University Lecture series announces 2015-2016 lineup including 'Wild' author and 'Serial' creators

This upcoming year marks the 15th season of the SU campus speaker series and will bring a musician and authors, among others.

Update (5/5): Don Garber, commissoner of Major League Soccer, has been added to the schedule for March 22 as a speaker for the University Lecture Series.

University Lectures announced its schedule for the 2015-2016 school year, which includes a new batch of speakers for the 15th season of the University Lecture Series. Free to the public, all lectures will take place at Hendricks Chapel.

The first lecture on Sept. 29 will feature Leon Fleisher, a renowned pianist who, along with his speech, will also perform some songs.

SU alum Cheryl Strayed will give the second lecture on Oct. 7. She is the author of the autobiographical "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail," which was recently made into the Oscar-nominated movie "Wild," starring Reese Witherspoon.

Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder, the creators and executive producers of the popular Peabody Award-winning podcast "Serial," will conclude the lecture series in the 2016 spring semester on April 12. In addition to her work as executive producer of Serial, Koenig also hosts the podcast, whose first season focused on a murder case from 1999 and the trial that followed.

The Oct. 13 lecture will feature two New York Times columnists, Charles Blow and Ross Douthat. The lecture will be a moderated conversation between Blow, a liberal, and Douthat, a conservative, on social inequality, and their different perspectives on its causes and solutions.

Other speakers for the season include Naomi Klein, an author, journalist and social activist, on Nov. 3; Dacher Keltner, founding director of the Greater Good Science Center, on March 8, 2016; and Mary Roach, a nonfiction popular science writer and humorist on March 29.

Some speakers brought in this past year include Laurel Richie, the president of the WNBA, Van Jones, host of CNN's "Crossfire," and Eve Ensler, writer of "The Vagina Monologues."

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