Jan. 24 | 5 Years of the Frederick Speaker Series

The Frederick Speaker Series is turning 5! With the 2017 lineup kicking off in just a few short days, we’re taking a moment to look back on four seasons of illuminating insights, spirited conversations, and stimulating ideas.

Untitled design (2)The Frederick Speaker Series launched in 2013 with Cal Ripken Jr., a favorite of many O’s fans in our community and beyond. The baseball legend spoke about his work in youth baseball, the night he broke Lou Gehrig’s major league record, and the 1983 World Series (hint: the Orioles won!). Over the past four years, the series has brought 17 prominent individuals to Frederick – including a 2-for-1 last season with long-time friends and actors Marlee Matlin and Henry Winkler, who engaged in poignant and hilarious conversation in both English and ASL that made for quite the memorable night!

Untitled design (3)From sports icons (like Ripken and former Ravens head coach Bryan Billick) to scientific minds (like pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson and renowned physicist Dr. Michio Kaku), the series aims to engage audiences via a diverse, timely range of topics and ideas. NBC journalist Tom Brokaw mused on the past, present, and future, weaving current events with personal anecdotes and his hopes for the millennial generation. “Star Trek” alum George Takei advocated for LGBTQ equality and delved into his time spent as a child in Japanese internment camps. No matter the topic, we hope you agree that Frederick Speaker Series events continue to bring new viewpoints and conversations to the Frederick community.

So, what’s next for the celebrated series? The fifth season kicks off this Thursday with NBA all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who’s since launched a career off the court as a U.S. Cultural Ambassador, author, and activist. Abduction survivor Elizabeth Smart, real-life “Concussion” doctor Bennet Omalu, and Bill Nye the Science Guy make up the rest of the dynamic 2017 lineup.

Untitled design (4)Meet-and-greets remain a beloved facet of the Frederick Speaker Series experience, with 100% of the profits benefitting children’s programming at Frederick County Public Libraries. If you’re a fan, there’s nothing quite like snapping a picture with your favorite speaker…  all for a good cause! Just remember, these exclusive tickets sell quickly, so grab yours before they’re gone.

Perhaps Takei himself summed it up most succinctly, in a Frederick News-Post interview prior to his speaking engagement: “Our society… seems to divide when we have so much that is common ground. Life can be so much more engaging if you see that common ground.” And there’s no doubt that the Frederick Speaker Series and its sponsors are proud to foster conversation and common ground, right in your backyard. Over 14,000 patrons have attended a Frederick Speaker Series event… now all we need is you!


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