About the Distinguished Speakers Series

What do John Oliver, the Dalai Lama, Maya Angelou, John Stewart, Steve Wozniak, Bill Nye, Toni Morrison and Malala Yousafzai all have in common? Each one of these speakers has enlightened, entertained and inspired audiences as part of UB’s Distinguished Speakers Series. 

Celebrating Over 30 Years

In 1987, we started the Distinguished Speakers Series as a way to attract alumni, friends and community neighbors to UB’s relatively new North Campus. Today, the Distinguished Speakers Series is a well-established, highly anticipated program both within the university and throughout the Buffalo Niagara region.

An Annual Highlight—with a Purpose

By offering unique opportunities to see world-class speakers, the Distinguished Speakers Series helps provoke thought and stimulate conversation around some of the most compelling issues, stories and events of our time. The series also helps address an important role of UB’s mission—public service in the community—by dedicating at least one speaker per year to address societal issues and concerns.

In addition, we are proud to help enhance the quality of student life by working closely with UB’s Undergraduate Student Association and Graduate Student Association to identify and help fund speakers who have particular appeal for students. Many students receive free tickets to events.

About Us

The Distinguished Speakers Series is managed by UB's University Events office.

Support and Funding

All speaker honoraria and production expenses for the Distinguished Speakers Series are covered by the following:

  • Ticket sales
  • Support provided voluntarily by student governments using their student activity fees to purchase large blocks of tickets for each of the lectures for free distribution to students
  • Sponsorships directed to the series by our university and community partners
  • The Donald L. Davis Lectureship Fund, an endowment created exclusively to support the series

No state funds, Research Foundation funds, tuition dollars, or general gifts to the university or UB Foundation are used to support the program.

Sponsors are listed throughout this website, where appropriate.