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Previous Speakers

TU’s Darcy O’Brien Endowed Chair brings to campus distinguished speakers in English, law, religion, science and other disciplines. These visiting scholars provide learning opportunities in the forms of classroom teaching, workshops, colloquia and public lectures.


Seamus Heaney, Poet, Writer and Nobel Prize Laureate, 1995


Ronald M. George, Chief Justice, California Supreme Court, Retired


Calvin Trillin, Humorist, Author and Thurber Prize Recipient, 2012


Richard Preston, Author of The Hot Zone and The Cobra Event


George J. Mitchell, Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader


Kip S. Thorne, Theoretical Physicist
Nina Totenberg, Legal Affairs Correspondent, National Public Radio


Scott Simon, Peabody Award-winning Correspondent and Host, National Public Radio
Tim Blake Nelson, Actor, Director and Writer
Cokie Roberts, Political Analyst, ABC News and Senior News Analyst, National Public Radio
Azar Nafisi, Professor and Author of Reading Lolita in Tehran


Billy Collins, Former U.S. Poet Laureate
Lisa Randall, Theoretical Physicist, Harvard University
Ismail Serageldin, Director, Library of Alexandria, Egypt


Stephen Sondheim, Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Composer and Lyricist
Frank Rich, Former Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times; Writer-at-large, New York Magazine
C. Owen Lovejoy, Professor of Anthropology, Kent State University
Nicholas Kristof, Pulitzer Prize-winning Columnist, The New York Times


Henning Mankell, Author of Kurt Wallander Series
Michael Ondaatje, Author of The English Patient and Divisadero
Jonathan Franzen, Author of Freedom and The Corrections


George Will, Pulitzer Prize-winning Columnist, Author and Political Commentator
Carl Bernstein & Bob Woodward, Journalists and Coauthors of All the President’s Men
Michael Tilson Thomas, GRAMMY-winning Musician and Conductor


Robert Caro, Pulitzer Prize-winning Biographer
Robert Sapolsky, Biologist and Neuroscientist
P.J. O’Rourke, Author and Political Satirist
Tony Kushner, Author and Playwright of Angels in America


Frank Wilczek, Physicist and Mathematician
Charles C. Mann, Journalist and Author


Jared Diamond, Author of Guns, Germs and Steel
Erik Larson, Author of Dead Wake and In the Garden of Beasts


Elaine Pagels, Author and Religion Scholar
Dennis Lehane, Author of Mystic River, Shutter Island and Gone, Baby, Gone


Evan Osnos, Investigative Journalist and Author
Angélique Kidjo, Singer, Activist and Humanitarian