Robert Egger, president and founder of the D.C. Central Kitchen in Washington, DC, travels extensively, promoting nonprofit innovation to everyone, from Fortune 500 companies to college campuses. The D.C. Central Kitchen has been featured on Oprah, Nightline, and 48 Hours, and in the pages of The Washington Post, the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and numerous other publications. Egger is the recipient of an Oprah Winfrey-sponsored “Angel” award, the Bender Prize, and a Caring Award. Egger’s new book, Begging for Change, has been called essential reading for nonprofit managers, corporate leaders, and anyone who has ever cared enough to give to a worthy cause.
Maya Lin has won international acclaim for her site-specific art and architecture projects. Since her design for the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in Washington, D.C., she has gone on to pursue not one but two careers, creating both art and architecture projects that “propose ways of thinking and imagining that resist categories, genres, and borders,” writes art critic Michael Brenson. Her work has won numerous awards, and a documentary about her work, Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision, won an Academy Award in 1996. Represented by Gagosian Gallery in New York, her artwork has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States.
Paul Goldberger is one of the nation’s leading writers in the field of architecture, design, and urbanism. His work as the architecture critic at The New Yorker—he continues the magazine’s celebrated “Sky Line” column in the tradition of Lewis Mumford and Brendan Gill—has earned him the Pulitzer Prize. Goldberger’s latest book, Up From Zero, an account of the design selection process for rebuilding the World Trade Center site, explains how conflicting pressures have shaped decisions about the project. Other writings include the text for The World Trade Center Remembered, and Manhattan Unfurled. Goldberger was recently appointed the dean of Parsons School of Design, which he regards as a new opportunity to connect design to the world, keeping it fresh, and giving it meaning for our time.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson researches the problems of galactic structure, star formation, and galaxy evolution. His work over the past five years has centered on decoding the history of chemical enrichment and the history of motion of the stars in the Milky Way. Other research interests include dwarf galaxies (which are less than one-tenth the size of our “normal” Milky Way galaxy), and the “bulge” at the center of the Milky Way. As the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium, Tyson is known for his ability to translate complex cosmic phenomena into terms non-scientists can comprehend. This fall, Tyson will host Origins, a groundbreaking four-part Nova miniseries described as a cosmic journey to the beginning of time, to air on PBS.
Author and satirist P.J. O’Rourke has earned a reputation as one of America’s premier political critics. O’Rourke is familiar to television audiences from his frequent appearances on VH1 and C-SPAN, and on such programs as Good Morning America. His best-selling books include Parliament of Whores, Give War a Chance, Eat the Rich, and The CEO of the Sofa. Both Time and The Wall Street Journal have called him “the funniest writer in America.” In his most recent book, Peace Kills: America’s Fun New Imperialism, O’Rourke casts a keen and mordant eye on current American foreign policy. Whether dealing with the inner workings of Washington bureaucracy or the shifting political and economic sands of the new world order, O’Rourke has proven himself a keen observer of national and world affairs. His razor-sharp insights never fail to inform and entertain, and the audience may be in peril of injury from laughter.
Acclaimed writer Tobias Wolff, whose works include the memoirs This Boy’s Life and In Pharaoh’s Army, returns to Syracuse University for the season’s first University Lectures presentation. Wolff, at one time a writer-in-residence in the University’s Creative Writing program, also is known for his collections of short stories, including In The Garden of the North American Martyrs, Back in the World, and The Night in Question. His first novel, Old School, was published in 2003. Wolff has edited several anthologies, among them The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Stories. His work is translated widely and has received numerous awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Rea Award for Excellence in the Short Story, and the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.