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Pat Summerall, John Maxwell, others to headline Centennial Speaker Series at ACU

Aug. 16, 2005

Academic leaders, authors and TV personalities, including football commentator Pat Summerall and author John Maxwell, will speak at Abilene Christian University this school year as part of ACU's Centennial Speaker Series.

In addition to Summerall and Maxwell, the lineup includes TV news personalities Lester Holt of MSNBC and Robin Roberts of ABC's "Good Morning America," and academic leaders in the fields of economics, politics and writing.

"We are very excited about the line-up of speakers for ACU's Centennial year," said Dr. Michelle Morris, Centennial Celebration Director and vice president for University Relations. "There should be someone who will please every audience, and the speakers are extremely high caliber professionally."

ACU, a national leader in Christian higher education with 4,700 students from around the world, was founded Sept. 11, 1906. The university is celebrating its Centennial year from Aug. 22, 2005 to Sept. 11, 2006 with the theme "Called to Faith and Excellence."

Centennial Speaker Series schedule:

  • September 22, 2005 • 7 p.m. Dinner, Abilene Civic Center
    Lester Holt –Holt has served as primary anchor for MSNBC's coverage of major news events such as Operation Iraqi Freedom and the war in Afghanistan. He also served as lead daytime anchor for MSNBC's coverage of Decision 2000. Holt has contributed to the CBS News broadcast "48 Hours," earning a 1990 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism award for his work on "48 Hours: No Place Like Home."

  • September 26-27, 2005 • 7:30 p.m. Lecture, Hart Auditorium
    Dr. Kenneth Elzinga – An economics professor at the University of Virginia, Elzinga’s introductory economics course attracts more than 1,000 students each fall.  His smaller Antitrust Policy seminar often has a two-year waiting list. The author of more than 70 academic publications, he co-authored three mystery novels involving economic analysis to solve the crime.

  • November 8, 2005 • 11:45 a.m. Luncheon, Teague Special Events Center
    Pat Summerall – The pre-eminent NFL voice for a generation, Summerall has overcome a struggle with alcohol and a liver transplant. After his career with the New York Giants, Summerall began broadcasting for CBS as a color commentator and then a play-by-play announcer. For years he was paired on NFL telecasts with former Oakland Raiders coach John Madden, on CBS and then Fox.

  • February 27, 2006 • 7:30 p.m. Lecture, Hart Auditorium
    Kathleen Norris – Norris is an award-winning poet, writer and the author of several New York Times bestsellers. Exploring spiritual life, her work is intimate, historical, rich in poetry and meditations, sometimes funny and often provocative. Her books include The Cloister Walk, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith, and The Virgin of Bennington.

  • March 30, 2006 • 11:45 a.m. Luncheon, Teague Special Events Center
    Dr. Stephen Carter – Stephen Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale University. He has helped shape the national debate on issues like the role of religion in political culture and integrity and civility in daily life. The New York Times called him a leading public intellectual. His books include Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby, Civility and God's Name in Vain.

  • April 8, 2006 • 6:30 p.m. Dinner, Teague Special Events Center
    Robin Roberts – Co-anchor of ABC's "Good Morning, America," Robin Roberts is one of the most versatile broadcast journalists and commentators.  She has worked in broadcasting for more than 20 years, often splitting her time between duties at ESPN and ABC News.  A professed "woman of faith," Roberts has garnered awards for excellence and for contributing to the image of women on television and helping expand careers for women in broadcast journalism.

  • April 20, 2006 • 7:30 p.m. Lecture, Teague Special Events Center
    Dr. Jean Bethke Elshtain – Jean Bethke Elshtain is a political philosopher whose work shows connections between political and ethical convictions.  She is the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago. Her books include Democracy on Trial, Public Man, Private Woman: Women in Social Thought and Just War Theory.

  • April 25, 2006 • Noon  Luncheon, Teague Special Events Center
    Dr. John Maxwell – John Maxwell, America's expert on leadership, founded INJOY Stewardship Services, which provides vision-driven stewardship campaigns for churches, and EQUIP, a non-profit that helps Christian leaders fulfill the Great Commission. He is a bestselling author and his books include The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You and Thinking for a Change.


If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Wendy Kilmer, director of public relations.

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