Campus News

Internationally prominent speakers will visit university for spring 2017 Signature Lectures

Viet Thanh Nguyen portrait-v
Viet Than Nguyen

UGA’s Signature Lecture series for spring 2017 will feature visits from nationally and internationally recognized figures in fields ranging from artificial intelligence to public health and dance.

“We are truly honored to have these speakers visiting our campus this spring, and I hope that students, faculty and the entire community will take advantage of this outstanding lineup,” said Meg Amstutz, associate provost for academic programs. “There is something for everyone on this list.”

Signature Lectures are designated at the beginning of each semester by the Office of Academic Programs to highlight campus talks by some of the world’s most prominent thought leaders. Many of the lectures are supported by endowments, while others honor notable figures and milestones in the university’s history.

The spring 2017 Signature Lecture are open free to the public. The series opened Jan. 17 with the talk “A Life in Art” by Alonzo King, founder of Alonzo King LINES Ballet.

The series continued Jan. 23 when Charles S. Bullock III, UGA’s Russell Professor of Political Science, gave this year’s Founders Day Lecture, “Highlights and Lowlights of the 2016 Election.”

The next Signature Lecture will take place Feb. 2 when Keith Parker, general manager and CEO of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, gives the Holmes-Hunter Lecture at
2 p.m. in the Chapel.

Viet Thanh Nguyen, the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and professor of English and American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California, will deliver the Betty Jean Craige Annual LectureFeb. 13 at 4 p.m. in the Chapel.

Rick Ridgeway, vice president of environmental affairs for Patagonia clothing company, will discuss “The Elephant in the Room” Feb. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in Grand Hall of the Tate Student Center.

Irish author, essayist and journalist Colm Toibin will give this year’s Delta Visiting Chair Lecture, “Staying Home, Leaving Home: Ireland and America,” March 16 at 3:30 p.m. in the Chapel.

Deborah L. Birx, ambassador-at-large, U.S. Global AIDS coordinator and U.S. special representative for global health diplomacy, U.S. Department of State, will discuss “The War Against AIDS, 35 Years and Counting: Are We There Yet?,” March 21 at 5:30 p.m. in the Chapel. The lecture also is part of the Global Diseases: Voices from the Vanguard series.

George H. Nash, senior fellow with the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal, will discuss “The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America” March 22 at 6 p.m. in Room 248 of the Miller Learning Center.

Barbara Grosz, Higgins Professor of Natural Sciences at Harvard University, will discuss “Intelligent Systems: Design and Ethical Challenges” as the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar March 27 at 3:30 p.m. in Mahler Hall of the Georgia Center for Continuing Education.

The final Signature Lecture for spring semester will be given by Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former surgeon general of the U.S. and ­professor emerita at the University of Arkansas School of Medicine. She will give this year’s Mary Frances Early Lecture, “Bridging the Gap in Higher Education,” April 5 at 3 p.m. in the M. Smith Griffith Auditorium of the Georgia Museum of Art.

The Early Lecture is sponsored by the Graduate School, Graduate and Professional Scholars and the Office of Institutional Diversity.

For more information about Signature Lectures at UGA, visit