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Sharp Viewpoint Series

Engaging Perspectives

University of Richmond
Engaging Perspectives

Diverse ideas.

Broad impact.

The University of Richmond is celebrating its commitment to advancing dialogue on topics crucial to the nation and global society with the 2017-18 Sharp Viewpoint Speakers Series. President Ronald A. Crutcher will engage prominent thought leaders with unique and different perspectives on hotly debated issues of our time, including free speech, immigration, and identity.

Previous Speakers

September 6, 2017 ▪ 7:30 p.m. ▪ Queally Center
Dr. Jeffrey Herbst
Former president and CEO of the Newseum
Forum on Freedom of Expression

Jeffrey Herbst is a scholar and the former president and CEO of the Newseum and the Newseum Institute. From 2010 to 2015, he was president of Colgate University. Previously he served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and professor of political science at Miami University in Ohio. For 18 years he taught at Princeton University, where he also earned a bachelor’s degree. He earned
a master’s degree and doctorate from Yale University. He is the author of the award-winning States and Power in Africa and, with co-author Greg Mills, Africa’s Third Liberation, as well as the recently published How South Africa Works and Must Do Better

Listen to the Discussion

Highlights: Forum on Freedom of Expression

October 11, 2017 ▪ 7 p.m. ▪ Queally Center
Virginia Gubernatorial Race
Ralph Northam, Virginia Lieutenant Governor
Ed Gillespie, Former Republican National Committee Chair
A Conversation with the Candidates

Ralph Northam is the current lieutenant governor of Virginia and Democratic candidate for governor in 2017. He has served as an Army doctor and business owner. He is a pediatric neurologist, and for 18 years he has volunteered as medical director for the Edmarc Hospice for Children in Portsmouth, where he cares for terminally ill children. He chairs the Commonwealth Council on Childhood Success and the Governor’s Task Force on Improving Mental Health Services and Crisis Response.

Ed Gillespie is a small business owner, former top White House and Capitol Hill aide, and 2017 Republican nominee for governor of Virginia. The son of an Irish immigrant, he grew up working in his parents’ grocery store. He started his career as a Senate parking lot attendant and worked his way up to Counselor to President George W. Bush. During his term as Chairman of the Republican National Committee, the party won the White House and Senate for the first time in 80 years.

Highlights: A Conversation with the Candidates

November 14, 2017 ▪ 7:30 p.m. ▪ Queally Center
Jose Antonio Vargas
Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist, Acclaimed Filmmaker, and Immigration Advocate
Identity in a Changing America

Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, filmmaker, and media entrepreneur whose work centers on the changing American identity. He is the founder and CEO of Define American, a nonprofit media and culture organization that seeks to elevate the conversation around immigration and citizenship in America. He also founded #EmergingUS, a multimedia news platform that focuses on race, immigration, and the complexities of multiculturalism. In June 2011, The New York Times Magazine published a groundbreaking essay he wrote in which he revealed and chronicles his life in America as an undocumented immigrant.

A reception will follow the event and will be open to all attendees.

March 22, 2018 ▪ 7 p.m. ▪ Queally Center
Karl Rove
Columnist, Political Strategist, and Former Deputy Chief of Staff to George W. Bush
Perspectives on Immigration

Karl Rove is an iconic political strategist and sought-after political pundit. He served as senior advisor to President George W. Bush from 2000–07 and deputy chief of staff from 2004–07. He writes a weekly op-ed for The Wall Street Journal and appears frequently on Fox News. He has been called a “master political strategist” by The Washington Post columnist David Broder and “the greatest political mind of his generation,” by Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard. He is the author of Courage and Consequence and The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1886 Still Matters.

A reception will follow the event and will be open to all attendees.

Mr. Rove’s appearance is made possible in part by Young America’s Foundation.

Highlights: Perspectives on Immigration

About The Sharp Viewpoint Speakers Series

The Sharp Viewpoint Speakers Series is a program of the Office of the President and the Richmond Scholars Program. The series was established in 2011 in honor of Richard L. Sharp, a nationally recognized entrepreneur, to present competing views on topics crucial to our nation and global society.

Sharp was a recognized thought leader and an exemplar of personal and professional integrity who served as a mentor to aspiring business and community leaders. Among his many professional roles, he served as president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board at Circuit City until 2002. Under his leadership, Circuit City developed into one of the nation’s Fortune 500 businesses. He also masterminded Circuit City’s venture into CarMax, which revolutionized the automotive retail industry, growing it into the nation’s largest retailer of previously owned cars. He retired as chairman of the board in June 2007. He also served as chairman of the board of Crocs, Inc. from 2005 to 2010.

He was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease in late 2010 but continued to demonstrate his values of leading by example, until his death in 2014, by helping shape the landscape of Virginia through his personal philanthropy, and by inspiring and motivating others to give back to their community.

Join the Conversation

Share your own perspective of the speaker’s viewpoints by mentioning @URichmond on Twitter or by using the hashtag #URsharp.