Gen. Colin L. Powell, Tony La Russa to Highlight 2012-2013 Speakers Series


Tickets for Powell, La Russa Events go on Sale Aug. 20

by News Bureau on

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., June 15, 2012 — Southeast Missouri State University will host another slate of outstanding speakers who will share their experiences and stories during the 2012-2013 University Speakers Series.

Kicking off the series will be General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) who has devoted more than 50 years to public service, holding senior military and diplomatic positions across four presidential administrations. He will speak at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2 in the Show Me Center. The event is titled “Diplomacy: Persuasion, Trust, and Values.” Powell has served as President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Advisor. He was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for both President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton, making him the first African American to ever serve in this capacity. Under President George W. Bush, Powell also served as Secretary of State. Powell’s deep commitment to democratic values and freedom has been felt throughout the world. Among the many U.S. Military awards and decorations Powell has received are the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Soldier’s Medal, Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart. His civil awards include two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the President’s Citizens Medal, the Congressional Gold Medal, the Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal, and the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding. In addition, he has also received awards from over two-dozen countries to include a French Legion of Honor and an honorary knighthood bestowed by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. Currently Powell is a strategic limited partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, on the board of Bloom Energy, and chairman of the Advisory Board of Leeds Equity Partners. He is also chairman of the Eisenhower Fellowships, a cross-cultural program for emerging international leaders.

Former St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa will speak on “Leading Successful Teams” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8 in the Show Me Center. La Russa’s jersey No. 10 was retired recently by the St. Louis Cardinals after he led the Cardinals to three National League championships and World Series titles in 2006 and 2011. La Russa ranks second all-time in post-season with 70 wins, and became the first manager to retire in the same season after winning a World Series title. He is the winningest manager in St. Louis Cardinals history and ranks third in major league history in victories. In addition to managing the Cardinals, La Russa previously managed the Oakland Athletics and the Chicago White Sox, spending 33 seasons as a major league manager. While at Oakland, he led the team to three American League championships and the 1989 World Series. He managed 5,097 games, becoming the second manager or coach in American sports history to reach 5,000 games. La Russa and wife Elaine co-founded Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) in 1991. ARF provides programs within its dual mission of companion animal rescues and animals “rescuing” people.

Later in November, The Second City, the world’s premier comedy club, theatre and school of improvisation, will deliver an engaging and fun-packed presentation that will explore the use of improvisation to fuel creativity and innovation. The performance is scheduled for noon, Nov. 12, in The Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall at the River Campus. The event, which is free and open to the public, will serve as the keynote presentation to kick off Southeast’s Global Entrepreneurship Week.

With the debut of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, populated by Second City Alums John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and Gilda Radner, the theatre became internationally known for its ever-increasing roster of comedy superstars. Today, The Second City continues to produce the premiere comic talent in the industry.

From Mike Myers to Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert to Tina Fey, The Second City imprint is felt across every entertainment medium. This presentation will demonstrate how to use the fundamentals of improvisation to change how people think, collaborate, present ideas and engage target audiences in business and organizational settings.

Global Entrepreneurship Week at Southeast brings together students and faculty from many departments, as well as entrepreneurs and leaders from the community to participate in a series of activities, contests and presentations to showcase entrepreneurial talent and accomplishment.

The Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship coordinates Global Entrepreneurship Week activities at Southeast. The Center was listed by the Kauffman Foundation as the top partner in Missouri for Global Entrepreneurship Week. The Kauffman Foundation founded the celebratory week in 2008 to develop young people’s knowledge, skills and networks to inspire them to grow sustainable enterprises.

The University Speakers Series will continue in 2013 with nine-time Grammy Award winning recording artist, singer/songwriter and philanthropist John Legend. He will be at Southeast at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23 to present the keynote address, “An Evening with John Legend” at the University’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner in the Show Me Center. Legend has won nine Grammy awards and was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people. Legend launched his career as a session player and vocalist, contributing to best-selling recordings by Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z and Kanye West before recording his own unbroken chain of Top 10 albums – “Get Lifted” (2004), “Once Again” (2006), and “Evolver” (2008) –each of them reaching #1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop charts. Legend and the band The Roots released “Wake Up!” in 2010, a compilation of music from the ’60s and ’70s all with an underlying theme of awareness, engagement and social consciousness which won three Grammy Awards for Best R&B Album, Best R&B Song for their original single “Shine” and Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for “Hang on in There.” Legend is a judge and featured performer on the summer ABC music show “Duets. Throughout his career, Legend has worked to make a difference in the lives of others. In 2007, Legend launched the Show Me Campaign, an initiative that uses education to break the cycle of poverty. He was awarded the BET Humanitarian of the Year award, the CARE Humanitarian Award for Global Change and the 2009 Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award from Africare. Legend stars in “The People Speak,” a film about social change in the United States and partners with Samsung to support education initiatives, with a special focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Olympian and World Figure Skating champion Michelle Kwan will speak at 7:30 p.m. March 6 in the Show Me Center. The title of her presentation will be “Aspiring to Greatness: What It Takes to Win.” Kwan is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history, whose skating brilliance and accomplishments earned her a place among the all-time greats of the sport. From 1995 to 2005, Kwan dominated the sport like no other skater in history, winning an unprecedented 43 championships, including five World Championships, eight consecutive and nine overall U.S. National Championships and two Olympic medals. In the nearly 100-year history of U.S. figure skating, no American man or woman has won more world titles, national titles or Olympic medals. In 2003, Kwan earned her seventh U.S. Figure Skating Skater of the Year award. In her honor, it is now called the Michelle Kwan Trophy. In January 2012, Kwan was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame, the highest honor in U.S. figure skating. In June 2010, President Obama appointed Kwan to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition and in March 2012 she was elected to the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

Closing out the 2012-2013 Speakers Series will be “Animal Planet” host and leading conservationist Jeff Corwin who will speak at 7:30 p.m. April 10 in the Show Me Center. The title of his presentation is “100 Heartbeats.” A passionate supporter of the environment, Corwin has been working for the conservation of endangered species and delicate ecosystems around the world for nearly three decades. An Emmy Award-winning television host, Corwin is best known for hosting “Animal Planet’s” immensely popular “Jeff Corwin Experience,” which reaches a multitude of viewers in the United States and is viewed in more than 70 countries.

Now the host of ABC’s Saturday morning series “Ocean Mysteries,” Corwin leads the weekly undersea adventure in conjunction with the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. Corwin was named Ambassador of Climate Change and Endangered Species on behalf of the Defenders of Wildlife, one of the United States’ most prominent conservation organizations. He has also established an interactive museum and environmental education center called the EcoZone in his home state of Massachusetts. A dedicated environmental journalist, Corwin was appointed a special correspondent on science and the environment for NBC News, where he has reported extensively on the most pressing environmental issues of the day. He also hosted the 2009 MSNBC “100 Heartbeats,” which investigates the plight of the planet’s most endangered wildlife species along with the conservation heroes trying to save them.

Tickets are required for entry to all events, which are open to the public. Tickets for the Powell and La Russa events will be available Aug. 20. Tickets for the Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner, during which Legend will speak, will be available in December. Tickets for the Kwan and Corwin events will go on sale at a later date. General admission tickets for the Powell, La Russa, Kwan and Corwin events are $10 and can be purchased at and the Show Me Center Box Office. Current Southeast faculty, staff and students can use a valid Redhawks ID to pick up a free ticket in the University Center Room 202, the Center for Student Involvement or the Show Me Center Box Office.