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Centennial Speaker Series

2015 - 2016 Centennial Speaker Series

The Hun School of Princeton welcomes the following artists and thought leaders as members of the 2015 – 2016 Centennial Speaker Series: Character and Ethics. All students, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend. Special presentations are open to the public and require pre-registration.  

2015 -2016 Speaker Series

Congressman John LewisAndrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
Tuesday, October 6th at 10:00 a.m. 

March, a graphic novel trilogy and a New York Times bestseller, is the 2015 Hun School Summer Reading Book. It is a vivid first-hand account of Congressman John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement. Since its 2013 release, March has become a #1 NY Times bestseller and the first graphic novel ever endorsed by two United States Presidents – Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

In conjunction with the first annual Raider Reads Day, Congressman Lewis, co-Author Andrew Aydin, and graphic artist Nate Powell will deliver a keynote presentation to Hun School faculty, students, and special guests. The hour-long presentation will be followed by a book sale and signing, while supplies last.

“Congressman John Lewis has been a resounding moral voice in the quest for equality for more than 50 years, and I’m so pleased that he is sharing his memories of the Civil Rights Movement with America’s young leaders. In March, he brings a whole new generation with him across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, from a past of clenched fists into a future of outstretched hands.” - President Bill Clinton

Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon and one of the key figures of the American civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington. 
 

Margo Gunn, artist in residence
Monday, October 19th – Thursday, October 22nd

Margo Gunn is a British actress and director for theater, film, and TV. She currently serves as an educational practitioner and learning specialist for the Shakespeare Globe Theatre in London, England. While at The Hun School, Ms. Gunn will conduct a series of hands-on workshops that actively explore the work of Shakespeare in a variety of disciplines and settings.
 
Between 2003 and 2005, Ms. Gunn was the director of drama and head of the drama department at Gateways School near Leeds. In addition to her work with Shakespeare Globe Theatre, Ms. Gunn teaches drama at Lewes Old Grammar School. She has worked as a LAMDA drama teacher at the Dulwich College and Lancing Preparatory School and has taught at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Her acting credits include “Doctors” (2006), “The Knife Trick” (2005), “Murder Rooms” (2001), and “The Adventures of Swiss Family Robinson” (1998).

Sarah Lewis
Tuesday, November 17th at 9:30 a.m.

Sarah Lewis is an Assistant Professor of History of Art and Architecture and African and African American Studies and a Du Bois Fellow at Harvard University. Dr. Lewis’ most recent book is The Los Angeles Times bestseller, The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery (Simon & Schuster).

Dr. Lewis will give a talk entitled “The Rise, Where do new innovations—new ideas—spring from?” She presents innovation as an enduring enigma. She will offer a new understanding of what enables creative endeavors and answer the question, ‘What really drives iconic, transformational change?’ From Nobel Prize–winning discoveries to new inventions, to works of art, many of our creative triumphs are not achievements, but are conversions – corrections after failed attempts.

Dr. Lewis received her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a Master of Philosophy degree from Oxford University, and her Philosophy Doctorate from Yale University. Her work has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Hutchins Center at Harvard University, the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance & Abolition, and the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library.

Before joining the faculty at Harvard, she held curatorial positions at The Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Tate Modern, London. She also served as a Critic at Yale University School of Art. She has served on President Obama’s Arts Policy Committee and as a Trustee of Creative Time, the CUNY Graduate Center, the Brearley School, and the Andy Warhol Foundation of the Visual Arts.

Screening of Most Likely to Succeed
Open to the Public
Tuesday, December 1st 7:00 p.m. Saks Auditorium
Register here.

 
 
The Hun School of Princeton will host an evening screening of Most Likely To Succeed, followed by a Panel Discussion with thought leaders on the subject of a better, new model of education. It is a documentary film about education reform and the skills-based learning movement.

For most of the last century, entry-level jobs were plentiful, and college was an affordable path to a fulfilling career. That world no longer exists. The feature-length documentary Most Likely to Succeed examines the history of education, revealing the growing shortcomings of our school model in today’s innovative world.  Directed by acclaimed documentarian Greg Whiteley, the film has been named “among the best edu-documentaries ever produced” by Education Week, and called a “smart and engaging look at education in the 21st century” by The Hollywood Reporter.

Most Likely To Succeed
 is an official selection of many of the nation’s top film festivals, including the prestigious 2015 Sundance Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival.

Run Time 86 minutes.

Chuck Klosterman
Tuesday, December 8th at 9:30 a.m.

Chuck Klosterman is a regular guy whose intellectual curiosity is insatiable, infectious, and surprisingly insightful. Mr. Klosterman is a contributor to the sports site, Grantland, and the bestselling author of several non-fiction books, including Killing Yourself to Live and Fargo, Rock City, of which Stephen King said, "writing about pop culture doesn't get any better than this, or funnier." For years, Mr. Klosterman also used his wit and charm to write the NYT Magazine's Ethicist column, where he dispensed uncommon wisdom on moral conundrums.

In his talk entitled, Life Through the Prism of Pop Culture, Mr. Klosterman will discuss how pop culture shapes a person's identity. Why do so many of us define ourselves by the media we consume—the music we love, the movies we obsessively reference, the television we can't stop watching? With inspired leaps of logic and a sense for relatable minutiae, Mr. Klosterman will show us how pop culture becomes inextricably linked with our memories, how it helps us understand the world, and what this says about us, as individuals and as a society.

Angélique Kidjo
Tuesday, January 26th, 9:30 a.m.

Grammy award-winning singer, activist, and humanitarian Angélique Kidjo electrifies audiences around the world with the strength of her voice, the power of her words, and the intensity of her performance. Spirit Rising, Ms. Kidjo’s memoir, embodies her vibrant personality with, as ELLE described, “a dramatic soulful mix of text, photos, and song lyrics.” One of The Guardian's 100 most inspiring women in the world, Ms. Kidjo speaks out for human rights and female empowerment as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and through op-eds for CNN and The New York Times.
 
Ms. Kidjo comes from the West African country of Benin, where she began performing at age 6. When communists took over the country and challenged Ms. Kidjo’s freedom of artistic expression, she fled to France, and later, New York City. Success soon followed.
 
Logozo, her breakthrough album, hit #1 on the Billboard World Music Charts and sold more than 40,000 copies. She topped Billboard again in 2014 with her Grammy-winning album, Eve. With sold out performances around the world, including Carnegie Hall, Ms. Kidjo has collaborated with Alicia Keys, Bono, Peter Gabriel, and Philip Glass, and has been personally requested to perform by President Barack Obama.
 
Her 2014 memoir, Spirit Rising, includes a forward by Desmond Tutu and an introduction from Alicia Keys. Publishers Weekly praised the book – “Readers will be enamored of this beautifully told tale of courage and determination, revealing an expansive life that proves ‘music has no color, no language, no boundaries.”
 
Since 2002, Ms. Kidjo has worked with UNICEF, raising awareness for such causes as gender equality, education, and conservation. She was presented with the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award from the Synergos Institute in 2015 and founded The Batonga Foundation in 2007. The Foundation provides secondary education to girls across Africa and empowers the female leaders of tomorrow. Opening the 2015 World Economic Forum at Davos, Ms. Kidjo received the Crystal Award, which celebrates individuals who improve the state of the world through art.
 
"Angélique is an inspiration to others with her message that, yes, the sky is the limit." - Desmond Tutu

ACE, Alliance for Climate Education
Tuesday, April 12th, 9:30 a.m.

Alliance for Climate Education's mission is to educate young people on the science of climate change and empower them to take action.

ACE does two things best. First, they teach climate science in a way that puts students at the center of the story. Their live, in-school assembly is award-winning. Second, they give every student a chance to take action. For some, it’s a small lifestyle change. For others, it’s hands-on preparation for a lifetime of leadership.

The ACE Assembly combines climate science with pop culture entertainment to create an unforgettable experience. Since 2009, ACE has reached nearly two million students.

ACE programs have won numerous awards including: 2015 White House Champion of Change Award for Climate Literacy; 2015 National Center for Science Education Friend of the Planet Award; 2013 AQMD Award for Public Education on Air Quality Issues; 2012 EPA Environmental Merit Award; 2011 George Mason University Climate Change Communicator of the
Year Award

"What's so extraordinary about this program is it understands what young people can do to make immediate powerful change right now, where they already have influence in their schools and in their communities." - Van Jones

List of 11 news stories.

  • Sean Wilentz, one of the country’s most renowned historians and the George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History at Princeton University and Jeffrey Rosen, National Constitution Center CEO and Constitutional Law professor at George Washington University, discussed the history of the presidency and where presidential authority intersect with the constitution at The Hun School of Princeton on January 13th.

    Princeton University Professor Sean Wilentz and National Constitution Center’s Jeff Rosen Discuss Presidential Politics with Hun Students

    Sean Wilentz, one of the country’s most renowned historians and the George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History at Princeton University and Jeffrey Rosen, National Constitution Center CEO and Constitutional Law professor at George Washington University, discussed the history of the presidency and where presidential authority intersects with the constitution at The Hun School of Princeton on January 13th. All Upper School students and faculty attended the talk, which was the inaugural event of the John Gale Hun Program for Civics Education.
  • On Wednesday, December 7th, The Hun School of Princeton welcomed Black Violin, a strings-playing hip-hop duo, for an all-school concert.

    Black Violin Concert Brings Hun Students to their Feet

    On Wednesday, December 7th, The Hun School of Princeton welcomed Black Violin, a strings-playing hip-hop duo, for an all-school concert. The musicians’ unique sound and energy drove hundreds of students and teachers to the foot of the stage for an impromptu dance party.
  • ABC News anchor and author Dan Harris spoke to students at The Hun School of Princeton.

    ABC News Anchor Dan Harris Tells Hun Students How He Became “10 Percent Happier”

    ABC News anchor and author Dan Harris spoke to students at The Hun School of Princeton Tuesday about his career in broadcast journalism, his on-air panic attack, and how he found balance in his life through the use of meditation.
  • Grammy award-winning singer, social activist, and humanitarian Angélique Kidjo.

    Angelique Kidjo: Singing Songs of Hope in a Universal Language

    The Hun School of Princeton’s Centennial Speaker Series continued on Tuesday, January 26th with Grammy award-winning singer, social activist, and humanitarian Angélique Kidjo. Ms. Kidjo wowed students, faculty, and guests with the power of her voice and the message of her songs. She told stories of her childhood: how she was afforded an education, how her family supported her love of singing, and how her work as a musician brought her back to her native Africa as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
  • Renowned journalist Chuck Klosterman visited Hun to give a talk for the Centennial Speaker Series.

    From Fargo to Hun: Chuck Klosterman visits The Hun School

    Grant Versfeld ’17
    On Tuesday, renowned journalist Chuck Klosterman visited Hun to give a talk for Hun’s Centennial Speaker Series. Mr. Klosterman has years of experience in journalism, and he has written for Esquire, ESPN, The New York Times Magazine, and pop-culture site Grantland. He came to Hun to discuss "Life Through the Prism of Pop Culture," in which he described ethical dilemmas of journalism, specifically pop-culture journalism, in the 21st century. Mr. Klosterman’s discussion included many personal anecdotes and stories from his books to exemplify how he has encountered and overcome such dilemmas in his own writing.
  • Dr. Lewis dispelled the idea that failure is definitive. Instead, she presented failure as a necessary component of greatness and as a path to some of our greatest innovations.

    Embracing the Near Win: The Hun School Welcomes Sarah Lewis

    Dr. Sarah Lewis, author of Los Angeles Times bestseller, The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery, spoke at The Hun School of Princeton on Tuesday, November 17th as part of the School’s Centennial Speaker Series. Dr. Lewis’ message to students and faculty was about the propulsive potential of failure as a path innovation. Dr. Lewis provided dozens of examples of individuals who, in the face of a momentary or repetitive failure, went on to great achievements.
  • Civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis, co-author Andrew Aydin, and graphic artist Nate Powell – the creative team behind the March series of graphic novels – spoke to students, faculty, staff, and guests at The Hun School on Tuesday, October 6th.

    Courage Marches onto Campus; Congressman John Lewis Visits The Hun School for Raider Reads Day

    Civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis, co-author Andrew Aydin, and graphic artist Nate Powell – the creative team behind the March series of graphic novels – spoke to students, faculty, staff, and guests at The Hun School on Tuesday, October 6th. March is Congressman Lewis’ first-hand account of the civil rights movement and the landmark “Bloody Sunday” March in Selma, Alabama. Together, the creators of March discussed how chronicling John Lewis’s story became a graphic novel and a NY Times bestseller. Their visit coincided with the School’s inaugural Raider Reads Day.
  • Mete Eser ’14 and Courtney Caldwell ’14 posed with Erik Wahl in front of the artwork he created during his two presentations at The Hun School of Princeton.

    Erik Wahl Colors Canvas and Community: What is the Value of a Creative Idea?

    On Tuesday, March 4th, The Hun School of Princeton welcomed Erik Wahl, for the keynote address of the School’s Centennial Speaker Series: The Next 100 Years. Mr. Wahl’s energetic and moving presentation, “Discover Your Creative Genius,” entertained and inspired audiences. He addressed topics of adaptive vision, risk-taking, creating disruptive strategies, dealing with fear, and strategically allowing oneself to embrace creativity – all while painting original pieces of artwork live on stage. In addition to the two interactive keynote presentations, Mr. Wahl fielded questions from students and faculty, enticed treasure hunters, and set classrooms and social media ablaze with provocative discussions.
  • Grammy-Winning Composer Eric Whitacre Visits The Hun School

    On Monday, February 2nd, students, faculty, and guests at The Hun School heard from Grammy-winning composer, conductor, and innovator, Eric Whitacre, about how he turned his creativity and determination into a music career and worldwide phenomenon called the Virtual Choir. Mr. Whitacre is widely regarded as the most popular choral composer in the world today.
  • Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit is Alison Wright’s latest book.

    Hun School Welcomes National Geographic Photographer Alison Wright

    The Hun School of Princeton Centennial Speaker Series began on Tuesday, September 24th with photographer, author, and global activist Alison Wright. Ms. Wright’s message to students emphasized 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.
  • Jason Collins Encourages Students to Stand Up for the Voiceless

    Jason Collins, retired NBA basketball player and the first openly gay athlete in a major American sports league, spent the day at The Hun School of Princeton on Tuesday, April 14th. He spoke candidly with students and faculty about his life experience, his decision to make his personal life public, and his current role as an advocate for equal rights in the LGBTQ community.
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The Hun School of Princeton is an independent, coeducational, private day and boarding college preparatory school.  Student-centered, hands-on learning prepares students for the global community in which they will live and work.

176 Edgerstoune Road, Princeton, NJ 08540  |  Phone: (609) 921-7600 | Email: admiss@hunschool.org