Robert Morris University sponsors the annual Robert Morris University sponsors the annual Pittsburgh Speakers Series, seven different lectures on seven evenings at Heinz Hall. Our distinguished speakers share their unique experiences and perspectives on a wide variety of topics, from world affairs and politics to history and the environment, to books and authors, to business and economics, to the arts and entertainment. An exciting question and answer session follows each lecture.
Oct. 14 - John Irving achieved critical and popular acclaim with his 1978 novel The World According to Garp. Several of his 14 novels have been bestsellers, and five have been adapted to film, including The Cider House Rules, The World According to Garp, and The Hotel New Hampshire. Irving won an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay for his script for The Cider House Rules.
Nov. 4 - Dr. Sanjay Gupta is the multiple Emmy Award-winning chief medical correspondent for CNN. Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon, played an integral role in CNN’s reporting on health and medical news for American Morning, Anderson Cooper 360°, and CNN documentaries, as well as anchoring the weekend medical affairs program Sanjay Gupta, MD.
Dec. 2 - Dennis Ross has played a leading role in shaping U.S. involvement in the Middle East peace process as the point man for presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. With a specialty in Soviet and Middle East policy, he has served as a diplomat under four U.S. presidents. Ross has authored several books and is now a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Jan. 20 - Ayaan Hirsi Ali is known for her views critical of radical Islam and its suppression of women, and was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2005. Born in Somalia, she sought political asylum in the Netherlands to avoid a forced marriage and was later elected to the Dutch Parliament. Now a U.S. citizen, Ali’s best-selling memoir is titled Infidel.
Feb. 10 - Diana Nyad came to national attention in the 1970s for swimming around Manhattan and then from the Bahamas to Florida. In 2013, at the age of 64, she became the first person to swim from Cuba to Key West, Florida without the aid of a shark cage. Nyad is also a journalist who has been regularly featured on NPR and ABC’s Wide World of Sports.
March 16 - Leon Panetta served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 16 years before President Clinton selected him as director of the Office of Management and Budget in 1993, and then in 1994, appointed him White House chief of staff. President Obama nominated Panetta to run the CIA in 2009. He subsequently served as secretary of defense from 2011 to 2013.
April 6 - Dave Barry won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary "for his consistently effective use of humor as a device for presenting fresh insights into serious concerns." For 22 years he wrote a nationally syndicated humor column for The Miami Herald. The author of numerous books, Barry's most recent release is Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer is Much Faster).