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Speaker Series

The Excellence in Leadership speaker series provides a platform for some of the nation's most recognized leaders to share their experiences, insight, and knowledge with our campus.  Learn from their unique experiences about what it means to be a leader.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Sheryl WuDunnSheryl WuDunn presents:

"A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creative Opportunity"
Sept 29, 8 p.m.
Pruis Hall

How can you make the world a better place? This is a question that Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, business executive, and best selling author Sheryl WuDunn writes about in her book A Path Appears. 

Learn more about the inspiring people WuDunn has come across and how they are making this world a better place through giving of their money, skills, and business resources. Her practical advise based on research and reporting will show how each of us can do the same. 

WuDunn also co-authored the best selling book, "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide" which brought awareness to the plight of oppressed people around the world.


Joseph Simmons presents: 

"A Conversation with Rev. Run"
Oct 27, 7:30 p.m.
Pruis Hall

Front man for the hip hop group Run D.M.C., Joseph Simmons is widely credited with ushering rap music into mainstream culture.  But his accomplishments don't just include his music career.  Simmons has also built a fashion empire, has three best selling books and starred in multiple successful television shows.

Today, Simmons is an influential spiritual thought leader sharing his stories of determination, accomplishment and innovation.


Laverne CoxLaverne Cox presents:

"Ain't I a Woman: My Journey to Womanhood"
Feb 23, 7:30 p.m.
Pruis Hall

Transgender advocate and award winning actress Laverne Cox has appeared in multiple TV and cable shows including: Law and Order, HBO's Bored to Death and received the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in the independent film, Musical Chairs.

Her message of moving beyond gender expectations to live more authentically has empowered listeners around the country and been featured on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, VH1, FOX NEWS LATINO and several other national radio and TV shows.


Rainn WilsonRainn Wilson presents:

"SoulPancake: Chew on Life's Big Questions"
March 16, 7:30 p.m.
Emens Auditorium

Actor, author and co-star of the award winning series The Office, Rainn Wilson is known by millions for his Emmy nominated role Dwight Shrute. 

Today, along with friends Joshua Homnick and Devon Gundry, Rainn has created the program SoulPancake which is a platform for people to discuss what it means to be human.  Through multiple media channels including web, print, video and live events, SoulPancake creates a space for people from all walks of life to participate in a conversation with each other about the spiritual, philosophical and creative aspects of life.

Past Speakers

Our past speakers have included business owners, journalists, philanthropists, activists, politicians, political advisors, athletes, coaches, lawyers, film producers, and even an Oscar nominee. Each speaker has shared a unique perspective on what it means to lead, and how students can strive to make an impact, now and in the future.