Lecture Series

Tickets to all lectures are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis with a limit of four per person.


Thomas Colloquium on Free Enterprise presents

Tony Hawk

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

7:00 pm, Stambaugh Auditorium

Tickets available beginning
August 15, 2022.

The most recognized action sports figure in the world, Tony Hawk was just nineyears old when his brother changed his life by giving him a blue fiberglass Bahne skateboard. By 14 he’d turned pro, and by 16 he was widely considered the best skateboarder on earth. He was world champion 12 years in a row and is a 16-time X Games medalist. In 1999, he became the first skater to ever complete a 900, the holy grail of vert skating. Shortly thereafter, he teamed up with Activision to launch Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, now a billion dollar video game franchise. He has created a Tony Hawk brand that includes Birdhouse Skateboards, Hawk Clothing, and the Tony Hawk Signature Series sporting goods and toys. Hawk authored a New York Times bestseller and oversees his films, television and commercial production company, 900 Films. In 2022, a biographical documentary film titled “Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off” by award-winning director Sam Jones debuted on HBO, giving an in-depth look at Hawk’s legendary career and personal life. He founded The Skatepark Project, which has given away over $10 million to over 650 skatepark projects throughout the United States that serve over six million visitors a year.

Join us as Tony Hawk shares personal stories and high-impact business insights about innovating, overcoming obstacles, and staying in the game.


Thomas Colloquium on Free Enterprise presents

John Hope Bryant

Thursday, October 13, 2022

7:00 pm, Stambaugh Auditorium

Tickets available beginning
August 29, 2022.

John Hope Bryant is often referred to as the Conscience of Capitalism. Most recently he was named one of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “Most Influential Atlantans”, one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s “Notable Georgians” and one of LinkedIn’s “Top Voices”. Bryant was also recognized as one of the “Most Admired CEOs” in 2018, American Banker magazine 2016 “Innovator of the Year”, INC.’s “The World’s 10 Top CEOs” (honorable mention), and one of Time magazine’s “50 Leaders for the Future” in 1994.

Bryant is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Operation HOPE, Inc. the largest non-profit, best-in-class provider of financial literacy, and economic empowerment services in the United States. He is also the Chairman and CEO of Bryant Group Ventures and Founder and Principal of The Promise Homes Company, which is the largest minority-controlled owner of single-family rental homes in the United States. Both have experienced explosive growth under Bryant’s leadership. Five former US presidents have recognized his work, and he has served as an advisor to three sitting US presidents from both political parties. In 2016, Bryant became the only private American citizen to inspire the renaming of a building on the White House campus, when the US Treasury Annex Building was renamed the Freedman’s Bank Building.

Join us as John Hope Bryant shares insight from his bestselling books Up From Nothing, The Memo, How the Poor Can Save Capitalism and Love Leadership.

Thomas Colloquium on Free Enterprise presents

Indra Nooyi

Thursday, March 23, 2023

7:00 pm, Stambaugh Auditorium

Tickets available beginning
February 7, 2023.

Indra Nooyi is a business powerhouse. She was responsible for growing PepsiCo’s revenues from $35 billion to $63.5 billion. She oversaw a portfolio of global brands and diversified products enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 180 countries and territories around the world. As PepsiCo’s director of global strategy, Nooyi led the company’s restructuring, including the divestiture of its restaurants into the successful YUM! Brands, Inc; the acquisition of Tropicana and merger with Quaker Oats; the merger with PepsiCo’s anchor bottlers; and the acquisition of Wimm-Bill-Dann, the largest international acquisition in PepsiCo’s history. Nooyi currently serves on the boards of Amazon, Philips, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and is an independent director of the International Cricket Council.

Celebrated for her hallmark motto of “do well by doing good,” Nooyi was chief architect of Performance with Purpose, PepsiCo’s pledge to do right by being responsive to the needs of the world through sustainable growth initiatives such as making more nutritious products, limiting the company’s environmental footprint, and empowering people in the communities PepsiCo serves. With appearances in Forbes’ “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women,” Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women,” and TIME’s “100 Most Influential People in The World,” Nooyi has been sought-out for her business insights and messages on leadership, inclusivity and change.

Join us as Indra Nooyi shares insights from her book My Life in Full Work, Family and Our Future.

Thomas Colloquium on Free Enterprise presents

Allyson Felix

Thursday, September 14, 2023

7:00 pm, Stambaugh Auditorium

Tickets available beginning
August 8, 2023.

The most decorated female track and field athlete in Olympic history.

Allyson Felix stepped on the world stage as a passionate 18 year old in her first Olympic Games. She has redefined athletics as she continues to cement her iconic status on and off the track. Felix has amassed 13 global titles, 10 US Championships, 11 Olympic Medals, a World Record and delivered the fastest 400m relay split in World Championship history. She holds the most US Track & Field Olympic medals of all time. Her accomplishments solidify her as one of the greatest female athletes ever and has garnered attention from Vogue, Glamour, Essence, Self, O Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and Elle.

Felix has proven herself a force on the track, but has still made time to graduate with an elementary education degree from the University of Southern California. She also serves as an ambassador for Right to Play and Play Works, as well as being a member of The President’s Council on Fitness, Sport, and Nutrition. Felix fought for new maternity policies for female athletes and continues to fight against discrimination in the athletic world. Recently, she turned her attention to helping the NFL’s Nnamdi Asomugha provide Los Angeles area teens with tools to prepare themselves for higher education through their ACTS College Summit. Felix remains at the forefront of the fight for equality for all in sports and in life.

Join us as Allyson Felix shares her stories of hard work and perseverance on the track and in her advocacy work.

For more information call 330-941-2136 or email jmleviseur@ysu.edu.

Previous Lectures


Skeggs Lecture Series presents

Bill Nye

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Bill Nye is an American science educator, engineer, comedian, television presenter, author, and inventor. His mission is to help foster a scientifically literate society and to help people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work. Making science entertaining and accessible is something Bill has been passionate about his entire life. Bill has written several books including: Big Blast of Science, Bill Nye’s Consider the Following, Bill Nye The Science Guy’s Big Blue Ocean, Bill Nye The Science Guy’s Great Big Dinosaur Dig, and Undeniable—Evolution and the Science of Creation. He is the subject of the critically acclaimed documentary, Bill Nye: Science Guy and currently stars in the Netflix series, Bill Nye Saves the Planet. Bill is the CEO of the Planetary Society, a leading nonprofit space advocacy organization where the world’s citizens work to advance space exploration and science.


Centofanti Symposium & Skeggs Lecture Series present

Sanjay Gupta

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Dr. Sanjay Gupta is the chief medical correspondent for CNN. Sanjay, a practicing neurosurgeon, plays an integral role in CNN’s reporting on health and medical news for all of CNN’s shows domestically and internationally, and contributes to CNN.com. His medical training and public health policy experience distinguishes his reporting from war zones and natural disasters, as well as on a range of medical and scientific topics, including the Ebola outbreak, brain injury, disaster recovery, health care reform, fitness, military medicine, and HIV/AIDS. Additionally, Sanjay is the host of Vital Signs for CNN International and Accent Health for Turner Private Networks. Sanjay’s reporting and documentary work have won numerous awards.

Thomas Colloquium on Free Enterprise presents

Bozoma Saint John

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Bozoma Saint John is Chief Marketing Officer at Netflix. Over the course of her career, Boz has earned a formidable reputation as a trailblazing marketing and advertising executive. She most recently served as CMO of Endeavor, a global leader in entertainment, sports and fashion. Boz also served as Chief Brand Officer for Uber, where she was tasked with telling the stories of millions of riders and driver partners across 600+ cities. Boz also served as Head of Global Consumer Marketing for Apple Music and iTunes, spearheading campaigns geared towards growing consumer brand recognition, loyalty and equity around the world. Boz was the Head of the Music and Entertainment Marketing Group at Pepsi-Cola North America and VP of Marketing for Ashley Stewart, a women’s fashion brand, and managed accounts at advertising agencies Arnold Worldwide and Spike Lee’s SpikeDDB.

Skeggs Lecture Series presents

Michael Symon

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Michael Symon is an American chef, restaurateur, television personality, and author. He has been a regular on many Food Network shows including Iron Chef America; Burgers, Brew and ‘Que; Food Feuds; and The Best Thing I Ever Ate, as well as BBQ Brawl and Symon Dinners, Cooking Out. He has also made numerous contributions to periodicals such as Bon Appétit, Esquire, Food Arts, Gourmet, Saveur, and O, The Oprah Magazine.

Michael cooks with soul, having grown up in a Greek and Sicilian family. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Michael is the chef and owner of a number of restaurants in the Greater Cleveland area. He is credited with helping to “save” the restaurant scene in Downtown Cleveland. He also owns restaurants in Detroit and Atlantic City. Michael describes his cooking as “meat-centric.” He is the author of five cookbooks, including the New York Times bestseller Fix it with Food, a guide to managing inflammation and pain with 125+ recipes proving that you don’t need to sacrifice delicious food to eat healthfully and be pain free.

Skeggs Lecture Series presents

Bryan Terrell Clark

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Bryan Terrell Clark shares life-changing lessons from his career on Broadway and work in arts education and philanthropy to empower young people to leave their mark on the world.

Bryan is an actor and singer-songwriter, known for his starring role as George Washington in Hamilton: An American Musical on Broadway. He has also starred in the iconic role of Marvin Gaye in Motown: The Musical, as well as in Broadway’s acclaimed Fences.

Skeggs Lecture Series presents

Martin Sheen

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Award-Winning Actor, Social Activist & Humanitarian, Front Line Special Envoy (An International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders).

Endeared to audiences nation-wide for his acting career which spans more than five decades, Martin Sheen uses his dynamic presence and celebrity status to lend an inspired voice to political and humanitarian causes around the globe.

Skeggs Lecture Series presents

Kevin Smith

Friday, July 5, 2019

Kevin Smith @ThatKevinSmith is the fat guy who got thrown off the plane. He also made Clerks once.

Centofanti Symposium presented


Survival and Moving Forward

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Sue Klebold, mother of Dylan Klebold, the Columbine high school shooter
Fred Guttenberg, father of Jaime Guttenberg who was killed in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting
Kaitlin Roig, former Sandy Hook teacher
Brandon Wolf, survivor of the Pulse Nightclub shooting
Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer, who was killed by a white supremacist in Charlottesville.

Thomas Colloquium presented

Eddie George

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Pro-Tential Managment has collaborated with Eddie George and his various enterprises to include: EGX Lifestyle, a health & wellness initiative that he started by partnering with the Professional Football Mothers Association and multiple lateral events at his alma mater, The Ohio State University. Pro-Tential Management has also been a part of Eddie’s busy career as he transitioned into acting, motivational speaking, entrepreneurship and numerous other projects.

Skeggs Lecture Series presented

Dan Abrams & Nancy Grace

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Dan Abrams is the founder of the Abrams Media Network and created and sold Sportsgrid.com. He is also a best-selling author, the Chief Legal Affairs Anchor for ABC News and the host of the hit show LivePD on A&E Network. Previously, Dan served as the General Manager of MSNBC. He also hosted “The Abrams Report”, a nightly legal affairs program, and the acclaimed “Verdict with Dan Abrams”. Additionally, he was the co-anchor of “Nightline” on ABC News. His latest book is Lincoln’s Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency.

Nancy Ann Grace is an American legal commentator and television journalist. She was the host of Nancy Grace from 2005 to 2016, which was a nightly celebrity news and current affairs show on HLN, and of Court TV’s Closing Arguments. Currently, Grace manages a radio crime show on Sirius XM and the website crimeonline.com. She is also the author of the mystery thriller Hailey Dean book series.