The Vanderbilt University Speakers Committee has the responsibility of enhancing the quality of student life and the Vanderbilt educational experience by attracting and presenting distinguished speakers to the University. The programs of the Speakers Committee seek to encourage thoughtful reflection and dialogue on contemporary issues in order to promote and strengthen the intellectual environment at Vanderbilt. We achieve this by inviting speakers throughout the year who are entertaining, diverse, and accomplished in their fields. One of our most important events is the IMPACT Symposium, which has been a tradition at Vanderbilt since 1964. This is an annual multi-day symposium in which speakers are invited to discuss current events and topics of a controversial nature.
Tickets for this event are FREE for Vanderbilt students, faculty, and staff, and are $10 for the general public. All events take place at 7pm in Langford Auditorium. Tickets are available on TicketWeb. Note: each night requires a separate ticket.
This symposium is sponsored by the Vanderbilt Programming Board Speakers Committee, an organization of undergraduate students dedicated to enhancing the quality of student life and the Vanderbilt educational experience through attracting and presenting distinguished speakers to the university.
Hip hop artist and actor Common is one Tony Award away from becoming an EGOT—Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony—winner. And that’s not counting his Golden Globe or any of the other numerous awards he’s won. Throughout his career he has used his art as a platform to change people’s perspectives, promote more diverse narratives, and encourage people to move. At the podium, Common motivates audiences to nurture the dreams of the young, overcome adversity, and address the persistent hope that lives within us all. Compassionate, mindful, and driven to inspire, Common reminds audiences that we all have a voice—and we must speak out.
Hunter Schafer is an actress and artist best known for playing ‘Jules Vaughn’ in HBO’s Emmy-Award Winning series EUPHORIA. Hunter most recently starred in a special episode of the hit series which she co-wrote and co-executive produced with series creator Sam Levinson during quarantine. Before landing the role of Jules, Schafer worked as a fashion model for popular brands such as ‘Calvin Klein,’ ‘Dior,’ ‘Helmut Lang,’ ‘Maison Margiela,’ ‘Marc Jacobs,’ ‘Miu Miu,’ ‘Vera Wang,’ ‘Versace,’ and ‘Rick Owens.’ Schafer has appeared on the cover page of many popular magazines, including ‘Porter’ ‘V’ ‘Allure’ and ‘Dazed.’ Teen Vogue Nominated Hunter for its 2017 ‘21 Under 21’ list.
PAST SPEAKER EVENTS
|1964||The South in Transition||Ralph McGill
James J. Kirkpatrick
|1965||Democratic Responsibility||Winthrop Rockefeller
|1966||America’s New Global Challenge||Barry Goldwater
|1967||Individual in American Society||Martin Luther King Jr.
|1968||The Resting of Dissent||Julian Bond
Robert F. Kennedy
William F. Buckley Jr.
|1969||The Emerging Generation||McGeorge Bundy
|1970||The Struggle to Communicate||James J. Kilpatrick
|1971||Technology and Social Change||George McGovern
|1977||America’s role in its Third Century||Omar Bradley
|1978||The Destiny of the South||Thomas B. “Bert” Lance
|1979||Towards Global Unity||George HW Bush
|1980||The Election: America’s Leadership Decision||Tom Brokaw
|1981||American Foreign Policy: New Directions For the 80s||William H. Sullivan
|1982||Conservatism: A Mandate from the People||Gary Hart
|1983||Technology and Society: Contemporary Perspectives on Progress||Al Gore
|1984||The Private Sector: Is it Governmental Business||Jerry Brown
|1985||Media Under Fire: The Rights and Responsibilities of the Media||Sam Donaldson
|1986||The Next Move: Conflict or Compromise in East/West Relations||Jimmy Carter
|1987||The Regan Era and Beyond: Looking Back to Look Ahead||William Proxmire
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
Hodding Carter III
|1988||Global Leadership: Does America Have the Edge||Jean Kirkpatrick
|1989||Battle on the Homefront: Preserving the American Dream||Jesse Jackson
|1990||Freedom: The Popular Mandate in Eastern Europe||James Schlesinger|
|1991||Democracy in Distress: America Ideals on Trial||William Bennett
|1992||Campaign ’92: Will Rhetoric Become Reality||Oliver North
|1993||America: Challenged to Change||Jack Kemp
|1994||The New World Order: Will America Find its Role?||Oscar Arias
|1995||The First Hundred Days: A New Direction||Mario Cuomo
|1996||From Bosnia to Beyond: The International Response||Margaret Thatcher
Edward L. Warner III
|1997||Education: Leading the United States into the 21st Century||Lamar Alexander
|1998||Campaigning in America: Renewing Democracy for the 21st Century||Bob Dole
|1999||Challenges of a Changing World||Colin Powell
|2000||Violence America’s Response||John Walsh
|2001||Will the White House Ever be the Same||James Carville
|2002||The Steel of American Resolve||Norman Schwarzkopf
Thomas Von Essen
|2003||The Political Divide||General Barry McCaffrey
|2004||The Media’s Election: The Influence of the Media on the 2004 Presidential Election||J.C. Watts
|2005||Visions of America||Al Sharpton
|2006||Disappearing Borders||Peter Brimelow
|2007||The Political Landscape||Lou Dobbs
Harold Ford Jr.
|2008||Middle East Meets West||Ayaan Hirsi Ali
|2009||Diplomacy in the New Millennium||Madeleine Albright
|2010||The Future of Capitalism||Ralph Nadar
|2011||Bridging the Gap: America’s Middle Class||Arianna Huffington
|2012||The Rise of the Rest: What is the Future of American Foreign Policy||Lamar Alexander
|2013||Dimensions of Peace and Conflict||Ehud Barak
|2014||Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: Defining Civil Rights and Responsibilities||Gen. Colin Powell
|2015||How You See It: Perceptions of (In)Equality||Anna Deavere Smith
Stephen A. Smith
|2016||The Struggle for Success: Is America Dreaming?||Azar Nafisi
|2017||The Time is Now: What Message Will We Send?||Van Jones
|2019||Who Are Our Heroes?||Ava DuVernay
|2020||Cancelled – COVID||Steve Wozniak