Guilford College Bryan Series: 2019-2020

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 2019-20, 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 2019-20 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 with the Guilford College Bryan Series. 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.

Call 336-854-2000 to reserve or book online! 

Excludes event tickets.

Learn more about the Bryan Series and see the schedule.

2019-2020 Guest Speakers

Laura Bush
Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 7:30 PM

Laura Bush is one of the most beloved and admired American First Ladies (2001-09). For decades she has championed key issues in the fields of education, health care and human rights. She has traveled to more than 76 countries, including two historic solo trips to Afghanistan, and has launched groundbreaking education and healthcare programs in the U.S. and abroad. She is author of the bestselling memoir, Spoken From The Heart, and a bestselling children’s book, Our Great Big Backyard.

Stephen Breyer
Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 7:30 PM

Nominated as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton, Stephen Breyer took his seat Aug. 3, 1994. From 1980-90, he served as a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and as its Chief Judge from 1990-94. Breyer was an Assistant Professor, Professor of Law and Lecturer at Harvard Law School from 1967-94, a Professor at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government from 1977-80.  He was assistant prosecutor during the Watergate hearings in the 1970s.

Doris Kearns Goodwin
Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 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.

Sally Field
Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 7:30 PM

In a career spanning six decades, Sally Field won Oscars in 1980 for “Norma Rae” – based on the story of a North Carolina mill worker – and in 1985 for “Places in the Heart.” She earned an Emmy in 1977 for the miniseries “Sybil,” about a woman suffering from multiple personality disorder. She portrayed Mary Todd Lincoln in the 2012 movie “Lincoln.” In 2017, she earned a Tony nomination for her role in a Broadway revival of “The Glass Menagerie.” Her memoir, In Pieces, was published in September.

Colson Whitehead
Thursday, April 23, 2020, 7:30 PM

Colson Whitehead has established himself as one of the most versatile and innovative writers in contemporary literature. His novel, The Underground Railroad, was a No. 1 New York Times bestseller and won both the 2016 National Book Award and 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. A PEN/Faulkner Award finalist, he is the recipient of both a MacArthur Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His next book, The Nickel Boys, an exploration of life under Jim Crow, is to be released in July.