Speakers and Lecturers

Schaff Lecture on Ethics and Morals:

2017-18 Angie Thomas
best-selling author, The Hate U Give

2016-17 Jeremy Schaap
award-winning sports journalist

2015-16 Matthew Vines
author/expert on homosexuality and Christian tradition

2014-15 Sheryl WuDunn
Pulitzer Prize-winning author, business executive

2013-14 Shabana Basij-Rasikh
founder of School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA)

2012-13 Lisa Shannon
activist for human-rights crisis in Africa

2011-12 Reza Aslan
Middle East expert; author of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

2010-11 Josh Shipp
Teen expert, TV personality, author; inspires teens to make good choices and understand ramifications of their actions and behavior

2009-10 Jonah Lehrer
bestselling author (How We Decide), psychologist, contributing editor at Wired magazine

2008-09 Rick Ufford-Chase
former moderator of Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) general assembly; founded BorderLinks, an organization that works for understanding/respect surrounding immigration issues in the American Southwest; owns retreat center in New York State dedicated to tolerance and nonviolence

2007-08 Stephen Prothero
author/professor (Religious Literacy), expert on history of religion in the U.S.

Ammerman Family Lecture:

2017-18 Robert Sapolsky
science/nature writer, MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, author of books on stress/biology/depression/religion

2016-17 Miřenka Čechová
award-winning Czech director and actress; performed her one-woman play The Voice of Anne Frank

2015-16 Richard Blanco
award-winning poet; chosen to perform at 2013 U.S. presidential inauguration

2014-15 James McBride
bestselling author (The Color of Water, The Good Lord Bird), jazz musician

2013-14 Robert Sapolsky
science/nature writer, MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, author of books on stress/biology/depression/religion

2012-13 Billy Collins
former U.S. Poet Laureate

2011-12 Nicole Krauss
author, The History of Love

2010-11 Edward Hirsch
poet/author, president of Guggenheim Foundation, former head of creative writing at University of Houston

2009-10 Robert Sapolsky
science/nature writer, MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, author of books on stress/biology/depression/religion

Jacobs Residency Lecture:

2017-18 Tiffany Shlain
filmmaker and technology entrepreneur

2016-17 Bryant Terry
chef, author, and and food justice activist

2015-16 Jessica Jackley
entrepreneur and social activist

2014-15 Marshall Davis Jones
poet/spoken-word artist

2013-14 Erik Wahl
artist/speed-painter, author (Unthink), entrepreneur

2012-13 Jonathan Haidt
bestselling author (The Righteous Mind)/social psychologist

Class of ’48 Lecture:

2015-16 David C. Taylor
Emmy/Peabody Award-winning filmmaker and documentary producer

2014-15 Mario Livio

2013-14 Paul Tough
bestselling author (How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character)

2012-13 Andrew Bacevich

2011-12 William Kamkwamba
author (The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind)/inventor

Other recent speakers/performers/guests:

Madeleine Albright
former U.S. Secretary of State

Philip Glass
influential 20th-century American composer

Andrew Young
former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, former mayor of Atlanta, civil rights activist, adviser to Martin Luther King Jr.

Jessica Lahey
author of The Gift of Failure

Derrick Gay
internationally recognized consultant on issues of diversity, inclusion, and global citizenship

Scott Barry Kauffman
author and scientific director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Imagination Institute

Peggy Ornstein
author, Girls and Sex

JoAnn Deak
author, educator, and psychologist

John Medina
scientist and author of Brain Rules

Jonathan Shay
expert in treatment of war veterans, author (Achilles in Vietnam)

Donte Hickman
Baltimore pastor; influential voice in response to 2015 Freddie Gray riots

Laurence Steinberg
author of Age of Opportunity and one of the world’s leading experts on adolescence

Immaculée Ilibagiza
survivor of 1994 Rwandan genocide, now a best-selling author and speaker

Jonny Dubowsky
musician/environmental activist

David Jeffrey
TV/film producer (credits include FOX drama Bones)

Tony Campolo
pastor, sought-after American voice on religion

Hooman Majd
author, journalist (New York Times, GQ, Salon.com), entertainment executive (has worked with U2, Melissa Etheridge)

Frank Deford
author (Everybody’s All-American), sports commentator (Sports Illustrated, NPR’s Morning Edition, Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel)

Lorenzo Neal
former National Football League player

Reggie Love
former special assistant to President Barack Obama

Deke Sharon
Musician, a cappella music executive, and producer

The American Boychoir
Founded in 1893 in the heart of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, Mercersburg is a private, coed, college preparatory boarding school with approximately 435 students (15 percent are day), grades 9-12 and postgraduate.
We offer 170 courses, including AP and Honors, more than $7 million in financial aid, 26 varsity sports, and a state-of-the-art performing and visual arts center.
Located 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and within easy driving distance of New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.
300 East Seminary Street, Mercersburg, PA 17236
GPS Address: 10951 Buchanan Trail West, Mercersburg, PA 17236