Monday, April 2, 2012

President Clinton Highlights Speakers Series at Widener University

Philadelphia Speakers Series Announces 2012-2013 Season
Presented by Widener University, Series will kick-off with President Bill Clinton

Chester, Pa.—Widener University’s Philadelphia Speakers Series will feature another impressive lineup of activists, authors and world leaders for its eighth season, 2012-2013. The series will open with President Bill Clinton followed by New York Times best-selling author Jeanette Walls; journalist Lisa Ling; 21st-century warfare expert P.W. Singer; Erskine Bowles, co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility; former president of Mexico Vicente Fox and Andes Mountain crash survivor Nando Parrado.

The new season, which will open on October 1, 2012 at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, was announced during this week’s presentation by retired U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal. The current season has one final event on April 30, featuring legendary broadcast journalist Tom Brokaw.

“We are excited to offer another remarkable season of presenters to our students, alumni, faculty and Philadelphia area residents,” said James T. Harris III, president of Widener University. “Each year we are impressed by the caliber of leaders that grace the stage at the Kimmel Center. They are world leaders and personalities at the top of their fields in journalism, literature, and public policy. Our audience will have some incredible stories to take away from each speaker.”

Speaking on October 1, President Clinton served as the 42nd President of the United States during a time of unprecedented prosperity and change. Now, he serves as a powerful voice for progress as he shares his unique insights and observations with audiences around the world. President Clinton addresses the challenge of globalization, emphasizing our growing interdependence, and points the way toward a common future based on shared goals and values.

Other speakers include:

October 29 – Author Jeanette Walls (photo at is best known for her memoir, “The Glass Castle,” in which she portrays her difficult childhood with a dysfunctional, nomadic family and her drive to overcome adversity. The novel remained a New York Times Best-Seller for three years and sold more than 2.5 million copies. A graduate of Barnard College, Walls began a career in journalism more than 20 years ago and has written for New York Magazine and USA Today.

November 26 – Former field correspondent for "The Oprah Winfrey Show," Lisa Ling (photo at now has her own series on The Oprah Winfrey Network, “Our America with Lisa Ling.” She has also served as a contributor to "National Geographic Explorer" and ABC News’ “Nightline.” Ling will discuss her passionate and in-depth coverage of international stories, many of which are overlooked by the mainstream media. Ling spent several years as a co-host of "The View" earlier in her career.

January 21, 2013 – P.W. Singer (photo at has been named by CNN as a member of the “Next Generation of Newsmakers” and is one of the Smithsonian Institution’s 100 “leading innovators in the nation.” He is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Singer is considered one of the world’s leading experts on changes in 21st century warfare and has served as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Defense and Federal Bureau of Investigation. His books, “Corporate Warriors,” “Children at War” and “Wired for War” have won numerous awards.

February 25, 2013 – Former White House Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton, Erskine Bowles (photo at also served as co-chair of the bi-partisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. In addition, Bowles is a former president of North Carolina University system and was appointed Deputy Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery for the United Nations following the devastating 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia.

March 18, 2013 – Vicente Fox, who served as president of Mexico from 2000 through 2006 (photo at, was the first president to be elected in that country from an opposing party since 1910. He also served as governor of his home state Guanajuato in the mid-1990’s. Fox began his career as a delivery truck driver before rising to become Coca-Cola Mexico’s president at one time.

April 15, 2013 – In 1972, Nando Parrado (photo at miraculously survived a plane crash at 18,000 feet in the Andes Mountains on his way to an international rugby tournament. Parrado and 16 other members of his team survived in the Andes for 72 days and were rescued after a heroic, 10-day marathon trek led by Parrado. His story was told in the 1993 motion picture “Alive,” in which Parrado was portrayed by Ethan Hawke.

All of the presentations will begin at 8 p.m. on Monday nights at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are sold by series subscription only; prices range from $245 to $475 per person. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact the ticket office as soon as possible to order tickets. For more information, visit or call 215.893.1955.

Presented by Widener University, the Series is sponsored by WHYY and BNY Mellon Wealth Management.

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