Jane Goodall Ph.D., DBE—October 5, 2011
As Jane Goodall first surveyed the mountains and valley forests of the Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve, she had no idea her coming efforts would redefine the relationship between humans and animals or that this project would continue into the 21st century. Today, Dr. Goodall travels about 300 days a year lecturing, raising money for the Jane Goodall Institute in Silver Spring, Maryland, and sowing the seeds of an environmental revolution among children worldwide. Dr. Goodall is also a United Nations Messenger of Peace, a role that complements her work as a tireless advocate for environmental stewardship, personal action and humanitarianism.
Rabbi Brad Hirschfield—November 9, 2011
An acclaimed author, lecturer, rabbi, and commentator on religion, society and pop culture, Brad Hirschfield offers a unique perspective on the American spiritual landscape and political and social trends to audiences nationwide. A leader for pluralism and interfaith dialogue, he says that we must own the dark side of all our religious traditions or we risk the same kind of hatred that destroyed the Twin Towers. "Religion drove those planes into the buildings, but it can also provide the catalyst for building a better world."
Gina Barreca—March 7, 2012
Gina Barreca, professor of English, is most recently the author of It's Not That I'm Bitter: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Visible Panty Lines and Conquered the World (St. Martin's, 2009). She is dedicated to women, laughter and the comic muse. She is founding editor and current co-editor of the scholarly journal LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory, now in its twentieth year, published quarterly by Routledge. In 1998, Barreca received UConn's "Excellence in Teaching" Award.
Dr. Michio Kaku—April 11, 2012
Futurist and theoretical physicist specializing in string field theory; Michio Kaku is host of two radio programs and a bestselling author. He is the Henry Semat Chair and Professor in theoretical physics and is currently defining the "Theory of Everything" which seeks to unify four fundamental forces of the universe. He is also a visiting professor at the Institute for Advance Study and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.
Posted April 15, 2011
"My dear friend Henry Winkler was right....Yakima Town Hall's hospitality knows no bounds. You are warm, generous, yet seriously professional women and I can see why all your speaker guests request return invitations. And who knew they could cook colcannon in this part of the world. That was the most fantastic dinner and lovely reception. I'm heading west next year and will try to make a detour to Yakima. I'm sure you can guarantee me a full house." - Ronan Tynon, Ireland's Inspirational & Gifted Tenor