Centennial Speaker Series: The Next 100 Years

In Celebration of its Centennial, The Hun School of Princeton welcomes the following thought leaders as members of the Centennial Speaker Series: The Next 100 Years. These writers, activists, and educators will share their unique stories, while also offering specific tools for leadership in the next century. All students, faculty, staff, and parents are welcome to attend. Special presentations by Reza Aslan and Erik Wahl are open to the public and require pre-registration by parents and guests. Unless specified otherwise, presentations will take place in the Shipley Pavilion at The Hun School.



Jeb Bush, September 9th, 9:00 a.m.

 “Education is the Greatest Equalizer”

John Ellis “Jeb” Bush, former Governor of Florida, delivered the keynote address at The Hun School’s Centennial Convocation on September 9th. The second son of former President George HW Bush, brother of former President George W Bush, and an influential member of the Republican Party, Governor Bush was invited to The Hun School as a leader in educational reform, but also as a man whose beliefs align with The Hun School principles of academic excellence, kindness, integrity, commitment, and respect. Click her for more coverage on Convocation.


Alison Wright,
September 25th, 9:30 a.m. 

Ms. Wright is a National Geographic photographer, author, and global activist. Her message to students emphasizes intentionality of purpose, which she related not only to her work as an award-winning photojournalist, but also to her humanitarian work around the world. Ms. Wright focuses her camera lens on social issues, bringing awareness to the beauty and struggles of endangered tribes and at-risk populations around the world. She has published eight books and her work has been featured in National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, American Photo, Natural History, Time, Forbes, O: The Oprah Magazine, and The New York Times. Since visiting The Hun School, National Geographic named her Traveler of the Year

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Eddie Moore, November 14th, 9:30 a.m.


Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. is a nationally recognized speaker on diversity and tolerance. His presentation focuses on issues of diversity, race relations, community, stereotypes, and self-esteem. He leaves participants with constructive questions about their personal beliefs, prejudices, and biases. Dr. Moore holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell College in political science. He also received his teaching certification from the University of Florida. He received his Masters of Arts in educational administration from Loras College and his PhD at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. 


Greg Olsen, December 3rd, 9:30 a.m.

 “From Entrepreneurship to Spaceship”

Greg Olsen was the third private citizen to orbit the earth on the International Space Station (ISS). After training for five months (900 hours) at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Moscow, he launched on a Russian Soyuz rocket TMA-7 on October 1, 2005. After an illustrious career as a research scientist and entrepreneur, Dr. Olsen is now president of GHO Ventures in Princeton, NJ where he manages his “angel” investments. As a scientist, he was awarded 12 patents, wrote more than 100 technical papers, and co-authored several book chapters.  He co-founded EPITAXX, a fiber-optic detector manufacturer in 1984. It was sold in 1990 for $12 million. He then founded Sensors Unlimited, a near-infrared camera manufacturer in 1992 with Marshall Cohen. Sensors was sold to Finisar Corp. for $600 million in 2000.



Mark Murphy ’82, January 7th, 9:30 a.m.

Entrepreneur, author, online media impresario, and Hun School alumnus, Mark Murphy ’82 is a 20-year travel media industry veteran recognized by his peers as an innovator at the cutting edge of online publishing, social media, advertising and brand marketing. His understanding of both the travel industry and the rapidly changing media landscape, combined with his desire to continuously offer unique and customer-driven solutions, has positioned him as a pioneer in the business. He took a major leap of faith in 2002 when, in the aftermath of September 11th, he risked it all to launch an internet business focused on what was then considered a dying industry - travel. Mr. Murphy founded Performance Media, which has been recognized by Inc. Magazine, for 3 straight years, to be among the fastest growing media companies in the U.S. He appears regularly on CNN, NBC, ABC, FOX and CBS as a travel industry expert. 

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 Photo credit: Hilary Jones

Reza Aslan,
January 28th, 9:30 a.m., Open to the Public

“Unity in Diversity”

Registration is required.

Reza Aslan is the author of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth—a momentous work of popular scholarship which reached #1 on the NY Times bestseller list. On top of receiving near universal acclaim (“Riveting”—New Yorker), Dr. Aslan is well-known for his composure during a tense Fox News interview that went viral.
Dr. Aslan addresses the topics of world religions, Islam, the Middle East, and Muslim Americans with authority, wit, and an infectious optimism. Dr. Aslan’s degrees include a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies from Santa Clara University, a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University, a PhD in the sociology of religions from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa, where he was named the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction.

 Shalini Kantayya

Shalini Kantayya, February 25th, 9:30 a.m.

“A Drop of Life”

Brooklyn-based filmmaker, educator, and eco-activist Shalini Kantayya uses film as a tool to educate, inspire, and empower audiences. Her futuristic sci-fi flick about the world water crisis, A Drop of Life, won Best Short at Palm Beach International, a Crystal Dior Nomination at Tokyo Short Shorts, and was used as a tool to organize for water rights in 40 villages across Africa—making a real-world impact in the life of thousands.
 A Drop of Life has screened on campuses across the country, and Ms. Kantayya has an infectious enthusiasm that instills in students the belief that they can make a major difference in the world. A Sundance Fellow and a TED Fellow, Shalini has lectured at respected colleges including Harvard, Yale, Wesleyan, Northeastern, and the University of Southern California.


Erik Wahl, March 4th, 1:00 p.m., students only, 7:00 p.m., Open to the Public

Registration is required for the 7:00 p.m. presentation.

Erik Wahl is the 2014 keynote for the Centennial Speaker Series. Mr. Wahl is an internationally recognized graffiti artist, bestselling author, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is a highly sought after motivational speaker who encourages students and adults to “UNthink,” to tap into their creativity to solve problems and create opportunities. Mr. Wahl no longer sells his paintings, preferring instead to auction them for charity or hide them in plain sight, in cities around the world. He is coming to The Hun School to share his philosophy that “there is tremendous unexplored potential that exists by combining our analytical mind and our natural creative abilities.” Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of Whole New Mind said, “Erik Wahl has made creativity his life's study. In the pages of UNthink, you'll find inspiration for your own creative journey.  Even better, you will discover that you will not have to travel far — the answers are all around you.”



Project VOICE with Phil Kaye and Franny Choi , March 25th, 9:30 a.m.

Project VOICE is an international performance and teaching group that celebrates and inspires youth self-expression through spoken word poetry.  Conceived in 2004, Project VOICE encourages young people to engage with the world around them and use poetry as an instrument through which they can explore and better understand their culture, their society, and ultimately themselves. Their presentations and workshops will include performances by slam poets Phil Kaye and Franny Choi. Ms. Choi is a Korean-American poet, playwright, and fiction writer. A Pushcart Prize nominee and award-winning performer, she has been a finalist at the three largest adult slam competitions in the nation. Mr. Kaye has appeared on NPR, performed at Lincoln Center, and coached and performed on the 2011 Providence National Poetry Team, ranked third in the nation. His first book, A Light Bulb Symphony, was published in 2011, and his work can be found regularly in CHAOS Magazine. He is a graduate of Brown University.


John Robison, April 1st, 9:30 a.m.

“Look Me in the Eye”

John Robison grew up with Asperger’s Syndrome during a time when no one knew what to make of it. With no idea how to pass for normal, and undiagnosed until the age of 40, he nevertheless lived an incredible life. A leading voice on autism, Robison is an affable speaker who implores audiences to find strengths where others see weaknesses.
Mr. Robinson is the author of three NY Times best-selling books, has invented board games for Milton Bradley, was a tour manager for the rock group Kiss, and designed the legendary laser light shows for Pink Floyd.  His latest book is about raising a son with Asperger’s syndrome. “If you are blind to certain signals from other people, it’s not easy to create emotional insights when there is none,” explains Mr. Robinson. About Raising Cubby and its author, The NY Times writes, “On the evidence of this touching, sympathetic, and often insightful book, he is doing better than he knows.”

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David Wisnia and Steve Some, April 29th, 9:30 a.m.

Mr. Wisnia and Mr. Some will bring a personal story of survival and Jewish education to The Hun School community during Holocaust Remembrance Week.  Local Cantor and Holocaust survivor, David Wisnia was born in a small suburb of Warsaw, Poland in 1924. During the war, he lost his family to the Warsaw ghetto; while he managed to survive Auschwitz by singing for the Nazi SS.  Today, his legacy is his children, grandchildren and the power of optimism.  Steve Some has long been a state and national leader in advocating for Holocaust education and research.  In 1990, he was appointed by former President George H.W. Bush to be a member of U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, the board of the directors of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C., where he served for three years.  In addition, in 1994, Mr. Some was appointed to the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education, where he served as chairman until 2001.