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Vanderbilt Speakers Committee

Award-winning director Ava DuVernay, American soccer icon Abby Wambach, best-selling author Ta-Nehisi Coates headline Impact Symposium March 25-27

Mar. 11, 2019—Vanderbilt's 2019 Impact Symposium will feature Ava DuVernay, whose directorial work includes the Oscar-winning historical drama "Selma" and the Oscar-nominated "13th"; Abby Wambach, Olympic gold medalist and World Cup soccer champion; and Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of the best-selling "Between the World and Me," which won the National Book Award in 2015.

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Daymond John from ‘Shark Tank’ to speak Oct. 8

Oct. 5, 2018—“An Evening with Daymond John” is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 8, from 7 to 8 p.m. in Langford Auditorium.

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Matthews, Minhaj, Carbino headline Vanderbilt University’s Impact Symposium March 26–28

Mar. 12, 2018—Vanderbilt's Impact Symposium, one of the oldest university lecture series of its caliber in the nation, this year features Chris Matthews, best-selling author and host of MSNBC’s "Hardball"; Hasan Minhaj, comedian, actor and senior correspondent for "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah"; and Jessica Carbino, sociologist for the social and dating app Bumble.

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Daveed Diggs, Tony winner for ‘Hamilton,’ to speak at Vanderbilt Nov. 9

Oct. 31, 2016—Grammy and Tony Award-winning performer Daveed Diggs, who starred in the original Broadway cast of the hit musical "Hamilton," will speak at Vanderbilt Nov. 9. Preceding Diggs’ talk, Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos and Writer-in-residence Alice Randall will participate in a roundtable discussion providing insight into Alexander Hamilton, the statesman’s—and "Hamilton," the musical’s—influences on contemporary American politics.

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John Boehner, Spike Lee, more to headline Impact Symposium March 21-23

Mar. 2, 2016—Vanderbilt's Impact Symposium, one of the oldest university lecture series of its caliber in the nation, will feature best-selling author Azar Nafisi, Black Lives Matter activist and Teach For America Executive Director Brittany Packnett, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Spike Lee and former Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner March 21-23.

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Google Ideas director Jared Cohen to speak Nov. 12 at Vanderbilt

Nov. 11, 2015—Jared Cohen, founder and director of Google Ideas and adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, will discuss “Digital Counterinsurgency: How to Marginalize the Islamic State Online."

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Ellie Kemper, ‘Office’ and ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ star, to speak April 14

Apr. 10, 2015—Actor and writer Ellie Kemper will speak at Vanderbilt University’s Langford Auditorium on Tuesday, April 14.

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‘New Yorker’ cartoonist, humor writer to speak at Vanderbilt

Oct. 17, 2014—Liza Donnelly, a writer and cartoonist for "The New Yorker" magazine, will speak at Vanderbilt's Student Life Center on Monday, Nov. 10.

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‘How I Met Your Mother’ actor to appear at Vanderbilt

Apr. 3, 2014—Actor and director Josh Radnor will speak at Vanderbilt University’s Langford Auditorium on Wednesday, April 16.

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Vanderbilt’s Impact Symposium marks 50th anniversary; Colin Powell headlines

Feb. 26, 2014—Vanderbilt's Impact Symposium marks its 50th anniversary this year with a slate of speakers that includes former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell, former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe and former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank.

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Coach Bob Knight speaking event cancelled

Jan. 8, 2014—UPDATE: The original Jan. 15 event and rescheduled Jan. 16 event with Coach Bob Knight are cancelled. Ticket refunds are available at the original point of purchase. Tickets purchased on campus may be returned to the Sarratt Student Center box office for a refund. Tickets purchased through will be refunded automatically. Posted Jan. 8:...

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Film and television actor Kal Penn to speak at Vanderbilt Nov. 20

Nov. 11, 2013—Kal Penn, actor and former associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, will speak at Vanderbilt University’s Langford Auditorium Wednesday, Nov. 20.

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