UB announces speakers for 30th Distinguished Speaker Series

Eric H. Holder, James Franco and five others scheduled to speak at UB


Astronauts, comics, authors and a Golden Globe-winning actor will appear at UB during the upcoming school year as part of the 30th Distinguished Speaker Series.

UB undergraduates and Graduate Student Association-represented graduate students can pick up free tickets while supplies last. Tickets are limited to one per student and also available online to purchase for non-students. Each event will take place in Alumni Arena.

Captains Mark and Scott Kelly, the only twins to have traveled in space, are history-making astronauts and retired U.S. Navy Captains. The Kelly brothers will kick off the series on Sep. 22.

Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media and former director of marketing at Facebook, will speak on Oct. 26. Zuckerberg’s work focuses on how technology impacts people today and she has also appeared on screens in TV shows such as “Quit Your Day Job” and “The Today Show,” and has also starred in Broadway productions.

John Cleese, film and television comic actor, will speak on Dec. 9. Although the actor first made his mark 40 years ago, he is still widely known as one of the funniest actors in history with an Oscar nomination and a New York Times best-selling memoir.

Eric H. Holder, the 82nd U.S. Attorney General will be the keynote speaker on Feb. 16. President Barack Obama nominated Holder for the position, making him the first black Attorney General. Holder has received a great number of awards, such as the NAACP Chairman’s Award, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Right’s Robert F. Kennedy Justice Prize, “Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Past 30 Years,” and more.

Roxane Gay, professor and best-selling author, will speak as graduate student choice on April 5. Gay is an American feminist writer and teaches English at Purdue University. She is most-known for her short novels and her essay “Bad Feminist.”

James Franco, Golden Globe-winning actor and filmmaker will conclude the series on April 29 as the undergraduate student choice speaker. “Spiderman,” “The Interview” and “Pineapple Express” are just a few of the films Franco is widely-known for. Not only has he written and directed a number of films, he has also shown interest in teaching English and film. Franco also has published short stories and poetry, released an EP and starred on Broadway.

News Desk can be reached at news@ubspectrum.com