President's Lecture Series

The President's Lecture Series serves as a marketplace for ideas, featuring renowned speakers who share their knowledge, experience, opinions and accomplishments. Discussing timely topics, the series puts diversity first, offering an international lineup of authors and educators, business innovators and political figures.

The Series presents to the region a platform for equal exchange of dialogue and ideas. It began in 1991 with its first lecturer, James J. Kilpatrick, a controversial journalist in the 1950s against desegregation in Virginia's public schools. Kilpatrick spoke on campus in a traditional lecture format, including a question and answer session, which allowed for a source of lively dialogue and free speech, trademarks of the series. Today, the President's Lecture Series maintains this format and is free and open to the public.

This video collection contains some of the PLS speakers who were taped with a digital video camera (2016-present) and those whose presentations were converted from raw video tape. The majority of pre-2016 PLS videos are available on DVD or VHS in the Special Collections & University Archives Department in Perry Library. Search the Online Catalog for the whole series.


Lectures from 2019

Tayari Jones, New York Times Best-selling Author and Novelist, Tayari Jones

An Evening with Claudia Rankine, Claudia Rankine

Lectures from 2018

Imbolo Mbue, New York Times Bestselling Author and PEN/Faulkner Award Winner, Imbolo Mbue

Tamron Hall, Award-Winning Journalist and Host of Deadline Crime, Tamron Hall, Charles Best

Lectures from 2017

Roz Chast, Roz Chast

Entrepreneur, Author and Philanthropist, Founder & CEO of Pencils of Promise, Adam Braun

Lectures from 2016

Douglas Brinkley, Douglas Brinkley

Social Activist & Co-Creator #BlackLivesMatter, Alicia Garza

Lectures from 2013

Medal of Honor Recipient and Author, "Living with Honor", Sal Giunta

Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, Joseph Nye Jr.

Lectures from 2008

"Sports: The Hype and the Hoopla", Frank DeFord

"With Knowledge Comes Responsibility: The Darfur Crisis", Mia Farrow

Lectures from 2006

Iraq, Guantanamo and Human Rights, Terry Waite

Lectures from 2004

"Darwin, Kant and Biodiversity", Harry Greene

"Black America at War: From George Washington ... Bush", Gail Buckley

Lectures from 2003

"When Memory Speaks", Jill Conway

Lectures from 2002

"Braided Histories: Jews, Africans and Philosophies in 18th-Century Suriname", Natalie Zemon Davis

Lectures from 1998

Sir Ghillean Prance, Ghillean Prance

Lynne V. Cheney, Lynne V. Cheney

Bettina Gregory, Bettina Gregory

Lectures from 1997

Arianna Huffington, Arianna Huffington

William F. Buckley, William F. Buckley

Cathy Rigby, Cathy Rigby