Past Speakers

Since 1987, the Distinguished Speakers Series has expanded to include internationally renowned scientists, authors, media experts and other leaders from a multitude of fields—all of whom continue to bring thousands of people to UB each year.

Speakers By Year

Photo Highlights

Host of "Wildlife Nation," Jeff Corwin, showing the audience a baby sloth at the Center for the Arts on Apr. 5, 2022

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Creator of "The 1619 Project," Nikole Hannah-Jones, speaking at the Center for the Arts on Feb. 16, 2022

Gold Medal-Winning Gymnast, Aly Raisman, speaking at the Center for the Arts on Nov. 16, 2021

Virtual event with Tabitha Brown, Actress and Vegan Foodie, Apr. 14, 2021

Social Activist, Patrisse Cullors, speaks at a virtual event on Feb. 10, 2021

Tony Award-Winning Actor & Musician, Leslie Odom Jr., performed at a virtual event on Oct. 14, 2020

Daymond John in the Center for the Arts on Mar 11, 2020    

Lisa Genova (Neuroscientist and Bestselling Author of “Still Alice”) at the Center for the Arts on December 6, 2018

Peter Diamandis (Executive Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation) with the Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Tom Ulbrich, at the Center for the Arts on November 14, 2018

John Legend (Academy Award-Winning Songwriter, Singer, Musician, Producer, Philanthropist and Entrepreneur) at UB's Alumni Arena on December 3, 2015

John Oliver (Political Satirist and Star of HBO's "Last week Tonight with John Oliver") at Alumni Arena on December 3, 2014

David Blaine (Endurance Artist and World Renowned Magician) with audience members on stage at Alumni Arena on April 26, 2014