

speaker_bennCivil Rights reporter and author Alvin Benn spoke at Georgia Southern University on Thursday, November 8th, at 6 p.m. in Russell Union Room 2080. His presentation focused on his book Reporter: Covering Civil Rights…And Wrongs in Dixie.

According to Bob Ingram, dean of Alabama’s political reporters and television commentators, Benn, originally from Lancaster, Pa., became “one of the most respected journalists to cover the Civil Rights movement” and “he brings a new and important perspective to those difficult years.”

Benn is currently a freelance writer for the Montgomery Adviser newspaper in Montgomery, Ala. He has been a reporter for more than 40 years.

Benn’s presentation was sponsored by the Office of Student Media at Georgia Southern University.

Myrlie Evers-Williams

speaker_everswilliamsCivil rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams spoke at Georgia Southern University at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 17, as part of the University’s annual recognition of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Her presentation, Tomorrow’s Leaders: Their Voices, Our Journey, took place in the Performing Arts Center.

Evers-Williams is the widow of Medgar Evers. A former chair of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1995-1998, she was the first woman to lead the nation’s oldest civil rights organization. She was elected at a time of dissension within the NAACP, and to many she represented a new beginning for the organization. Through her leadership, the NAACP regained its status as the premier civil rights organization in America.

After stepping down as chair in 1998, Evers-Williams established the Medgar Evers Institute in Jackson, Mississippi. She is the author of For Us, the Living(1967) and Watch Me Fly: What I Learned On the Way to Becoming the Woman I Was Meant to Be (1999).

Evers-Williams’ appearance at Georgia Southern was sponsored by the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and the Multicultural Student Center.

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