The Journal Gazette
 
 
Monday, September 20, 2021 11:04 am

Verbatim: Purdue Fort Wayne announces 2021–22 lineup for Omnibus Speaker Series

The Journal Gazette

Purdue University Fort Wayne issued this news release today:

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- An expert on international security affairs, a best-selling author originally from Fort Wayne, a social activist battling online bullying, and the former chairman of the GOP who now analyzes politics on TV headline the 26th season of the Purdue University Fort Wayne Omnibus Speaker Series, which returns following an 18-month hiatus due to COVID-19.

“We are so pleased to present such a wonderful lineup of speakers this season,” says Jerry Lewis, vice chancellor for communications and marketing. “Our theme – Inspiring Fresh and Diverse Thoughts – is appropriate considering the distinctive personalities and areas of expertise of our speakers. We wanted to bring in speakers who not only appeal to our audiences, but who have compelling messages to share with our students and our community.”

Everything begins Tuesday, Oct. 19, with a topic that addresses recent debates among contributors to social and mainstream media: can you trust the experts? Tom Nichols, who has spent much of his life becoming an expert on international security affairs, now finds himself defending experts and warning how aggressively rejecting expertise endangers our republic. Nichols' presentation is called “Defending Experts in an Anti-Factual Age.”

The second speaker is making a homecoming of sorts. New York Times best-selling author Ashley C. Ford An expert on international security affairs, a best-selling author originally from Fort Wayne, a social activist battling online bullying, and the former chairman of the GOP who now analyzes politics on TV headline the 26th season of the Purdue University Fort Wayne Omnibus Speaker Series, which returns following an 18-month hiatus due to COVID-19. visits her hometown Thursday, Nov. 4. She will discuss her debut memoir, Somebody's Daughter, a story of reckoning with your past to take hold of your future and of finding love for those you have yet to forgive.

The third speaker has historic and very personal experience with her topic. While in her twenties, Monica Lewinsky unwittingly became a household name and victim of public harassment and bullying. She has since become a social activist in the battle against online harassment – advocating for a safer social media environment. She recently served as a producer for the acclaimed TV series Impeachment: American Crime Story that chronicles her experiences in Washington. She will present “The Price of Shame,” Tuesday, Jan. 25.

The series' fourth speaker broke barriers by becoming Maryland's Lt. Governor in 2003, its first African American elected to a state-wide office, and again in 2009 when he became the chairman of the Republican National Committee. Currently an analyst for MSNBC, Michael Steele has appeared on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, and Comedy Central's The Daily Show. He will present “The Political Scene According to Steele,” Thursday, Feb. 17.

Beyond the series lineup, a broadcast pioneer who has spent five decades breaking stories and glass ceilings will also speak on campus as a guest of Omnibus thanks to Purdue Fort Wayne's longtime partnership with PBS Fort Wayne – and in celebration of the public television station's 45th anniversary. Judy Woodruff is a well-respected journalist who has spent five decades reporting for NBC, CNN, and PBS. She has been White House correspondent, chief Washington correspondent, and anchored numerous programs, including the award-winning documentary series Frontline with Judy Woodruff. In 2013, she, along with the late Gwen Ifill, broke boundaries as they became the first two women to co-anchor a national news broadcast, PBS NewsHour. “A Conversation with Judy Woodruff” takes place Thursday, March 24.

The Omnibus Speaker Series is underwritten by a generous contribution from the English–Bonter–Mitchell Foundation. The series media sponsors are WANE-TV and 89.1 WBOI.

Each lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Auer Performance Hall of the John and Ruth Rhinehart Music Center on the Purdue Fort Wayne campus.

Admission to the Omnibus Speaker Series is free and open to the public. Tickets will be available on-campus at the Schatzlein Box Office, located in the main lobby of the Rhinehart Music Center, starting two weeks before each event.

For more information on each of the speakers, as well as information regarding tickets, visit pfw.edu/omnibus. Additionally, for the latest information on campus safety protocols related to COVID-19, visit pfw.edu/pfw-ready.

KEY INFO

• 2021-22 Omnibus speakers announced

• Tom Nichols, Oct. 19 

• Ashley C. Ford, Nov. 14 

• Monica Lewinsky, Jan. 25 

• Michael Steele, Feb. 17

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