Michael J. Fox, Kurt Warner to Highlight 2011-2012 Speaker Series


by News Bureau on Monday, Aug. 15, 2011

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 15, 2011 – Southeast Missouri State University will host several prominent speakers to share their experiences and stories during the 2011-2012 University Speaker Series.

Kicking off the series will be acclaimed “Oprah Winfrey Show” and National Geographic journalist Lisa Ling, who will speak at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20 in the Show Me Center. The event is titled “Open Heart, Open Mind.” Ling will share her experiences as a reporter, war correspondent and TV host, using her role as a journalist to focus on positive social change. She will discuss her own career path in her explanation of how journalism plays an important role in the world around us, and how, as times continue to change, it can be a force for propelling the world forward in new and positive ways.

Emmy Award-winner and Golden Globe Award-winner Michael J. Fox will speak at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 in the Show Me Center. The title of his presentation is “Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist.” Fox charmed audiences around the world in such roles as Alex Keaton in “Family Ties,” has appeared in more than a dozen feature films, was the star and executive producer of ABC’s acclaimed “Spin City” and is an accomplished writer. In 1991, Fox was diagnosed with Young-Onset Parkinson’s disease. He has committed himself to the campaign for increased Parkinson’s research and awareness and, in 2000, launched the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Karla Bakersmith, CEO and president of Scrubs & Beyond, will speak at noon Nov. 14 in Glenn Auditorium of Robert A. Dempster Hall. The event is free and open to the public. Bakersmith’s address, titled “Bringing Fashion to the Healthcare Market,” will also serve as the keynote presentation for Southeast’s Global Entrepreneurship Week. Scrubs & Beyond is a medical apparel company that incorporates a chain of retail stores, a catalog division and an internet business. Bakersmith launched Scrubs & Beyond to give medical professionals a fun and inviting place to shop for scrubs.

Best-selling author and professional workplace consultant Clifton Taulbert will speak at noon Nov. 15 in Glenn Auditorium of Robert A. Dempster Hall. Admission to the event is free, which is also part of Global Entrepreneurship Week activities. Taulbert is a Pulitzer Prize nominee and author of the recently released “Who Owns the Ice House?,” which serves as the title of his presentation at Southeast. “Who Owns the Ice House?” is based on Taulbert’s own life experience and chronicles his journey from his life in the Mississippi Delta at the height of legal segregation to being recognized by TIME magazine as “one of our nation’s most outstanding emerging entrepreneurs.”

L. Douglas Wilder, the first elected African-American governor, will present the keynote address at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Dinner scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 18 in the Show Me Center. Tickets for the dinner are $15 and must be purchased in advance. They will not be sold at the door. A limited number of free tickets are available for students. There are also opportunities for table sponsorships. For ticket information, contact Elizabeth Maldonado at (573) 651-2524.

Two-time NFL MVP and Super Bowl champion Kurt Warner will speak at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 29 at the Show Me Center. His presentation is titled “All Things Possible!” In 1999, Warner led the St. Louis Rams to a victory in Super Bowl XXXIV. That same year, he was named the NFL and Super Bowl MVP. For the next two years, he continued to be a dominant force in the NFL as the ringleader of what became known as the “Greatest Show on Turf.” He led the Rams to two additional playoff appearancesᾰincluding another Super Bowlᾰand received Pro Bowl honors for three consecutive years. Warner became one of a few NFL players to be recognized with two NFL MVP awards. Since retiring from the NFL, he has focused his attention on his “First Things First Foundation,” which is dedicated to impacting lives by promoting Christian values, sharing experiences and providing opportunities to encourage everyone that all things are possible when people seek to put “first things first.”

Closing out the 2011-2012 Speaker Series will be Bill Nye, scientist, engineer, comedian, author and inventor. Best known as “the Science Guy,” Nye will speak at 7:30 p.m. April 3 in the Show Me Center. His presentation is titled “An Evening with Bill Nye.” Nye is a man with a mission – to help foster a scientifically literate society, to help people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes the world work. Making science entertaining and accessible is something Nye has done most of his life. He has won seven national Emmy Awards for writing, performing and producing the “Science Guy” show. He is the host of two currently running television series — “The 100 Greatest Discoveries,” which airs on the Science Channel, and “The Eyes of Nye,” which airs on PBS stations nationwide.

Tickets are required for entry to the Ling, Fox, Warner and Nye events. Tickets for the Ling and Fox events will be available at 10 a.m. Aug. 22. Tickets for the Warner and Nye events will go on sale at a later date. General admission tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster outlets and the Show Me Center Box Office. All events are free for current Southeast faculty, staff and students with a valid Redhawks ID. Tickets can be picked up in the University Center Room 202, Center for Student Involvement or the Show Me Center Box Office.

Lisa Ling Michael J. Fox Karla Bakersmith Clifton Taulbert L. Douglas Wilder Kurt WarnerKurt Warner Bill Nye