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Previous Speakers

Mara Liasson, Ted Koppel, Eugene Robinson

March 23, 2016

Join us for a lively conversation with national political experts who will discuss the current political climate and upcoming election with a focus on helping you make informed choices as you cast your vote.


Archie Manning

March 24, 2015 – 7:00 PM

When people think of Archie Manning, they think football. But Archie’s appeal transcends his athletic achievements. People far and wide have been inspired by his warm personality, his drive and sense of humor. He was selected Father of the Year by the National Father’s Day Council. He currently serves in public relations and consulting capacities for several local, regional and national companies, including Gatorade, Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year, Direct TV and Zurich. For 25 years he hosted four Archie Manning Cystic Fibrosis benefit golf tournaments in Louisiana and Mississippi and is active in a wide variety of charitable and civic causes.

While in pro football, he received the Byron “Whizzer” White Humanitarian Award, the Bart Starr Humanitarian Award, the Spirit of Good Sports Award from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, and the U.S. Jaycees named him one of 10 Outstanding Young Americans. In 2005 Archie received the Legends award from the Davey O’Brien Foundation and the Aspire award, a tribute to life’s coaches, from the Cal Ripken Foundation. Archie was honored by the United States Sports Academy with the 2006 Distinguished Service Award. Also, he received the Silver Buffalo, the Boy Scouts of America’s highest award. Archie received the Reds Bagnell Award from the Maxwell Football Club, he was the 51st winner of the Bert Bell Award, and was honored at the Super Bowl in New Orleans with the Pat Summerall Award. Archie and his wife Olivia were recipients of the National Pathfinder Award for their work in post-Hurricane Katrina.


Laura Bush

September 17, 2013 – 7:00 PM


One 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.

No more tickets are available for this event.


President Jimmy Carter & First Lady Rosalynn Carter

February 12, 2013 – 7:00 PM


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.


Madeleine K. Albright

Global Leadership

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

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.

“Our students will learn a great deal from Madeleine K. Albright’s history-making and distinguished diplomatic career,” said Georgia Southern Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Teresa Thompson, Ph.D. “We want to prepare our students to be leaders in the classroom and in their chosen fields after graduation. An opportunity to hear from someone who has spent years making decisions with international impact will give our students important insight about what it means to lead effectively.”

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.

Principled Leadership: In the Face of Change and Crisis

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

“Our students were children during the 9/11 attacks, and they still remember images of Mayor Giuliani walking the streets of New York leading emergency efforts, comforting victims, and telling the world that the city would recover,” said Georgia Southern Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Teresa Thompson. “His message of leadership, even in the most unimaginable circumstances, will be one our students can carry with them long after they leave Georgia Southern University. We believe this message will be inspiring, and will give our students a unique chance to hear first-hand from someone who was at the center of one of the most important events of our lifetimes.”

During Giuliani’s term as mayor of New York, he was credited with the economic turnaround and revitalization of the city. Giuliani’s leadership in the months following the September 11th attacks led him to be dubbed “America’s Mayor” and named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year.” Giuliani also received a knighthood from Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II for his efforts.

The Promise and Peril of Social Media

Monday, January 30, 2012

Aslan, a bestselling author and entrepreneur, has made extraordinary efforts to show Americans the true face of Islam today: a generation of change makers in America and abroad, who are solidifying relations with the West while making their own hopeful marks on the world.
Jackley is a finalist for TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in 2009 and a recipient of USA Networks’ Character Approved award in 2010, first saw the power and dignity of microfinance while working in East Africa with a microenterprise non-profit. Convinced that social change happens across all sectors, Jackley has worked in public, nonprofit, and private organizations including the Stanford Center for Social Innovation,, Potentia Media and many others.

For more pictures from their visit, click here.

Last updated: 3/6/2017