Kent State University at Stark announces the 2013–2014 Featured Speakers Series

Kent State University at Stark is proud to announce the 23rd season of the popular Featured Speakers Series, highlighting four inspirational and world-renowned individuals. Each season, nearly 2,500 campus and community members take advantage of a rare opportunity to be introduced to national and international experts on a wide range of topics and issues that shape our society.

Come to Kent State Stark for the 2013-2014 season to hear exciting lectures by innovative educator John Hunter, legendary tennis champion Billie Jean King, best-selling author Jodi Picoult, and art preservationist Robert Edsel. Each program will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the University Center’s Timken Great Hall, located at 6000 Frank Avenue NW in Jackson Township.

All lectures are free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, beginning at 8 a.m. each weekday on the date listed with each speaker. No phone reservations will be taken. Tickets will be limited to four per person. The University Center will open at 6:45 p.m. prior to each event.

John Hunter will speak on Oct. 8.World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements will be presented by John Hunter on Tuesday, Oct. 8

John Hunter, a teacher, musician and filmmaker, is the inventor of the World Peace Game. During a compelling TEDTalk, which was selected by TED and 4 as “the most influential idea of 2011,” he explained how this challenging game of collaboration and communication encourages students to explore the ideals of global harmony while accepting the reality of violence. Both the secretary of defense and the United Nations have requested him to speak, and at a recent conference, Bill Gates was honored to open for him. Hunter’s project is chronicled in the critically acclaimed documentary, World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements. Tickets for the John Hunter event will be available beginning Monday, Sept. 16, at the Main Hall Information Desk.

Billie Jean King will speak on Nov. 12.Billie Jean King will present Pressure is a Privilege and Other Lessons in Business and Life on Tuesday, Nov. 12

Tennis champion and activist Billie Jean King won 39 Grand Slam titles during her career. Named one of the “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” by Life magazine, this recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom has been a pioneer of social justice. In 1970, she founded the Women’s Tennis Association and successfully fought for equal monetary prizes for women. King notoriously defeated Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes” match – one of the greatest moments in sports history. In 2006, the facility that hosts the U.S. Open was renamed the United States Tennis Association Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to honor her remarkable accomplishments on and off the court. Tickets for the Billie Jean King event will be available beginning Monday, Oct. 21, at the Main Hall Information Desk.

Jodi Picoult will speak on Feb. 25.Jodi Picoult will present The Facts Behind the Fiction on Tuesday, Feb. 25

A best-selling author of 21 novels, Jodi Picoult has been writing fiction since age five. As a student at Princeton University, she published two short stories in Seventeen magazine. Today, 14 million copies of her books are in print worldwide and she consistently receives international acclaim through numerous awards and reader response. Four of her books have been reproduced as television movies and her 2009 novel, My Sister’s Keeper, became a major motion picture, starring Cameron Diaz. The New York Times Bestseller List has debuted each of her last seven novels in the number one slot, including her newest work, The Storyteller. Tickets for the Jodi Picoult event will be available beginning Monday, Feb. 3, at the Main Hall Information Desk.

Join us for Robert Edsel’s presentation of Monuments Men on Monday, April 7

Robert Edsel will speak on April 7.Author and philanthropist Robert Edsel has dedicated the past 10 years to painstaking research about the Monuments Men, unsung heroes who saved the world’s greatest art and cultural treasures from the devastation of World War II. He authored three historical books on rescuing and protecting artistic masterpieces from Hitler’s reign and co-produced the Emmy-nominated documentary, The Rape of Europa. He is the founder and president of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, which earned a 2007 National Humanities Medal, the highest U.S. honor awarded for excellence in the humanities field. Captivated by Edsel’s writing, actor George Clooney directed and produced The Monuments Men, a film to be released in December 2013. Tickets for the Robert Edsel event will be available beginning Monday, March 17, at the Main Hall Information Desk.

For additional information about the 2013-2014 Featured Speakers Series, visit or contact Cynthia Williams at 330-244-3262 or

POSTED: Monday, September 9, 2013 - 12:00am
UPDATED: Monday, April 20, 2015 - 12:45pm
University Communications and Marketing