Distinguished Speaker Series

UNCP Campus Engagement and Leadership is pleased to present the return of the Distinguished Speaker Series. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for Faculty/Staff/Children. 

Order tickets online. (UNCP students must pick up tickets in person at the GPAC Box Office. A valid student ID must be presented. Limit 1 ticket per ID)

Jesse Cole

Jesse Cole
Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021

Cole is the owner of First Fans Entertainment and Savannah Bananas, a collegiate summer baseball team. His teams have welcomed more than one million fans to their ballparks and have been featured on MSNBC, CNN, ESPN, and Entrepreneur Magazine. The Savannah Bananas have been awarded Organization of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Business of the Year, and won the CPL Championship in their first year.  Fans First Entertainment has been featured on the INC 5000 lists as one of the fastest-growing companies in America. The Bananas currently have sold out every game since their first season and have a waiting list in the thousands for tickets.


Tommy Orange
Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Orange is the author of There There, a multi-generational, relentlessly paced story about a side of America few of us have ever seen: the lives of urban Native Americans. One of The New York Times' top books of 2018 and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, There There shows us violence and recovery, hope and loss, identity and power, dislocation and communion, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people. Orange talks about his craft, the writing process, and Native American history and culture, often in dynamic and frank in-conversation programs. Orange also wrote a piece for GQ Magazine about Indigenous film star, Wes Studi. 


Bakari Sellers
Monday, February 28, 2022

Sellers is an attorney, political commentator, and politician. He served in the South Carolina House of Representatives for the 90th District from 2006-2014. Sellers represented South Carolina's 90th district in the lower house of the state legislature from 2006 to 2014, becoming the youngest African American elected official in the country at age 22. He vacated his seat in the South Carolina House of Representatives to run for Lieutenant Governor in 2014 but lost to Henry McMaster. He was succeeded in the House by Justin T. Bamberg. Sellers is currently a political analyst on CNN. Bakari’s niece is a soccer player at UNCP. 


Megan Ranney, MD
Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Ranney is a practicing emergency physician, researcher, and advocate for innovative approaches to health. Her work focuses on the intersection between digital health, violence prevention and population health.  She is the Associate Dean of Strategy and Innovation for the School of Public Health, as well as founding director of the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health. She is co-founder and Senior Strategic Advisor to the American Foundation for Firearm Injury Reduction in Medicine at the Aspen Institute, which creates practical, scalable and immediate health-based solutions to reduce all forms of firearm-related injuries in the U.S.


Angeline Boulley
Monday, March 28, 2022

Boulley, an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, is a storyteller who writes about her Ojibwe community. Her debut and best-selling novel, Firekeeper's Daughter, is a groundbreaking thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community. Soon to be adapted at Netflix for TV with President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama's production company, Higher Ground. Most recently, she was the Director for the Office of Indian Education (OIE) at the U.S. Department of Education. Previously, she was her tribe’s Education Director/Assistant Executive Director and served on the Board of Regents at Bay Mills Community College.