Distinguished Lecture Series

Honors Lecture Series


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The University of Toledo
Jesup Scott Honors College

Mail Stop 939
2810 W. Bancroft St.
Toledo, Ohio 43606


Past Speakers


John Quiñones
Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017

John QuinonesCombining his compelling life story with a peerless grit to achieve the Latino-American dream, longtime ABC News personality John Quiñones has emerged as one of the most inspiring speakers in world.

A lifetime of "never taking no for an answer" has taken Quiñones from migrant farm work and poverty to more than 30 years at ABC and the anchor desks of "20/20" and "Primetime."

Quiñones delivers a powerful message of believing in one's self, never giving up and doing the right thing. As host and creator of What Would You Do?, the highly-rated, hidden camera newsmagazine, Quiñones has become the face of doing the right thing to millions.

Shamila N. Chaudhary | 'The Meaning of America, at Home and Abroad'
Thursday, Feb 8, 2018

ChaudharyShamila N. Chaudhary is a foreign-policy analyst and photographer based in Washington, D.C. Chaudhary will discuss the U.S. role in the world and its connection to the social and economic landscapes of life within the United States. She'll address the many transformations underway in American identity and culture as they relate to politics, the humanities, law, and international affairs. Chaudhary is the Senior Advisor to Dean Vali Nasr, Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies.  Learn more by visiting her blog.  


Laurie Garduque | "The MacArthur Foundation Safety + Justice Challenge"
Monday, April 16, 2018

LGDr. Garduque, Director – Justice Reform, MacArthur Foundation, will discuss the role of philanthropy in social change through this unique and powerful program. Her remarks will be followed by a panel Q & A with Dr. Garduque, Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, and representatives of the Lucas County Safety + Justice Challenge team Lucas County Commissioner Carol Contrada and Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Gene Zmuda.  Co-sponsored by The University of Toledo College of Law.




Daymond John
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Daymond JohnAn entrepreneur in every sense of the word, Daymond John has come a long way from taking out a $100,000 mortgage on his mother's house and moving his operation into the basement. John is CEO and Founder of FUBU, a much-celebrated global lifestyle brand, and a pioneer in the fashion industry with over $6 billion in product sales. He is an award-winning entrepreneur, and he has received over 35 awards including the Brandweek Marketer of the Year, Advertising Age Marketing 1000 Award for Outstanding Ad Campaign, and Ernst & Young's New York Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

His marketing strategies and ability to build successful brands has made him a highly influential consultant and motivational speaker today. His marketing firm Shark Branding offers advice on how to effectively communicate to consumers through innovative means and connects brands with the world's top celebrities for everything from endorsements to product extensions. John is also an author of two best-selling books Display of Power and The Brand Within. In 2009, he joined the cast of ABC entrepreneurial business show the Shark Tank by acclaimed producer Mark Burnett. Millions of weekly viewers tune into the show as John demonstrates his marketing prowess and entrepreneurial insights. Read more
Alex Sheen
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Alex SheenAlex Sheen is the founder of because I said I would, a social movement and nonprofit dedicated to bettering humanity through promises made and kept. Sparked by the loss of his father, Alex and his organization send "promise cards" to anyone anywhere in the world at no cost. Alex is someone who truly honors commitment. He once walked over 240 miles across the entire state of Ohio in 10 days to fulfill a promise. In just two years, because I said I would has sent over 3.15 million promise cards to over 153 different countries. The promises written on these cards have made headlines around the world.

His charitable projects and awareness campaigns have been featured on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, CNN, The Today Show, NPR, The Los Angeles Times and many other programs.


Robin Chase
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
robin chaseRobin Chase is a transportation entrepreneur. She is co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar, the largest carsharing company in the world; Buzzcar, a peer to peer carsharing service in France (now merged with Drivy); and GoLoco, an online ridesharing community. She is also co-founder and Executive Chairman of Veniam, a vehicle communications company building the networking fabric for the Internet of Moving Things. She is on the Boards of Veniam, the World Resources Institute, and Tucows. She also served on the board of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the National Advisory Council for Innovation & Entrepreneurship for the US Department of Commerce, the Intelligent Transportations Systems Program Advisory Committee for the US Department of Transportation, the OECD’s International Transport Forum Advisory Board, the Massachusetts Governor’s Transportation Transition Working Group, and Boston Mayor’s Wireless Task Force. Robin lectures widely, has been frequently featured in the major media, and has received many awards in the areas of innovation, design, and environment, including Time 100 Most Influential People, Fast Company Fast 50 Innovators, and Business Week Top 10 Designers. Robin graduated from Wellesley College and MIT's Sloan School of Management, was a Harvard University Loeb Fellow, and received an honorary Doctorate of Design from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Richard Russo
Thursday, October 22, 2015
richard russoRichard Russo is an American novelist, short story writer, screenwriter and teacher. Drawing on a childhood in the upstate New York town of Gloversville, Russo’s observations on small-town life have won him many accolades and comparisons to fellow-writers Sinclair Lewis and Sherwood Anderson, who also wrote about small towns of their generation.

Russo attended the University of Arizona, where he earned a bachelor’s degree and later a Ph.D. in literature. He realized while working on his dissertation that writing fiction appealed to him more than did literary criticism and academic writing, and he stayed on to earn a master of fine arts degree. Five years later, he published his first novel, Mohawk.  
Russo has taught creative writing at various universities, including Southern Illinois University (Carbondale, Illinois), Colby College (Waterville, Maine), and the low-residency M.F.A. program for writers at Warren Wilson College (Asheville, North Carolina). Following the success of Nobody’s Fool and its 1994 film adaptation, Russo was able to write full time. Additionally, he and Hollywood director/screenwriter Robert Benton formed a friendship and a writing partnership during Benton’s movie adaptation of Nobody’s Fool; together they have collaborated on screenplays for such films that include Twilight and The Ice Harvest. Russo has retired from academia to focus his time and energy on his writing.

So far, there has been only one exception to this theme of small-town life—Russo’s 1997 Straight Man about the life and tribulations of a college professor, a role out of Russo’s own experiences. Critics hailed his 2001 novel Empire Falls, a story about a family in small-town Maine that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
Russo also wrote The Risk Pool (1988), a coming-of-age story also set in a dying blue-collar New England town, and in 2002 published a collection of short stories called The Whore’s Child and Other Stories.

Photo Credit to Elena Seibert

Travis T. Tygart
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Travis T. TygartTravis T. Tygart became USADA’s Chief Executive Officer in September of 2007. In his twelve years at USADA he has also served as the Director of Legal Affairs and as Senior Managing Director & General Counsel; prosecuting cases on behalf of clean athletes before the American Arbitration Association and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

As CEO, Tygart works closely with the USADA Board of Directors to carry out the organization’s mission of preserving the integrity of competition, inspiring true sport, and protecting the rights of U.S. athletes. Tygart was actively involved in drafting the USADA Protocol for Olympic Movement Testing, and as CEO, he has injected a passion and energy into the fight against doping, including reaching out to America’s Olympic athletes and embracing them as part of the solution.

Tygart has served as an advocate for the integrity of sport and clean athletes, testifying in front of various Committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport, the need for hGH testing in all sports, regulation of the supplement industry, and the ratification of the UNESCO international treaty against doping in sport. Tygart has also testified internationally in front of Committees of the European Union, the German Parliament, and the French Senate about creating effective anti-doping policy and on the issues surrounding doping in sport.

Under Tygart’s leadership, USADA’s efforts to protect clean athletes have included cooperating with Federal authorities on numerous investigations such as the international steroid bust, Operation Raw deal and the international doping conspiracy involving the BALCO laboratory in San Francisco. Tygart led the investigation into the U.S. Postal Service pro-cycling team doping conspiracy and the publication of the Reasoned Decision in the Lance Armstrong case. Tygart’s tenure as CEO also produced the groundbreaking research on the importance of true sport, “What Sport Means in America,” and the “TrueSport Report.”

Tygart currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Sports Lawyers Association and the Board of Governors of the Partnership for Clean Competition. He has previously served on various committees and boards including, the Society for Major League Baseball Strength and Conditioning Coaches, the House Government Reform Committee’s Zero Tolerance Roundtable, and the Institute of National Anti-Doping Agencies. He was also appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency as the Vice-Chair for its Independent Observers Team, which monitored the doping control and legal processes at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

Tygart has been recognized by Sports Illustrated as one of the 50 Most Powerful People in Sports; named to the TIME 100 list of most influential people in the world for 2013; named one of the top 12 World Sports Personalities of the Year by Sport Intern; selected as one of the World’s Most Influential Sports Personalities by Inside Sport and was one of the Colorado Lawyers of the Year named by Colorado Law Weekly. A lawyer by training, Tygart has also published numerous papers and law review articles on topics including, Title IX, antitrust, and doping in sport.

Originally from Jacksonville, Fla., Tygart graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, and in 2010 received the University’s Distinguished Young Alumni Award. Tygart went on to get his J.D. from Southern Methodist University in 1999, graduating Order of the Coif, and in 2014 he was recognized as one of its Distinguished Alumni.

Steve Wozniak
Monday, Feb. 1, 2016
steve wozniakA Silicon Valley icon and philanthropist for more than thirty years, Steve Wozniak has helped shape the computing industry with his design of Apple’s first line of products the Apple I and II and influenced the popular Macintosh. In 1976, Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer Inc. with Wozniak’s Apple I personal computer. The following year, he introduced his Apple II personal computer, featuring a central processing unit, a keyboard, color graphics, and a floppy disk drive. The Apple II was integral in launching the personal computer industry.

In 1981, he went back to UC Berkeley and finished his degree in electrical engineering/computer science. For his achievements at Apple, Wozniak was awarded the National Medal of Technology by the President of the United States in 1985, the highest honor bestowed on America’s leading innovators.

In 2000, he was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame and was awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for Technology, The Economy and Employment for single-handedly designing the first personal computer and for then redirecting his lifelong passion for mathematics and electronics toward lighting the fires of excitement for education in grade school students and their teachers.

Through the years, Wozniak has been involved in various business and philanthropic ventures, focusing primarily on computer capabilities in schools and stressing hands-on learning and encouraging creativity for students. Making significant investments of both his time and resources in education, he adopted the Los Gatos School District, providing students and teachers with hands-on teaching and donations of state-of-the-art technology equipment. He founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and was the founding sponsor of the Tech Museum, Silicon Valley Ballet and Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose.

Wozniak currently serves as Chief Scientist for Fusion-io and is a published author with the release of his New York Times best-selling autobiography, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon, in September 2006 by Norton Publishing. His television appearances include reality shows Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and The Big Bang Theory.

Ann Bancroft
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Ann BancroftAnn Bancroft is one of the world´s preeminent polar explorers and an internationally recognized leader who is dedicated to inspiring women, girls and audiences around the world to unleash the power of their dreams. Bancroft uses her various roles as an explorer, educator and public speaker to share stories of how she fulfilled her dreams of outdoor adventure and help inspire global audiences to pursue their own dreams. Bancroft´s teamwork and leadership skills, severely tested during her polar expeditions, provide her with opportunities to shatter female stereotypes.

The tenacity and courage that define her character have earned Bancroft worldwide recognition as one of today´s most influential role models for women and girls. She has been named among Glamour magazine's “Women of the Year” (2001); featured in the book Remarkable Women of the Twentieth Century (1998); inducted into the National Women´s Hall of Fame; named Ms. Magazine’s Woman of the Year; and honored with numerous other awards for her accomplishments.

With fellow teacher and explorer Liv Arnesen, Ann co-owns Bancroft Arnesen Explore, which organizes global expeditions.  In 2001, the two became the first women in history to sail and ski across Antarctica´s landmass, completing a 94-day, 1,717-mile trek.

Bancroft also led the American Women´s Expedition to the South Pole, a 67-day expedition of 660 miles on skis by four women, earning the distinction of being the first woman in history to cross the ice to both the North and South Poles. She also led the first American women´s east-to-west crossing of Greenland, and dog sledded 1,000 miles from the Northwest Territories in Canada to the North Pole as the only female member of the Steger International Polar Expedition — the first known woman in history to cross the ice to the North Pole.

Follow Bancroft on her current expedition: Access Water:  A journey from hope to action.


Karl Rove
Monday, September 15, 2014
Karl RoveKarl Rove is one of the nation’s best-known political strategists, having served as senior advisor to President George W. Bush for seven years and leading Bush’s election campaigns in 2000 and 2004. Rove served as Deputy Chief of Staff from 2004-2007, overseeing the Offices of Strategic Initiatives, Political Affairs, Public Liaison, and Intergovernmental Affairs. He was Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and coordinated the White House policy-making process. Rove writes a weekly op-ed for the Wall Street Journal and is the author of the New York Times best seller, Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight. He has written for various publications, including The Daily Beast, Financial Times, Forbes, FoxNews.com, HumanEvents.com, The Times, Washington Post and The Weekly Standard.

Crystal Bowersox - Singer/Songwriter
November 2014

Paul Begala
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Paul BengalaPaul Begala is a commentator for CNN, where he is part of the political team that won an Emmy for its coverage of the 2006 elections and a Peabody Award for its coverage of the 2008 Presidential election. In the 2012 campaign he was a senior adviser for the pro-Obama Super PAC. Begala served as counselor to President Bill Clinton in the White House and was one of Clinton's closest aides. Begala is an affiliated professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University. He has also taught at the University of Texas and the University of Georgia. He is a member of the Board of Visitors of MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Board of Visitors of the University of Georgia. Along with his partner, James Carville and GOP strategist Karl Rove he was a 2012 inductee to the American Association of Political Consultants' Hall of Fame. enterprises.

Brian Kennedy
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Brian KennedyBrian Kennedy has been president, director and CEO of the Toledo Museum of Art since 2010. From 2005-2010, Kennedy was director of Dartmouth College’s Hood Museum of Art in Hanover, New Hampshire, which has one of the largest and finest art collections at an American college or university. Prior to coming to the United States, Kennedy spent eight years as assistant director of the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin (1989-1997) and seven years as director of the National Gallery of Australia (1997-2004) in Canberra. Born in Dublin, Ireland, Kennedy studied art history and history at University College in Dublin, earning bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. A strategic thinker and collaborative leader, he has overseen the development of a strategic plan for the Toledo Museum of Art, integrating it strongly into the community, and developing a nationally recognized initiative to promote visual literacy.

Richard Rumelt
Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2014
Richard RumeltRichard Rumelt maintains a multifaceted career in teaching, research and consulting, with the focus on competitive advantage and strategy, industry dynamics, and overall management. The Harry and Elsa Kunin Professor of Business and Society at UCLA Anderson School of Management, he was voted one of the world’s Top 50 Business Thinkers by the Thinkers50 program, sponsored by the Harvard Business Review. He is the author of Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters, a finalist for the 2011 Financial Times & Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award. He was on the faculty of Harvard Business School and INSEAD, The Business School for the World, where he headed the Corporate Renewal Initiative. He was a founding member and served as president of the Strategic Management Society, which represents some 3,000 members from more than 80 countries.

Michael M. Crow
Monday, March 10, 2014
Michael CrowMichael M. Crow, the sixteenth president of Arizona State University, is guiding the transformation of ASU into one of the nation’s leading public metropolitan research universities, combining academic excellence, inclusiveness to a broad demographic, and maximum societal impact — a model he designed known as the “New American University.” Under his leadership, ASU established major transdisciplinary research initiatives and witnessed an unprecedented academic infrastructure expansion, the tripling of research expenditures, and the attainment of record levels of diversity. Crow was previously executive vice provost of Columbia University. An adviser to the U.S. departments of state, commerce, and energy on matters of science and technology policy, he is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Academy of Public Administration, and has published on science and technology policy and the design of knowledge enterprises.

James Carville
Monday, Nov. 18, 2013
James CarvilleJames Carville is perhaps America’s best-known political consultant, not least for his role in helping William Jefferson Clinton win the U.S. presidency in 1992. His long list of electoral successes includes wins in gubernatorial and senatorial races in the United States, as well as global runs that include leading Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak to his 1999 victory. A best-selling author, Carville’s titles include All’s Fair: Love, War, and Running for President (with wife Mary Matalin); 40 More Years: How the Democrats will Rule the Next Generation (2009) and his most recent New York Times best seller, It’s the Middle Class, Stupid!, co-authored with Stan Greenberg, with whom he founded Democracy Corps, an independent polling nonprofit. A frequent CNN political commentator and contributor, Carville also serves as a Professor of Practice at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Sal Khan
Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013
Sal KhanSal Khan is the founder of the Khan Academy, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Khan Academy’s self-pacing software and instructional materials stand as the world’s most-used library of web-based educational videos: more than 3,000 offerings on their YouTube channel, used by some 4.2 million students per month. A former hedge fund analyst with degrees from MIT and Harvard, Khan is the author of The One World School House: Education Reimagined, published in 2012 to immediate accolades from innovators as varied as George Lucas and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammed Yunus. In the opinion of Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates, “Sal Khan’s vision and energy for how technology could fundamentally transform education is contagious. He’s a true pioneer in integrating technology and learning.”

Last Updated: 7/31/18