Providence College Centennial Events Featured Speakers

Spring 2017

Danielle AllenDanielle Allen

February 13, 2017

Danielle Allen, director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, is a political theorist who has published broadly in democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought. In 2002, she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for her “ability to combine the classicist’s careful attention to texts and language with the political theorist’s sophisticated and informed engagement.” Allen is a frequent public lecturer and regular guest on public radio affiliates to discuss issues of citizenship and education policy, as well as a contributor on similar subjects to the Washington PostBoston Review, Democracy, Cabinet, and The Nation. In November of 2016, Harvard announced Allen’s Jan. 1, 2017 appointment as James Bryant Conant University Professor, Harvard’s highest faculty honor.


Fall 2016

kristof_nicholas(300)Nicholas Kristof

Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016

Nicholas Kristof has been a columnist at The New York Times since 2001 — focusing on human rights, women’s rights, health, and global affairs. Along with his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, Kristof earned a Pulitzer in 1990 for his coverage of China’s Tiananmen Square movement. Kristof was awarded his second Pulitzer in 2006 for his columns on the genocide in Darfur. In addition to his work at The Times, he has co-authored several books with WuDunn, including Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide and A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity.

verdon-23bMonsignor Timothy Verdon

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016

Msgr. Timothy Verdon is an art historian (Ph.D. Yale University, 1975) and Roman Catholic priest in Florence, where he directs the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo and Diocesan Office of Sacred Art and Church Cultural Heritage. Author of dozens of books and articles in Italian and English, he has been a Consultant to the Vatican Commission for Church Cultural Heritage and a Fellow of the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies (Villa I Tatti). Dr. Verdon is the Burke Professor in Art History in Stanford University’s Florence Program, a canon of the Cathedral, and has curated art exhibitions in Turin, Florence, Seoul, Washington, D.C. and New York.

Clayborn CarsonClayborne Carson

Friday, Sept. 23, 2016

Clayborne Carson has devoted his professional life to the study of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the movements King inspired. Since receiving his doctorate from UCLA in 1975, Dr. Carson has taught at Stanford University, where he is now Martin Luther King, Jr., Centennial Professor of history and Ronnie Lott Founding Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute.

During his undergraduate years at UCLA, Dr. Carson participated in civil rights and antiwar protests, and many of his subsequent writings reflect his experiences by stressing the importance of grassroots political activity within the African-American freedom struggle. Carson’s publications include In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s (1981); Malcolm X: The FBI File(1991); The Struggle for Freedom: A History of African Americans (2005, 2010, co-author); and a memoir, Martin’s Dream: My Journey and the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. (2013).

In 1985 the late Coretta Scott King invited Dr. Carson to direct a long-term project to edit and publish an authoritative edition of King’s speeches, sermons, correspondence, publications, and unpublished writers. Under Carson’s direction, the King Papers Project has produced seven volumes of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. In 2005 Carson founded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute to endow and expand the work of the King Papers Project.

Dr. Carson also served as senior advisor for the award-winning, public television series on the civil rights movement, Eyes on the Prize (1986, 1990). In addition, he has participated in the making of numerous other documentaries, including Freedom on My Mind (1994), which was nominated for an Oscar in 1995, Citizen King (2004), Have You Heard from Johannesburg? a multipart documentary about the international campaign against apartheid in South Africa, Freedom Riders (2011), and Black Panther: Vanguard of a Revolution (2015). The audio version of Carson’s edition of The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. won a Grammy award in 2000. In addition to his courses at Stanford, Carson also teaches an online open enrollment course, American Prophet: The Inner Life and Global Vision of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Carson has also written a musical play, “Passages of Martin Luther King,” that was first performed by Stanford’s drama department in 1993. The international premiere of “Passages” was produced in 2007 by the National Theatre of China. In 2012 the Palestinian National Theatre performed an Arabic vision of “Passages” in East Jerusaluem and other Palestinian communities. In 2014, a documentary, El Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine (2013), recounted the difficult process of bringing King’s nonviolent message to the Middle East.

In addition to his years of teaching at Stanford, Dr. Carson also taught at the UCLA, the University of California, Berkeley, American University, Emory University, Morehouse College, and l’école des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris. He has lectured throughout the United States and in many other nations, including China, India, Senegal, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Jamaica, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, and France. He has appeared on many national radio and television shows, such as Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, Fresh Air, Charlie Rose, Tavis Smiley, and Marketplace.

leonard,-mike_171009-webMike Leonard ’70 &’00Hon.

Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016

Mike Leonard is an Emmy-winning journalist, filmmaker, New York Times best-selling author, and an NBC-TV Correspondent for 32 years. He has traveled the world in search of stories that define our lives. Most often, he roams the overlooked territory of everyday American life for the true characters and humorous situations that color our days.

Leonard took his parents on a cross-country RV adventure that became a Today show series, New York Times best-selling book, and public television show: The Ride of Our Lives.

Leonard’s newest project is inCommon, a nationally syndicated public television show focused on everyday people and aspects of life we all share in common.

Mike is a 1970 graduate of Providence College, where he played varsity hockey.

doris-kearns-goodwin-webDoris Kearns Goodwin

Friday, Oct. 21, 2016

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

Goodwin is the author of six critically acclaimed and New York Times best-selling books, including her most recent, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism (November, 2013). Winner of the Carnegie Medal, The Bully Pulpit is a dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming unseamed and reform was in the air. Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios has acquired the film rights to the book. Spielberg and Goodwin previously worked together on Lincoln, based in part on Goodwin’s award-winning Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, an epic tome that illuminates Lincoln’s political genius, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president. Team of Rivals was awarded the prestigious Lincoln Prize and the inaugural Book Prize for American History.

The film Lincoln grossed $275 million at the box office and earned 12 Academy Award® nominations, including an Academy Award for actor Daniel Day-Lewis for his portrayal of President Abraham Lincoln.

Goodwin was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in history for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II, and is the author of the best sellers Wait Till Next Year, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream and The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, which was adapted into an award-winning five-part TV miniseries.

Well known for her appearances and commentary on television, Goodwin is seen frequently on television networks NBC, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, CNN, as well as The Charlie Rose Show and Meet the Press. Other appearances have included The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and many more. Goodwin has served as a consultant and has been interviewed extensively for PBS and the History Channel’s documentaries on President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Kennedy family, Franklin Roosevelt, Abraham and Mary Lincoln, and Ken Burns’ The History of Baseball and most recently Burns’ The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.

Goodwin graduated magna cum laude from Colby College, and was a Woodrow Wilson fellow. She earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Government from Harvard University, where she taught Government, including a course on the American Presidency. At the age of 24, Goodwin became a White House fellow, working directly with President Lyndon B. Johnson. Goodwin served as an assistant to President Johnson in his last year in the White House, and later assisted him in the preparation of his memoirs.

Among her many honors and awards, Goodwin was awarded the Charles Frankel Prize, given by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal, the New England Book Award, and most recently the Carl Sandburg Literary Award and the Ohioana Book Award.

Goodwin lives in Concord, Massachusetts, with her husband, the writer, presidential advisor, speechwriter and playwright Richard N. Goodwin. She was the first woman to enter the Boston Red Sox locker room, and is a devoted fan of the World Series-winning team.

Shahid_webShiza Shahid

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016

Shiza Shahid is a social entrepreneur, television personality, speaker and women’s rights advocate. She is passionate about leveraging philanthropy, venture capital, technology and the media to drive scalable social impact and women’s empowerment.

Shiza co-founded the Malala Fund with Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, and led the organization as founding CEO. She is now focused on supporting startups, innovators and entrepreneurs, particularly women, who are creating positive global impact. She is an advocate for women entrepreneurs, and hosts Women’s Story-telling Salons bringing together leading female entrepreneurs to collaborate. She is the host of the new MSNBC show ASPIREist.

Shiza grew up in Pakistan as a vocal advocate for social change. She graduated from Stanford University with University Distinction. She was a business analyst with McKinsey & Company. She is also a graduate of Singularity University where she studied how to apply technology towards the goal of solving gender inequities.

Shiza has received many awards for her work including TIME’s “30 under 30 World Changer”, Forbes “30 under 30 Social Entrepreneur,” WEF Global Agenda Council, Tribeca Institute Disruptive Innovator. She has been featured in multiple publications including Forbes, Fast Company, Elle, Glamour, Town and Country, The Edit, CNN, ABC, Al Jazeera, MSNBC and others.

Shiza is a prominent speaker on millennial and women’s entrepreneurship. She speaks frequently at major international convenings including Aspen Ideas Fest, Milken Global Institute, Forbes Women, Fortune Most Powerful Women, Inc Women, Women Moving Millions, World Economic Forum and others.

Cardinal_Dolan-webTimothy Cardinal Dolan

Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016

His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, was named Archbishop of New York by Pope Benedict XVI on February 23, 2009. He was installed as Archbishop of New York on April 15, 2009. He had served as Archbishop of Milwaukee since he was named by Pope John Paul II on June 25, 2002. He was installed as Milwaukee’s 10th archbishop on August 28, 2002, at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Papal Nuncio to the United States, installed Archbishop Dolan.

Born February 6, 1950, Cardinal Dolan was the first of five children born to Shirley Radcliffe Dolan and the late Robert Dolan. In 1964, he began his high school seminary education at St. Louis Preparatory Seminary South in Shrewsbury, Mo. His seminary foundation continued at Cardinal Glennon College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy. He then completed his priestly formation at the Pontifical North American College in Rome where he earned a License in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas.

Cardinal Dolan was ordained to the priesthood on June 19, 1976. He then served as associate pastor at Immacolata Parish in Richmond Heights, Mo., until 1979 when he began studies for a doctorate in American Church History at the Catholic University of America. Before completing the doctorate, he spent a year researching the late Archbishop Edwin O’Hara, a founder of the Catholic Biblical Association. Archbishop O’Hara’s life and ministry was the subject of the Archbishop’s doctoral dissertation.

On his return to St. Louis, Cardinal Dolan served in parish ministry from 1983-87, during which time he was also liaison for the late Archbishop John L. May in the restructuring of the college and theology programs of the archdiocesan seminary system.

In 1987, Cardinal Dolan was appointed to a five-year term as secretary to the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C. When he returned to St. Louis in 1992, he was appointed vice rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, serving also as director of Spiritual Formation and professor of Church History. He was also an adjunct professor of theology at Saint Louis University.

In 1994, he was appointed rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome where he served until June 2001. While in Rome, he also served as a visiting professor of Church History at the Pontifical Gregorian University and as a faculty member in the Department of Ecumenical Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas. The work of the Cardinal in the area of seminary education has influenced the life and ministry of a great number of priests of the new millennium.

On June 19, 2001 – the 25th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood — then-Father Dolan was named the Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis by Pope John Paul II. The new Bishop Dolan chose for his Episcopal motto the profession of faith of St. Peter: Ad Quem Ibimus, “Lord To Whom Shall We Go?” (Jn 6:68).

Cardinal Dolan served as chairman of Catholic Relief Services from January 2009 to November 2010. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of The Catholic University of America. He is also a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

On June 29, 2009, Cardinal Dolan received the pallium, a symbol of his office as an archbishop, from His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, at St. Peter’s Basilica.

Cardinal Dolan was elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in November, 2010, succeeding Cardinal Francis George of Chicago. He was succeeded by Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville in November of 2013, having completed his three year term as president.

On January 6, 2012, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI announced that Cardinal Dolan was to be appointed to the College of Cardinals. He was elevated in the Consistory of February 18, 2012.

martin_james_squareRev. James Martin, S.J.

Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016

Rev. James Martin, S.J. is a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America magazine, and bestselling author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, and Between Heaven and Mirth. Father Martin has written for many publications, including the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and he is a regular commentator in the national and international media. He has appeared on all the major radio and television networks, as well as in venues ranging from NPR’s Fresh Air, FOX’s The O’Reilly Factor, and PBS’s NewsHour to Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report. Before entering the Jesuits in 1988, Father Martin graduated from the Wharton School of Business and worked for General Electric for six years.


Note: These biographies were provided by the speakers and/or their representatives.