Featured Speakers Series


The Featured Speakers Series has been postponed for 2020-21 with tentative plans to resume in 2021-22.

We are following recommendations from state health authorities to limit large gatherings and practice physical distancing to slow transmission of COVID-19. We take these steps to ensure the health and safety of our patrons and to be proactive in an effort to prevent illness.

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.


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. 


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Melissa Seeton
Assistant Director, Communications
Campus Marketing & Communication