UB Distinguished Speakers Series Will Feature Jane Goodall, Madeleine Albright and Ken Burns

Release Date: September 6, 2001 This content is archived.


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Jane Goodall will kick off the 2001-02 Distinguished Speakers Series at UB with a lecture on Oct. 10.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- World-renowned animal ethologist and conservationist Jane Goodall, Ph.D., distinguished stateswoman Madeleine Albright and award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns will headline the University at Buffalo's 15th annual Distinguished Speakers Series.

UB and the Don Davis Auto World Lectureship Fund will present the 2001-02 series. UB's undergraduate Student Association is the series sponsor.

Goodall, one of the best-known and most highly respected scientists and educators in the world, will kick off the series at 8 p.m. Oct. 10. in Alumni Arena on the UB North (Amherst) Campus. Her lecture will be sponsored by the Buffalo Zoo Women's Board.

Albright, the United States' 64th Secretary of State, is regarded by many as one of the greatest statespersons in American history. She will speak at 8 p.m. Nov. 15 in Alumni Arena. The UB Division of Student Affairs will sponsor her lecture.

On March 13 at 8 p.m., UB will present as part of the series an address by its annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Commemorative Speaker, whose name will be announced. The talk will take place in the Mainstage theater in the Center for the Arts on the UB North Campus. Previous King lecturers have included Sidney Poitier, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Bernice and Martin Luther King III, Danny Glover, Johnnie Cochran, Reatha Clark, Harry Belafonte and Morris Dees.

Ken Burns, filmmaker, historian, and director and executive producer of the highly acclaimed 1990 PBS series, "The Civil War" and other distinguished historical films, will speak at 8 p.m. April 24 in the Mainstage theater. The UB School of Management Alumni Association will sponsor his talk.

See the backgrounder, below, for more information on Goodall, Albright and Burns.

Affiliate series sponsors of the Distinguished Speakers Series are the University Bookstores, WNED-TV and WBFO 88.7 FM, the National Public Radio affiliate operated by UB. Contributing series sponsors are the UB Alumni Association, UB Center for the Arts, Buffalo-Niagara Marriott, BAV Services and the Western New York Independent Living Project, Inc.

Series subscriptions and tickets to individual lectures can be purchased at the Center for the Arts Ticket Office, 645-ARTS. Tickets to individual lectures also may be purchased at any TicketMaster location or by calling TicketMaster at 852-5000. Groups of 10 or more receive a discount on ticket purchases; call 645-6147 ext. 228 for further information.

UB 2001-02 Distinguished Speaker Series Backgrounders

Jane Goodall

As a little girl, she claims to have dreamed of living like Tarzan and Dr. Doolittle -- talking to animals, living with them. Today, Jane Goodall is, in fact, known best for her 40 years of research into wild chimpanzee behavior and social relations. She also has earned a worldwide reputation for her commitment to social and environmental concerns.

Her extraordinary life as a scientist and conservationist included a close association with famed paleontologist Louis Leakey. Her decades of research in Tanzania's Gombe Stream Reserve Research Center, where she has served as scientific director since 1967, continues to make revolutionary inroads into our understanding of animal behavior and human evolution.

Goodall received a Ph.D. in ethology from Cambridge University in 1967 and is the author of scores of papers published in international scholarly journals and National Geographic magazine. She has further explicated her work in two books, "In the Shadow of Man" (1983) and "Reason for Hope" (1999). Among her hundreds of international awards is the 1994 J. Paul Getty Wildlife Conservation Prize, which she received for "helping millions...understand the importance of wildlife conservation to life on this planet."

Goodall expanded her global outreach and educational mission in 1977 when she co-founded the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation to provide ongoing support for her field research on wild chimpanzees. The institute operates projects throughout the world and, among other things, educates young people to appreciate and help conserve animals great and small.

Whatever her remarkable accomplishments, however, Goodall's heart belongs in large part to the chimps. She has written five children's books on chimpanzees, and through the institute, directs the Chimpanzee Guardian Project. She also is deeply involved in Roots & Shoots, the institute's worldwide youth environmental conservation program that numbers more than 1,000 chapters in 50 nations throughout the world. UB's Center for the Advancement of Technologies in Education is collaborating with the Goodall Institute to further develop and enhance the Roots & Shoots program through the use of digital educational technologies.

Madeleine Albright

The United States' 64th Secretary of State is known for her insight, ingenuity and savvy -- tools with which she has been able to bridge the divides of race, nationality, religion and gender. Her reputation as one of the country's most distinguished statespersons was forged in such contested regions as Kosovo, the Middle East and East Timor.

Albright was the first woman to serve as U.S. secretary of state and is the highest-ranking female in the history of American governance. A native of Czechoslovakia, Albright moved here when the U.S. granted her family political asylum after her father, a Czech diplomat, was condemned to death in absentia by the Communist government of Czechoslovakia. He went on to direct the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Colorado.

Albright received a bachelor's degree with honors in political science from Wellesley College and attended the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. She received a certificate from Columbia University's Russian Institute, and earned her master's and doctorate from Columbia's Department of Public Law and Government.

Fluent in French and Czech, Albright also speaks and reads in Russian and Polish. Selected writings include "Poland: The Role of the Press in Political Czechoslovakia, 1968" and "The Soviet Diplomatic Service: Profile of an Elite."

She is the former president of the Center for National Policy and taught in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. A fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, she also served as a senior fellow in Soviet and Eastern European Affairs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies analyzing developments in eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

Albright was nominated by President Bill Clinton in December 1996 to become the nation's 64th secretary of state, succeeding Warren Christopher. Unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she was sworn into office on Jan. 23, 1997. As secretary of state, she served as Clinton's principal adviser on foreign policy, conducted negotiations related to U.S. foreign affairs, and was a member of the National Security Council.

Prior to her service as secretary of state, Albright was the permanent U.S. representative to the United Nations.

Ken Burns

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns is the director and executive producer of several stunning PBS series: "The Civil War" (1990), "Baseball" (1994), "Thomas Jefferson" (1996), "The West" (1996), "Frank Lloyd Wright" (1998 with Lynn Novick) and "JAZZ" (2000).

We can be grateful for the quality of his work, since historian Stephan Ambrose has said that more Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source.

After earning his bachelor's degree at Hampshire College, the Brooklyn-born Burns formed Florentine Films in his home base of Walpole, N.H. Dissatisfied with dry, scholarly historical documentaries, Burns wanted his films to "live." To that end he adopted the technique of cutting rapidly from one still picture to another in a fluid, linear fashion.

He then pepped up the visuals with "first hand" narration gleaned from contemporary writings and recited by top stage and screen actors. Burns' first successful venture was the award-winning documentary "The Brooklyn Bridge," which ran on public television in 1981.

Although that film was later released in theaters and received a 1985 Oscar nomination, Burns' work has enjoyed its widest exposure on television. His early work includes such films as "Huey Long" (1985), "Thomas Hart Benton" (1986) and "Empire of the Air" (1991), about the pioneers of commercial radio. They are so popular they have become staples of local PBS stations' seasonal fund drives.

In 1990, Burns completed his Emmy award-winning, 11-hour Civil War series, which became the highest-rated miniseries in the history of public television. "The Civil War" was the apotheosis of Burns' master mixture of still photos, freshly shot film footage, period music, evocative "celebrity" narration and authentic sound effects. Forty million viewers watched the series, which won more than 40 major film and television awards.

In 1994, Ken Burns released his long-awaited "Baseball," an 18-hour saga that drew 45 million viewers and received an Emmy, among several other major awards. It was followed by the exceptional award-winning documentary series cited above. He currently is at work on a documentary about author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as "Mark Twain."

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