FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – The 27th season of Purdue University Fort Wayne’s popular Omnibus Speaker Series will entertain patrons with topics that may delve into matters of fact versus fiction, political prognostication, and how much trash the starship Enterprise actually leaves behind as it treks the “final frontier.”
“This series provides an opportunity to bring together our campus community and the broader Fort Wayne community to experience the rich diversity of thought, perceptions, and experiences that our outstanding speakers bring to the mix,” said Jerry Lewis, vice chancellor for communications and marketing. “We are thrilled to again have such a stellar lineup.”
As part of its kickoff for the new season, Purdue Fort Wayne is pleased to take care of some unfinished business with the announcement of new dates for two presenters who had to postpone their appearances in early 2022.
A guest of Omnibus, Judy Woodruff is now set to visit campus on Wednesday, Sept. 14. Woodruff is a well-respected journalist who has spent five decades reporting for NBC, CNN, and PBS. She has been a White House correspondent, chief Washington correspondent, and anchored numerous programs, including the award-winning documentary series Frontline with Judy Woodruff. In 2013, she, along with the late Gwen Ifill, broke boundaries as they became the first two women to co-anchor a national news broadcast, PBS NewsHour. “A Conversation with Judy Woodruff” is made possible thanks to Purdue Fort Wayne’s longtime partnership with PBS Fort Wayne, and in celebration of the public television station’s 45th anniversary, which was observed in 2020. Arriving in town just over two weeks before the midterm elections is Michael Steele, an expert in politics who broke barriers by becoming Maryland’s Lt. Governor in 2003, its first African American elected to a state-wide office, and again in 2009 when he became the chairman of the Republican National Committee. Currently an analyst for MSNBC, Steele has appeared on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. He will present “The Political Scene According to Steele,” on Monday, Oct. 24. A real-life guardian of the galaxy, Moogega “Moo” Cooperholds the awesome responsibility of keeping the Red Planet safe from Earth’s contaminants. Cooper is the planetary protection lead of the famed NASA 2020 Mars mission. Her current work with NASA is integral to the ongoing mission to discern whether Mars could be habitable for humans. Cooper graduated from high school at 16, studied physics as an undergraduate, received a master’s degree, and went on to earn her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at the age of 24. She’s passionate about empowering organizations and others to achieve their dreams and overcome obstacles. Cooper’s presentation titled “Limitless” is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 14. With the Onion, Scott Dikkers created the original “fake news” platform and grew it into one of today’s most recognized comedy brands. He shares his experiences in how being committed to a unique vision – and standing firm in the face of seemingly impossible challenges and threats – can translate into genuine differentiation and robust brand equity for any organization. Finding solace and inspiration from the satirical MAD magazine, Dikkers found an escape from his dire childhood circumstances – poverty, divorce, bullying, and even a suicide attempt at age 8. Dikkers has written multiple comedy books, including the best-selling How to Write Funny and Our Dumb Century, which sold over a million copies, debuting as a #1 New York Times and #1 Amazon best seller, and Our Dumb World, which also debuted on the New York Times Best Seller list. His talk “The Funny Story Behind the Funny Stories” is set for Thursday, Feb. 16. Capping off the 2022-23 Omnibus Speaker Series is George Takei, a social justice activist, social media superstar, Grammy-nominated recording artist, New York Times bestselling author, and pioneering actor. He has appeared in more than 40 feature films and hundreds of television roles, most famously as Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek. From a childhood spent with his family wrongfully imprisoned in Japanese American internment camps during World War II to becoming one of the country’s leading figures in the fight for social justice, LGBTQ+ rights, and marriage equality, Takei remains a powerful voice on issues ranging from politics to pop culture. “Where No Story Has Gone Before: An Evening with George Takei,” is scheduled for Tuesday, April 25. The Omnibus Speaker Series is underwritten by a generous contribution from the English–Bonter–Mitchell Foundation. All Omnibus lectures begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Auer Performance Hall of the John and Ruth Rhinehart Music Center on the Purdue Fort Wayne campus. Tickets are free on a first-come, first-served basis. The limit is four per person. A $1.50 convenience charge is assessed per ticket for online orders. To guarantee a seat, tickets should be reserved in advance, either online through the university’s ticketing platform, or at the Schatzlein Box Office in the Rhinehart Music Center lobby. Tickets are typically released two weeks before each presentation. All tickets reserved online can be sent directly to patrons via text message or email. These digital options are helpful when looking to avoid the need to stand in line at the box office on the night of the show. Tickets can be picked up in person beginning one hour before the presentation. For more information on each of the speakers – and the series itself – visit pfw.edu/omnibus.