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Our Speakers

Maxwell King
Maxwell King

"The Life and Work of Fred Rogers"
October 12, 2022

Fifty years ago the face of children`s television changed forever with the premiere of Mister Roger`s Neighborhood. The center and star of the show, Fred Rogers, was an enormously influential figure in the history of television and in the lives of tens of millions of children.

Maxwell King is the author of the first full length biography, The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers. He has created a definitive portrait of this beloved figure by drawing on original interviews, oral histories and archival documents. King was able to trace Roger`s personal, professional and artistic life through decades of work.

Maxwell King`s four-decade career includes the presidencies of two of the country`s largest philanthropies and the editorship of one of its most influential newspapers. From 1990 to 1998, King was editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer. During this period, the Inquirer was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the five best newspapers in America. From 1999-2008 he served as president of the Pittsburgh-based Heinz Endowments, he led the disbursement of about $500 million in grants to projects, organizations and initiatives. More recently he has joined The Pittsburgh Foundation as president and CEO

Sean Hartley
Sean Hartley

"Musicals That Changed Broadway"
November 9, 2022

Sean Hartley is the leading authority of the history of the Broadway musical. This lecture will present on an overview of Broadway musical history, with musical examples highlighting four revolutionary shows: Show Boat, Oklahoma, Company and Hamilton. The focus will be on why these four shows helped the musical to evolve from light entertainment to a thoroughly integrated work of art.

Sean Hartley is the director of [email protected], the musical theater division of the Kaufman Music Center. He curates, produces and often hosts the series Broadway Close Up and Broadway Playhouse. He is a frequent lecturer on Musical Theater for One Day University. As a lyricist, composer and/or playwright he has had numerous productions including Snow, which won the ASCAP Harold Arlen Award for Best New Musical.

His works for television include songs for the Disney Channel`s The Book of Pooh and Bear In The Big Blue House. His Theater works for Children include Number The Stars (adapted from the Newbury Medal book by Lois Lowry), Sunshine (based on a book by Ludwig Bemelmans , music by John O`Neill) and books by Bob Kolsby, Vashti! and Holy Moses!.

Tom Toro
Tom Toro

"Funny Ha-Huh: Cartoons That Make Us Laugh and Think"
April 12, 2023

Tom Toro`s insightful and hilarious cartoons have appeared in The New Yorker over 200 times in the last decade, many of them considered contemporary classics. His cartoons and illustrations also appear in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, American Bystander and elsewhere. Acclaim for his work has come from such legendary humorists as Garry Trudeau, Roz Chast, Barry Blitt and Andy Borowitz.

Toro`s has had numerous speaking appearances and has been interviewed by NPR, Sirius XM Radio`s Jill Kargman Show and the Kansas City Star. Viewers of Late Night with Seth Meyers were entertained one evening by a surprise live action dramatization of a Toro cartoon. He has written his very own graphic memoir Yes the Planet Got Destroyed (Or : How I Learned to Cartoon Through Catastrophe).

Tom Toro graduated cum Laude from Yale, Where he received the Betts Prize for literary work while also serving as captain of the national-champion lightweight rowing team and cartoon editor for the Yale Hearld.

Matthew Stanley
Matthew Stanley

"Remarkable Genius of Einstein"
May 10, 2023

Einstein`s name is synonymous with genius. His wild-haired, thoughtful-eyed face has become an icon of modern science. His ideas changed the way we see the universe, the meaning of truth, and the very limits of human knowledge. This presentation will examine how Einstein`s youthful philosophical questioning led to a revolution in science. It will look at this creation of special and general relativity, and particularly how these epochal theories emerged from his seeming simple questions about how we experience the world. Einstein`s elevation to worldwide fame was closely tied to political and social developments such as World War I, Zionism and the rise of Nazis. The picture we end up with is a figure both revolutionary and deeply traditional, emblematic of the modern age, and also profoundly uncomfortable with it.

Matthew Stanley teaches and researches the history and philosophy of science. He holds degrees in astronomy, religion, physics and the history of science. He is interested in the connections between science and wider culture and is the author is several books. Professor Stanley is part of a nationwide National Science Foundation-funded effort to use the humanities to improve science education in the college classroom. He held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study, the British Academy, and the Max Planck Institute. He currently runs the New York City History of Science Working Group. Professor Stanley was awarded a 2014-2015 Gallatin Dean`s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

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