Lecture Series

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


Cris Carter

Skeggs Lecture Series presents

Cris Carter

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

7 pm, Stambaugh Auditorium

Tickets availablE MARCH 4 

Cris Carter, is a former NFL wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins. Over the course of his 16 seasons (1987-2002), Cris was named to eight Pro Bowls, was twice named first-team All-Pro, and was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013. In college, Cris starred at Ohio State, where he was a consensus All-American after his junior season.

After retiring with the second-most receptions and touchdowns as a receiver in the history of the NFL, Cris entered the media. He was a studio analyst for HBO’s Inside the NFL from 2002-2007. From 2008-2016, Cris served as a studio analyst on ESPN’s signature football shows, Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown. Cris was also a regular co-host on ESPN’s top-rated radio show, Mike and Mike, and was an analyst on ESPN’s Super Bowl and NFL Draft coverage. Most recently, Cris served as a co-host on Fox Sports 1’s daily morning show, First Things First, where he debated the hottest topics in sports.

Cris is the author of Going Deep, published in July 2013, which examines the evolution of the wide receiver position; he’s also a sought-after public speaker and has spoken for many Fortune 500 companies. Cris speaks about leadership, teamwork, and overcoming adversity, including his previous struggles with addiction.



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

Previous Lectures



Centofanti Symposium presents

Thomas Gabor & Fred Guttenberg

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Over 40,000 Americans die each year due to gun violence. This violence is all the more tragic because it is preventable. Misinformation is impeding our society from combatting this scourge as Americans are being misled about the dangers of gun ownership, the history of gun laws, and even our Constitution. In American Carnage, criminologist, Thomas Gabor, author on several books on gun violence, and Fred Guttenberg, who lost his beloved daughter Jaime in the 2018 Parkland school shooting, dismantle myths and slogans such as "Guns don’t kill, people do," "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," and "Gun violence is just a problem in the inner cities." Gabor and Guttenberg ask you to read the myth-busting facts in their book and take action toward a safer America.


Ben Sherwood

Thomas Colloquium on Free Enterprise presents

Ben Sherwood

Monday, March 11, 2024

Ben Sherwood, served as Co-Chairman of Disney Media Networks and President of Disney|ABC Television Group from 2014 to 2019. An award-winning journalist and best-selling novelist, Sherwood also served as president of ABC News from 2010 to 2014. While at The Walt Disney Company, Sherwood oversaw a diverse portfolio of global entertainment and news properties, including the ABC Television Network, ABC News, the ABC Owned Television Stations, the Disney Channels Worldwide, Freeform, and Disney’s ownership interest in Hulu and AETN, including History, Lifetime and A+E. At Disney/ABC, Sherwood managed a twelve billion dollar business with 12,000 employees responsible for the creation of more than 25,000 hours of original content every year. Leading the organization through a period of rapid disruption, with new streaming services and technology upending business models and consumer behavior, Sherwood and his team consistently delivered outstanding results measured in profitability, cultural relevance and creative excellence. During his tenure as president of ABC News, “Good Morning America” became the #1 morning TV news program in the US. Under his leadership, ABC’s “ World News Tonight” also moved into first place as the country’s most watched evening news program. And ABC News won virtually every prestigious honor in the industry. In addition to his career in media, Sherwood is an acclaimed author of fiction and non-fiction. In 2010, he wrote “The Survivors Club,” a New York Times bestseller about the science of overcoming extraordinary adversity. Sherwood has also written three successful novels including “The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud,” which was made into a major motion picture starring Zac Efron. His novel “The Man Who Ate the 747” was also optioned as a motion picture by Warner Bros. Studios. His novel “Red Mercury,” was optioned as a television series.

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

Skeggs Lecture Series presented

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

Monday, October 16, 2023

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, is an advocate, leader, activist and hip hop artist. He has been on the frontlines of the climate and environmental movement since the young age of six. Recently named TIMES Next 100, X felt called to change the narrative on what it means to be an activist from an early age. X has spoken multiple times at the United Nations, addressing the General Assembly and has spoken on panels with Bernie Sanders, Van Jones, Shailene Woodley, and Pharrell Williams. X has been a guest on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah and Real Time with Bill Maher. He has also been featured multiple times on PBS, Showtime, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Vogue, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, CNN, MSNBC, HBO, Netflix, and has been photographed by Annie Leibovitz. X has a unique talent for connecting people through popular culture and sharing the message of his indigenous roots to better serve the planet and reimagine the future for his generation.

Amy Acton

Centofanti Symposium presented

Dr. Amy Acton

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Amy Acton, MD, MPH, is a licensed physician in Preventive Medicine and Public Health with over 30 years of experience in executive leadership, philanthropy, public service, teaching, and advocacy. Among her many honors, Dr. Acton received the JFK Library Profile in COVID Courage Award for her leadership as Director of the Ohio Department of Health during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. She was recently named one of USA Today’s Women of the Year. She has also been featured in the NY Times, Glamour, and most recently, Smithsonian Magazine. Dr. Acton also received The Columbus Foundation’s 2020 Spirit of Columbus Award and is a recipient of Ohio State University’s highest alumni honor - The Ohio State Alumni Medalist Award. Dr. Acton’s passion is helping to create the community conditions in which all our citizens can lead flourishing lives and contribute to their fullest potential. Dr. Acton lives in Bexley with her husband, Eric, who has coached and taught in Bexley City Schools since 1987.

Allyson Felix

Thomas Colloquium on Free Enterprise presented

Allyson Felix

Thursday, Sept. 14, 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.

Jia Jiang

Skeggs Lecture Series presented

Jia Jiang

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Jia Jiang is the owner of Rejection Therapy, a website that provides inspiration, knowledge and products for people to overcome their fear of rejection. He is also the CEO of Wuju Learning, a company that teaches people and trains organizations to become fearless through rejection training. In 2015, he authored a bestselling book, Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection. Several years after Jiang began his career in the corporate world, he took a life-altering risk and stepped into the unknown world of entrepreneurship. His result was everyone’s biggest fear: rejection. This was the catalyst that set Jiang on the path to his true calling. To conquer the fear of rejection, Jiang embarked on a personal quest and started a blog, 100 Days of Rejection Therapy. His journey revealed a world that was hidden in plain sight -- a world where people are much kinder than we imagine. He discovered that rejection can be much less painful than we believe and that the fear of rejection is much more destructive than we know. Jiang grew up in Beijing, China and migrated to the United States at age 16. He holds a Bachelor of Computer Science from Brigham Young University and a Master of Business Administration from Duke University.

Indra Nooyi

Thomas Colloquium on Free Enterprise presented

Indra Nooyi

Thursday, March 23, 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.

John Hope Bryant

Thomas Colloquium on Free Enterprise presented

John Hope Bryant

October 13, 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.

Tony Hawk

Thomas Colloquium on Free Enterprise presented

Tony Hawk

September 21, 2022

The most recognized action sports figure in the world, Tony Hawk was just nine years 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.

Skeggs Lecture Series presented

Bill Nye

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 presented

Sanjay Gupta

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 presented

Bozoma Saint John

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 presented

Michael Symon

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 presented

Bryan Terrell Clark

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 presented

Martin Sheen

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 presented

Kevin Smith

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

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

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

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.