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Pittsburgh Speakers Series Announces 2012-2013 Season

Friday, March 30, 2012

Pittsburgh – Robert Morris University’s Pittsburgh Speakers Series will feature another impressive lineup of activists, authors and world leaders for its 11th season, 2012-2013. The series will open with President Bill Clinton followed by former U.S. Ambassador to China and recent Republican presidential candidate Jon M. Huntsman, Jr.; journalist Lisa Ling; Erskine Bowles, co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility; New York Times best-selling author Jeanette Walls; former president of Mexico, Vicente Fox and Andes Mountain crash survivor Nando Parrado.

The new season, which will open on Oct. 4, 2012 at Heinz Hall, was announced during this week’s presentation by retired U.S. Army General, Stanley McChrystal. The current season has one final event on April 26, featuring legendary broadcast journalist Tom Brokaw.

“The new season of the Pittsburgh Speakers Series has truly shaped up to be a magnificent lineup of some of the top thinkers and leaders of this generation,” said Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph.D., president, Robert Morris University. “Each of these speakers will have our audience on the edge of their seats with their thrilling tales and experiences. Robert Morris University is proud to present the series for this amazing 11th season.”

Speaking on Oct. 4, President Clinton served as the 42nd President of the United States during a time of unprecedented prosperity and change. Now, he serves as a powerful voice for progress as he shares his unique insights and observations with audiences around the world. President Clinton addresses the challenge of globalization, emphasizing our growing interdependence, and points the way toward a common future based on shared goals and values.

Other speakers include:

* Nov. 14 – Jon Huntsman served as the 16th Governor of the State of Utah. He has held positions in the U.S. Government under four presidents and was appointed by President Barack Obama as the U.S. Ambassador to China in 2009. In addition, he also served as the Deputy United States Trade Representative and as U.S. Ambassador to Singapore. Most recently, he was a candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

* Nov. 29 – Former field correspondent for "The Oprah Winfrey Show," Lisa Ling now has her own series on The Oprah Winfrey Network, “Our America with Lisa Ling.” She has also served as a contributor to "National Geographic Explorer" and ABC News’ “Nightline.” Ling will discuss her passionate and in-depth coverage of international stories, many of which are overlooked by the mainstream media. Ling spent several years as a co-host of "The View" earlier in her career. 

* Jan. 23, 2013 – Former White House Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton, Erskine Bowles also served as co-chair of the bi-partisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. In addition, Bowles is a former president of North Carolina University system and was appointed Deputy Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery for the United Nations following the devastating 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia.

* Feb. 13, 2013 – Author Jeanette Walls is best known for her memoir, “The Glass Castle,” in which she portrays her difficult childhood with a dysfunctional, nomadic family and her drive to overcome adversity. The novel remained a New York Times Best-Seller for three years and sold more than 2.5 million copies. A graduate of Barnard College, Walls began a career in journalism over 20 years ago and has written for New York Magazine and USA Today.

* March 13, 2013 – Vicente Fox, who served as president of Mexico from 2000 through 2006 was the first president to be elected in that country from an opposing party since 1910. He also served as governor of his home state Guanajuato in the mid-1990’s. Fox began his career as a delivery truck driver before rising to become Coca-Cola Mexico’s president at one time.

* April 22, 2013 – In 1972, Nando Parrado miraculously survived a plane crash at 18,000 feet in the Andes Mountains on his way to an international rugby tournament. Parrado and 16 other members of his team survived in the Andes for 72 days and were rescued after a heroic, 10-day marathon trek led by Parrado. His story was told in the 1993 motion picture “Alive,” in which Parrado was portrayed by Ethan Hawke.

All of the presentations will begin at 8 p.m. at Heinz Hall. Tickets are sold by series subscription only; prices range from $285 to $420 per person. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact the ticket office as soon as possible to order tickets. For more information, visit or call 412.392.4900. 

Presented by Robert Morris University, the Series is sponsored by KDKA Newsradio 1020 and the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce.

Robert Morris University, founded in 1921, is a private, four-year institution with an enrollment of approximately 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university offers 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs. An estimated 22,000 alumni live and work in western Pennsylvania.