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Gonzaga Presidential Speaker Series Brings Thomas Friedman This Fall, Jane Goodall in Spring (’13)

Thomas L. Friedman and Dr. Jane Goodall. Goodall photo courtesy of Stuart Clarke

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Writer Friedman to Speak Sept. 4;
Pioneering Primatologist Goodall to Speak April 9, 2013

SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga University’s Presidential Speaker Series brings two internationally renowned figures to campus as part of Gonzaga’s 125th Anniversary celebration. Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Thomas L. Friedman will speak Sept. 4, while primatologist and conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall will speak April 9 (2013). Both lectures begin at 7 p.m. in Gonzaga’s McCarthey Athletic Center.

“These individuals challenge and inspire us with their knowledge and perspectives,” said Gonzaga President Thayne M. McCulloh, who selects the series presenters. “In this, Gonzaga’s 125th Anniversary Year, we are interested in how the speakers have encouraged and continue to foster the transformations our world must embrace to prepare for the future.”

A staunch advocate of education, Friedman will discuss the important responsibility education plays in helping our nation become more competitive in a global economy. His lecture is titled, “That Used to Be Us: A Crucial Time for America and the Role Education Must Play.” Friedman, an Oxford University-educated columnist for The New York Times, has authored six best-selling books, including the acclaimed “The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization” (2000), which earned the Overseas’ Press Club Award for best foreign policy book. Friedman became widely known for “The World is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century” (2005), an international best-seller that examined the impact of globalization. His book “Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution – and How It Can Renew America” (2008), explores parallels between world crises in the areas of climate change and the economy. A provocative writer able to make complex issues widely understood, Friedman is an engaging speaker with strongly held opinions.

“He has spent his career traveling the world and observing the forces at work within and between cultures. He is an insightful and astute observer of human industry and creativity, and his writings reveal a unique ability to understand and describe important social phenomena,” Dr. McCulloh said. “As a cultural commentator, his interests span many fields, including politics, education, industry, economics and economic competitiveness, energy dependence and globalization.”

First a journalist, Friedman covered the end of the Cold War as the Times’ chief diplomatic correspondent before covering the early years of the Clinton presidency, and foreign policy and trade policy as the World Wide Web proliferated. His most recent book, “That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back” (2011), was co-authored with Johns Hopkins University foreign policy expert Michael Mandelbaum.

In 1960, the London-born Goodall (Jane Goodall biography) began her half-century, landmark study of chimpanzees at the Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve in what is now Tanzania. Under the tutelage of famed anthropologist Louis Leakey, she witnessed chimpanzees making and using tools – the first of her many significant discoveries that have become foundational to primatological research. Goodall, who earned a Ph.D. in ethology in 1965 from Cambridge University, founded the global Jane Goodall Institute in 1977 to protect chimpanzees and their habitat. Since 1986, she has directed her energy toward educating the public about the connections between humans and primates and the world they share.  She has earned worldwide acclaim for her advocacy work for the environment, animal rights, and humanity. Goodall’s lecture is titled, “Making a Difference: An Evening with Dr. Jane Goodall.” It will focus on what she’s learned about affecting change in the environment, and the amazing things she has learned about chimpanzees and humanity.

This marks the third year of Gonzaga’s Presidential Speaker Series initiated by Dr. McCulloh. The series brings to campus well-known figures whose lives reflect Gonzaga’s Ignatian-based approach to education that aims to transform women and men into people for others. The series welcomes residents throughout the region as well as Gonzaga faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends.

Tickets for the Friedman event are available at McCarthey Athletic Center or online via TicketsWest. General admission tickets are $15, seniors $12, and students/educators $10. Tickets for the Goodall lecture will go on sale in January. For more information about the Friedman event, please contact Angela Ruff at (509) 313-3572 or via e-mail. Media please contact Mary Joan Hahn at (509) 313-6095 or via e-mail or Peter Tormey at (509) 313-6132 or via e-mail.

  1. Jerome Haupt
    Posted August 22, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    I think Thomas Friedman and Fareed Zakaria are the two preeminent commentators on our times. We are very fortunate to have Friedman in our town and at Gonzaga University.