Featured Speakers Series

Update on March 10 at 4:05 p.m.

Our Featured Speaker event is STILL TAKING PLACE tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Kent State Stark Conference Center. However, beginning tomorrow, Kent State University has canceled face-to-face classes and events through April 12, 2020. This move aligns with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine's proactive approach to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). There have been no confirmed cases in Stark County or on any of the Kent State University campuses.

Kent State University at Stark's Featured Speakers Series brings national and international experts in civil rights, politics, education, environmental activism, literature and arts to campus.

The community is invited to attend Kent State University at Stark’s 2019-20 season of the Featured Speakers Series with an impressive selection of personalities. For 29 years, this popular Kent State Stark series has attracted thousands of campus and community members who 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. 

Notable figures have included Golden Globe-winning actor Henry Winkler, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, national political broadcaster George Stephanopoulos, journalist and National Geographic Explorer host Lisa Ling, tennis star Billie Jean King, rags-to-riches prodigy Chris Gardner, legendary drummer Max Weinberg, ice cream entrepreneur Jerry Greenfield, cinematographer Spike Lee, CNN's broadcast journalist Anderson Cooper, Supreme Court Justice Alan Page, distinguished astronaut Mark Kelly, best-selling author Nicholas Sparks and acclaimed journalists Soledad O'Brien and John Quinones.


2019-20 Featured Speaker Series

Tickets & Venue

  • Programs are free and open to the public.
  • Tickets are required and seating is limited. Limit two (2) tickets per person. Pick up tickets at the Main Hall Information Desk.
  • The Main Hall Information Desk will be open beginning at 7:30 a.m. on the ticket release dates only. Tickets will remain available, while supplies last, during regular business hours: Monday - Thursday: 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Ticket distribution is first-come, first-served. No phone reservations will be taken nor will tickets be mailed.
  • Programs are held in Timken Great Hall at the Kent State Stark Conference Center. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.
  • ASL interpreters available by request. To request ASL interpretation, please email jspotts@kent.edu no later than two weeks prior to the event date. 

Finding Your Purpose: From Baltimore to Broadway's "Hamilton"
Tuesday, March 10, 2020
7:30 p.m.
Conference Center
Kent State University at Stark

Update on March 10 at 4:05 p.m.:
Tonight's featured speaker presentation is still taking place at 7:30 p.m. 

Bryan Terrell Clark is a singer-songwriter, philanthropist and actor, perhaps best known for his starring role as George Washington in the record-breaking hit “Hamilton: An American Musical” on Broadway. His TV credits include “Empire”, “CSI: NY” and “Blue Bloods”, and musically, he has performed with stars Brandy, Ciara and Michael Bublé. 

Clark made his Broadway debut playing the iconic role of Marvin Gaye in “Motown: The Musical”, which received a 2014 Grammy Award nomination for Best Musical Theater Album. 

Clark is the co-founder of the philanthropic lifestyle brand inDEFINED, launched in 2017 to inspire and teach young people to use their voices to dispel constrictive labels in society. The online apparel brand supports arts education programs for at-risk youth.


Marrying Passion with STEM
Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019
7:30 p.m.
Conference Center
Kent State University at Stark

Tickets available Monday, Sept. 9.

NASCAR racer Julia Landauer sets records on and off the track. A two-time champion NASCAR driver, she became the highest finishing female in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series’ 64-year history. A proponent of women’s empowerment, this Stanford University graduate also is an advocate for STEM education.

Landauer was a contestant on Season 26 of the reality TV show “Survivor” and was named to Forbes Magazine’s top 30 under 30 list for sports in 2017.

Landauer began her motivational speaking career with a TEDx Talk and has collaborated with companies, such as Spotify and Disney/Pixar, and serves as an external advisor to Hyundai Motor Corporation’s Center for Robotic-Augmented Design in Living Experience.

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Brielle Loughney
Campus Marketing & Communication