Guilford College Bryan Series: 2018-2019

Guilford College’s Bryan Series enriches the educational and cultural experience for residents of Greensboro and the central North Carolina region with provocative speaker programs featuring well-known figures in the arts, humanities and public affairs.

In 2018-19, Guilford College brings you people of action, doers committed to moving the needle on our most persistent issues. Their speakers have a conviction about what’s right and what’s possible. They’ve invested the sweat equity to become not only experts in their areas, but tireless advocates, willing to roll up their sleeves and tackle challenges head on. Join us for the 2018-19 season, when we’ll hear from inspiring speakers who share a powerful trait for positive change: an admirable balance of determination and integrity along with the clarity of conviction.

Guilford College Bryan Series Logo

The Bryan Distinguished Visiting Professorship in the Arts Humanities and Public Affairs was established at Guilford by a $1 million gift by Joseph M. Bryan Jr. ‘60 and the former Kathleen Price Bryan Family Fund in 1994. In 2011, Bryan made a $1.5 million gift to the College’s Advancing Excellence campaign to strengthen the endowment for the series.

Major speaker events began in 1996 and the lectures became the “Bryan Series” in 2002. Past speakers have included Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev, Tony Blair, Madeleine Albright, Robert Gates, Desmond Tutu, Sidney Poitier, Tom Brokaw, Bill Bradley, Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Bill Moyers, Thomas Friedman, Ron Howard, Anderson Cooper and Toni Morrison. Five heads of state, five Nobel Prize laureates, two former U.S. Secretaries of State and winners of MacArthur Fellowships and Academy, Tony, Grammy and Emmy Awards have been speakers in the series. Learn more about the Bryan Series.

O. Henry Hotel Bryan Series Package
Hear preeminent artists, authors, political figures and journalists. Includes overnight accommodations, $30 dining voucher to Green Valley Grill, transportation to and from the lecture and the next morning enjoy a Southern-style breakfast buffet. $299 plus taxes, excludes event tickets.

For reservations, please call 336-854-2000 or e-mail us at [email protected].

Click here for Bryan Series tickets.

2018-2019 Guest Speakers

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David Axelrod and Karl Rove
Thursday, September 13, 2018, 7:30 PM

David Axelrod and Karl Rove, high-profile political strategists from opposite sides of the spectrum, will share our stage just weeks before the 2018 midterm election. They bring more than keen insiders’ perspectives; they share the ability to spar respectfully and with an open mind to sound arguments. In the Bryan Series, they will address topics relevant to current national commentary, helping prime us all for the political decisions that lie ahead.


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 7:30 PM

What we know and admire about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s phenomenal 20-season NBA career is just the beginning. More than 40 years ago, he made a bold move to convert to Islam, a thoughtful decision he calls “a transformation of the heart, mind and soul.” His passion and leadership extends far beyond the game of basketball and into the social, political and cultural arenas. He is an author and commentator, contributing his voice to many critical issues.


Julia Gillard
Thursday, November 15, 2017, 7:30 PM

Julia Gillard broke the glass ceiling by becoming the first woman elected Prime Minister of Australia, and her voice has inspired women from one country to the next, especially on matters of prejudice and discrimination. She is a world leader with fresh insights on geopolitics and the global economy, particularly the volatile Asian markets, as well as a champion for economic and education equality for women and children everywhere.


Dr. Paul Farmer
Tuesday, February 19, 2018, 7:30 PM

For nearly 30 years, Dr. Paul Farmer has done what others thought impossible: bringing first-rate medical care to the poorest people on Earth. A physician and anthropologist, Farmer is chief strategist and co-founder of Partners In Health, an international social justice and healthcare organization with a powerful mission — to serve as an antidote to despair by delivering the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need.


Diana Nyad
Thursday, April 11, 2018, 7:30 PM

It took five attempts and untold training for Diana Nyad to fulfill her lifelong dream of completing the 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida, but in 2013 at age 64, she realized her goal. Nyad is a living example of her own words: Never, ever give up. In her 2015 memoir, Find a Way, Nyad engages us with a unique, passionate story of this heroic adventure and the extraordinary life experiences that have served to carve her unwavering spirit.