Centennial Speaker Series: A Global Perspective

The Hun School of Princeton welcomes the following artists and thought leaders as members of the 2014 – 2015 Centennial Speaker Series: A Global Perspective.  All students, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend these special presentations, held in honor of the opening of The Wilf Family Global Commons.  Certain events are also open to the public and require pre-registration.

Check back for more details, as additional guests will be added.


Monks of the Drepung Gomang Monastery, December 2nd - 9th 

A group of Tibetan Monks will visit The Hun School this December for a series of programs and workshops celebrating their history and culture.  The Monks of Drepung will share sacred Tibetan traditions as demonstrated through art, living ritual, dance, cuisine, and prayer.  Their teachings center on their ancient traditions and beliefs in global peace, non-violent conflict resolution, compassion, and wisdom.

The programs will include a Sand Mandala Demonstration, Tibetan Cultural Pageant, Hands-on Art Workshop, Cooking Demonstration and Dinner, and a Closing Mandala Dissolution Ceremony. 


Living on a Dollar with Chris Temple,
January 6th

Documentary filmmaker Chris Temple will screen his unique documentary, Living on One Dollar, at The Hun School on Tuesday, January 6th at 9:30 a.m. during an all-school assembly in Shipley Pavilion and again at 7:00 p.m., with a question and answer session in the Global Commons. The film follows four college students who left their homes in the United States to live on just $1 a day for two months in a rural Guatemalan village. The film asks, "$56 for 56 days; how would you survive?" When we think about combating a problem like extreme poverty, it often seems too big.Living on One Dollar shows us that small things can make a big impact. Click here to watch the trailer.




Photography Courtesy of Marc Royce.


The Virtual Choir with Eric Whitacre, February 2nd
, 9:30 a.m. in Shipley Pavilion,  Co-sponsored by The Hun School of Princeton's Parents' Association. 

This event is open to the public.  Registration is required.  

Singing brings people together and creates community. Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir extends that goal to the digital world, merging the voices of thousands of international singers into a global choir that transcends geography, class, and background. The original Virtual Choir has received over 3 million hits on YouTube and won plaudits for both its awesome emotional power and technical accomplishment. The premiere at TED of Virtual Choir 2.0 has been viewed online more than 3.5 million times in the last year. Virtual Choir 3 was launched in April 2012 at the Lincoln Center where Eric was joined by the curator of TED, Chris Anderson, and Oscar and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Corigliano for a discussion on music, technology and the future.

In today’s diverse but interconnected world, where every business is likely to have employees spread across the globe, it’s important to embrace technology’s potential for bringing people together and fostering collaboration. Mr. Whitacre offers both a deep understanding of the power of participation and a vivid example of the leadership that makes this all possible.

Mr. Whitacre attended the Julliard School. He has enjoyed a meteoric career that has seen him writing for the London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, Chanticleer, Julian Lloyd Webber and the Philharmonia Orchestra, Berlin Rundfunkchor, and The King’s Singers.

His musical, Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings, won both the ASCAP Harold Arlen award and the Richard Rodgers Award, and earned 10 nominations at the Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Awards. As a conductor, Eric has performed in the US, Japan, Australia, China, Singapore, South America, and much of Europe.

In Spring 2012, his album Light & Gold won a Grammy for Best Choral Performance. His current album, Water Night, went straight to No. 1 in the classical iTunes chart on the day of release. Eric has been a Composer in Residence at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University, UK. He currently lives in London.


Following the Ninth with Kerry Candaele, February 6th, 9:30 a.m. in Shipley Pavilion and 7:00 p.m. film screening and director's discussion in Wilf Family Global Commons.

7:00 p.m. Film Screen and Director's Discussion is Open to the Public. Registration is required.

Following The Ninth: In The Footsteps of Beethoven’s Final Symphony, is a documentary film taking us on a cinematic journey across five continents and into the heart and soul of one of the world’s greatest works of art. Director Kerry Candaele will present the inspiration behind his process to an all-school audience on Friday, February 6th, followed by a an evening screening at 7:00 p.m. The evening screening and Q&A is open to the public.

Completely deaf and adrift from the people he loved, Ludwig van Beethoven composed his Ninth Symphony as an act of transcendence near the end of his life, in 1824. Today, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony resonates still as the international anthem of hope. The Ninth buoyed the protesters in Tiananmen Square, provided solace to those struggling for freedom in Pinochet’s Chile, and continues to fill seats in symphony halls and karaoke bars from London to Tokyo and Cape Town. Following The Ninth captures the power and beauty of Beethoven’s grand and world-transforming achievement, touching the lives of people around the world for nearly 200 years.

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Eric Hutcherson, March 3rd at 9:30 a.m. in Shipley


Eric Hutcherson is the Senior Vice President of Human Resources for the National Basketball Association.  As Senior Vice President, Mr. Hutcherson manages the NBA’s global human resources strategy, specifically compensation, employment and relations, learning and development, and recruiting.  He is also a highly sought after motivational speaker.  Mr. Hutcherson will deliver his talk entitled “Say Yes to Success!” at The Hun School on January 27th.  Through his presentation, he will share insights and strategies for building a personal brand. He will pinpoint and explore six essential concepts of success, as well as the tools necessary for connecting with recruiters, potential employers, and college interviewers. Mr. Hutcherson is also in the process of writing his first book, The Pride Formula, on the same topic.


Previously, Mr. Hutcherson served as Management Director, Chief HR Officer (US/Canada Division) for Marsh, Inc., a global leader in insurance brokering and risk management.  Mr. Hutcherson has a master’s degree in Sports Management and Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from New York University. Mr. Hutcherson has been a member of The Hun School’s Board of Trustees since 2012.  He and his wife, Linda Davis, are the parents of Hun students Myles ’18 and Austin ’17.


Being a Catalyst with Scott Bachovich , March 24th at 9:30 a.m.  

Social media fanatic, pop-culture enthusiast, student leadership expert Scott Backovich will visit on March 24th. Mr. Bachovich has a quirky, yet powerful style, whose youth allows him to speak to students where they are, helping them to understand the true potential they hold. After recognizing the monotonous cycle that students can fall into while in school, Mr. Bachovich decided to dedicate his life to helping them break it and endeavors to inspire a generation to action. By the age of 21, he had already presented to hundreds of thousands of students, appeared as a guest on television and international radio, and gained positive recognition around the continent for his compelling message. 






Noorjahan Akbar, April 7th, 9:30 a.m. student assembly in Shipley, 7:00 p.m. discussion in the Global Commons

Noorjahan Akbar has emerged as a leading figure in the fight for women’s rights in Afghanistan.  She works to inspire both men and women to recognize the importance of gender equality and to act against violence and unfair treatment of women in Afghanistan, often at great personal risk. Ms. Akbar has worked with many women’s rights organizations and media institutions in her country. Young Women for Change, a women’s rights organization that Ms. Akbar cofounded, is actively participating in helping the women of Afghanistan stand up and claim their rights in addition to inspiring many to support their efforts. Ms. Akbar has been a TEDx speaker; was named by Forbes as a Top Woman Changing the World; and as a Top 10 College Women to Watch 2013 by Glamour Magazine. Ms. Akbar has also collected and published a book of women's writings and two storybooks for children in Afghanistan. Her books have been distributed throughout her country. She currently runs a social media campaign called Freewomenwriters that supports female poets and writers in Afghanistan.

Noorjahan Akbar is a beneficiary of the Afghan Girls Financial Assistance Fund (AGFAF). She is currently in pursuit of a master's degree in Journalism and Public Affairs with a concentration in International Journalism at American University in Washington, D.C.



Jason Collins, April 14th at 9:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. in Shipley Pavilion. 

The 7:00 p.m. event is open to the public. Registration is required.

Jason Collins played thirteen seasons in the National Basketball Association, before retiring in 2014 at the age of 35. He played college basketball for Stanford University where he was an All-American in 2000–2001, before being drafted 18th overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft by the Houston Rockets. He went on to play for the New Jersey NetsMemphis GrizzliesAtlanta HawksBoston Celtics, and Brooklyn Nets.

In April of 2013, Jason Collins became the first openly gay athlete to play in a major professional American sports league. Despite warnings that his career would suffer for it, he was signed in February of 2014 to the Brooklyn Nets. Mr. Collins penned his own story in Sports Illustrated.


"It had been argued that no team would want to take on a player who was likely to attract a media circus from the outset and whose sexuality would be a distraction," Collins wrote. "I'm happy to have helped put those canards to rest."


In April of 2014, Time Magazine, named Jason Collins one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the World.  


Robbert Dijkgraaf , May 12th at 9:30 a.m. in Shipley

This event is open to the public.  Registration is required. 

Robbert Dijkgraaf has been the Director of the Institute for Advanced Study and Leon Levy Professor since July 2012. Dr. Dijkgraaf is a mathematical physicist, who has made significant contributions to string theory and the advancement of science education. His research focuses on the interface between mathematics and particle physics. In addition to finding surprising and deep connections between matrix models, topological string theory, and supersymmetric quantum field theory, Dr. Dijkgraaf has developed precise formulas for the counting of bound states that explain the entropy of certain black holes. For his contributions to science, he was awarded the Spinoza Prize, the highest scientific award in the Netherlands, and was named a Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion in 2012.

The Institute for Advanced Study is one of the world’s leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry. The Institute exists to encourage and support curiosity-driven research in the sciences and humanities—the original, often speculative thinking that produces advances in knowledge that change the way we understand the world. It provides for the mentoring of scholars by Faculty, and it ensures the freedom to undertake research that will make significant contributions in any of the broad range of fields in the sciences and humanities studied at the Institute. Albert Einstein was a member from 1930 until his death in 1955. 

The Institute’s more than six thousand former Members hold positions of intellectual and scientific
leadership throughout the academic world. Thirty-three Nobel Laureates  and forty out of fifty-six  Fields Medalists , as well as many winners of the Wolf and MacArthur prizes, have been affiliated with the Institute.