Monica Lewinsky highlights 5-speaker Purdue Fort Wayne lecture series

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Purdue Fort Wayne has announced the lineup for its 2021-2022 Omnibus Speaker Series.

The 26th season of the lecture series will feature Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern who was flung into the national spotlight for an affair with then-President Bill Clinton. Other speakers include international security affairs expert Tom Nichols, Fort Wayne native and best-selling author Ashley C. Ford, former GOP chairman and current MSNBC analyst Michael Steele, and longtime broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff.

The lecture series was not held last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are so pleased to present such a wonderful lineup of speakers this season,” says Jerry Lewis, vice chancellor for communications and marketing. “Our theme – Inspiring Fresh and Diverse Thoughts – is appropriate considering the distinctive personalities and areas of expertise of our speakers. We wanted to bring in speakers who not only appeal to our audiences, but who have compelling messages to share with our students and our community.”


Tom Nichols, who has spent much of his life becoming an expert on international security affairs, now finds himself defending experts and warning how aggressively rejecting expertise endangers our republic. Nichols’ presentation is called “Defending Experts in an Anti-Factual Age.”


New York Times best-selling author Ashley C. Ford visits her hometown Thursday, Nov. 4. She will discuss her debut memoir, Somebody’s Daughter, a story of reckoning with your past to take hold of your future and of finding love for those you have yet to forgive.


While in her twenties, Monica Lewinsky unwittingly became a household name and victim of public harassment and bullying. She has since become a social activist in the battle against online harassment – advocating for a safer social media environment. She recently served as a producer for the acclaimed TV series Impeachment: AmericanCrime Story that chronicles her experiences in Washington. She will present “The Price of Shame,” Tuesday, Jan. 25.


Michael Steele broke barriers by becoming Maryland’s Lt. Governor in 2003, its first African American elected to a state-wide office, and again in 2009 when he became the chairman of the Republican National Committee. Currently an analyst for MSNBC, Steele has appeared on Meet the PressFace the Nation, HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. He will present “The Political Scene According to Steele,” Thursday, Feb. 17.


Judy Woodruff is a well-respected journalist who has spent five decades reporting for NBC, CNN, and PBS. She has been White House correspondent, chief Washington correspondent, and anchored numerous programs, including the award-winning documentary series Frontline with Judy Woodruff. In 2013, she, along with the late Gwen Ifill, broke boundaries as they became the first two women to co-anchor a national news broadcast, PBS NewsHour. “A Conversation with Judy Woodruff” takes place Thursday, March 24.

Each lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Auer Performance Hall of the John and Ruth Rhinehart Music Center on the Purdue Fort Wayne campus.

Admission to the Omnibus Speaker Series is free and open to the public. Tickets will be available on-campus at the Schatzlein Box Office, located in the main lobby of the Rhinehart Music Center, starting two weeks before each event. You can also reserve tickets online here.

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