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Chancellor’s Lecture Series


The Vanderbilt Chancellor’s Lecture Series strives to connect the university and the Nashville community with leaders and visionaries who are shaping our world. For more information about the series, email


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Upcoming Events:

Stacey Abrams, minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives (2011-2017) and Democratic nominee for 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 | 6:30 p.m. | Langford Auditorium

Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

This event is sold out. The wait list will become active starting at noon on Wednesday, March 13 and will close 5 p.m. Friday, March 15. Members of the wait list will be alerted of their ticketing status by 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 18 (24 hours prior to event).

Stacey Abrams will visit campus for a full day of activities and a one-on-one moderated discussion with Chancellor Zeppos.

Abrams, the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives (2011-2017), made headlines last year by becoming first black female gubernatorial nominee of a major U.S. political party. Earlier this month, Abrams delivered the nationally televised Democratic response to the State of the Union address. Considered by many as a rising star in the Democratic party, Abrams will share about her experiences on the campaign trail and her current grassroots efforts around voting rights in America.

Join the wait list

The Honorable Barney Frank, former U.S. Congressman (MA-4, 1981-2013) and Bob Kaiser, former Washington Post journalist and author

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 | 6:30 p.m. | Langford Auditorium

Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

This is a non-ticketed event open to the public. Guests can confirm their attendance on the CLS website at a later date.

The series has partnered with The Center for Effective Lawmaking to bring former congressman Barney Frank and former Washington Post journalist Bob Kaiser to campus for a discussion about the U.S. legislative process on Wednesday, April 10.

Frank, who represented Massachusetts’s fourth district from 1981-2013, worked with former U.S. senator Chris Dodd on a signature piece of legislation, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed in 2010. He was also one of the first openly gay members of congress. Kaiser followed Frank and Dodd as they wrote and passed the Dodd-Frank act, using this unique access to pen his 2013 book entitled Act of Congress: How America’s Essential Institution Works, and How It Doesn’t. They will be joined on stage by Zeppos and Jon Meacham, the Carolyn T. and Robert M. Rogers Chair and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Political Science.


Mae Jemison, scientist, educator and first African-American woman in space and The Honorable Rush Holt, physicist and former U.S. Congressman (NJ-12, 1999-2015)

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 | 6:30 p.m. | Langford Auditorium

Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

This is a non-ticketed event open to the public. Guests can confirm their attendance on the CLS website at a later date.

Science advocacy and innovation will be the theme of the final lecture of the season, set to take place on Tuesday, April 30.

Mae Jemison, an accomplished educator, engineer, entrepreneur and physician that is also first African-American woman in space, and Rush Holt, physicist and former U.S. Congressman of New Jersey’s 12th district (1999-2015) and chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, will sit down with Zeppos to discuss the new frontiers of scientific thought and the importance of the STEM fields for America’s progress.




To view more videos, click the playlist icon near the upper left of the video.

Additional lecture archives >>

Previous Lecture Speakers Include:

Robert M. Gates Robert M. Gates
22nd U.S. Secretary of Defense
(2006-11); 15th Director of
Central Intelligence (1991-93)
Vice President Joe Biden Vice President Joe Biden
47th Vice President of the United States (2009-2017)
Chris Matthews Chris Matthews
Host, Hardball on MSNBC
Bestselling Author, Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit
Patrick J. Kennedy The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy
March 13, 2018 | Watch video >>
Carly Fiorina Carly Fiorina
Jelani Cobb
Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism at Columbia University
Admiral James Stavridis
16th Supreme Allied Commander at NATO
Sally Yates
Former Acting United States Attorney General
The Honorable Alberto Gonzales
Former United States Attorney General
Nina Totenberg
National Public Radio Legal Affairs Correspondent
Michael Sam
Former NFL Player
Nia Malika Henderson
CNN Senior Political Reporter
Charles Krauthammer
Pulitzer Prize-winning Syndicated Columnist
and Commentator
Peggy Noonan
The Wall Street Journal Columnist
Award for Media Excellence Recipient
Eugene Robinson
Pulitzer Prize-winning Columnist
The Washington Post and MSNBC Political Analyst
Harry Belafonte
Civil and human rights activist
Michael Beschloss
Award-winning historian
Annette Gordon-Reed
Pulitzer Prize-winning legal scholar and historian
The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Former United States Attorney General