2016-17 Bryan Series lineup announced

How would you like to learn about the experiences of astronauts by speaking to them? Or maybe you would enjoy listening to a high-level lawyer discuss her involvement in international affairs?

Well, next year you can. On March 21, during the George Takei event, six Bryan Series speakers were announced for the 2016-2017 session.

Michael Pollan: Sept. 30, 2016, 7:30 p.m.

An author, journalist, professor and activist, Michael Pollan is a widely renowned speaker on the culture, science and the history of food. Some of his famous works include:  “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation,” “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual” and  “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.”

“Having Michael Pollan open with a talk on food sustainability allows us to spotlight Guilford’s sustainability commitments at the farm, in the classroom and in dining services,” said Ty Buckner, associate vice president for the Bryan Series.

Mark and Scott Kelly: Oct. 18, 2016, 7:30 p.m.

The Kelly twins are retired U.S. Navy Captains, engineers and NASA astronauts. Mark Kelly has piloted four space shuttles and worked for SpaceX. Scott Kelly recently returned from the International Space Station, where he spent 340 days in orbit — the longest single trip through space ever made by a human. In their talk, the brothers will discuss their experiences as astronauts and the future of space exploration.

Amal Clooney: Nov. 13, 2016, 3:30 p.m.

Amal Clooney is an activist, author and lawyer who specializes in international law and human rights. She has worked on numerous international disputes, like the Cambodian-Thai border dispute, and represented notable individuals such as former prime minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko and Egyptian-Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy. Clooney will be discussing her work and relevant global issues during her appearance.

“Amal Clooney is a crazy-amazing human rights attorney,” said sophomore Anna Kelly, a student intern for the Bryan Series. “She has been everywhere. She has defended (the founder of) WikiLeaks, among other people.”

Bryan Stevenson: Feb. 21, 2017, 7:30 p.m.

The founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, Stevenson is also a lawyer and human rights activist dedicated to helping impoverished and death row individuals. Some of his prestigious awards include the MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” and the National Medal of Liberty.

“In February, we will host Bryan Stevenson, an advocate for justice, whose work mirrors current efforts by students, faculty and staff to make Guilford a thriving, diverse and anti-racist community,” said Buckner.

Alan Alda: April 6, 2017, 7:30 p.m.

An actor, director and screenwriter, Alda’s most famous career role is the portrayal of Hawkeye Pierce in the TV series “M*A*S*H.” He has won six Golden Globes, five Primetime Emmy awards and was nominated for an Oscar. His presentation will be about his life and the lessons he learned throughout his career.

“(Alan Alda) is a good actor, and he has made significant contributions to art with ‘M*A*S*H’ through his acting, directing and writing,” said first-year Jeremy Toda-Ambaras. “In addition, I enjoyed his performances in ‘The Aviator.’”

All in all, the Bryan Series, with a very strong lineup next year, is set to provide an inspirational, captivating and, most importantly, an educational experience for students, faculty and guests alike.

What 2016-2017 Bryan Series speaker are you most excited for?

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