We're still a couple of weeks out from the start of school — N.C. A&T, UNCG and GTCC don't start fall-semester classes until the week of Aug. 19 — but the speaker season will begin sooner than that.
And while I'm at it, I'll mention some of the bigger events already on the calendar for 2019-20. Here goes:
Aug. 14: High Point University President Nido Qubein will hold back-to-back discussions with a pair of VIPs: Bob Brown, a business management consultant and chairman of HPU's Board of Trustees (8:30 a.m.), and Duke University President Vincent Price (10:30 a.m.). Both conversations will take place in the Hayworth Fine Arts Center on campus. For free tickets, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (336) 841-4636.
Aug. 29: N.C. A&T English professor and novelist (and former N&R editor) Valerie Nieman will read from her latest book, "To the Bones" (7 p.m., Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro). Click here for more about the book and the event.
Aug. 29: Novelist Xhenet Aliu will read from her fiction at UNCG (7 p.m., UNCG Faculty Center). Her latest is "Brass" (2018). Aliu will join UNCG's creative writing faculty in the fall. A book signing follows. Click here for more details about the event.
And here's what you have to look forward to once the school year gets going:
The Guilford College Bryan Series kicks off Sept. 10 with former first lady Laura Bush. Other speakers for the 2019-20 season include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer (Oct. 2), historian Doris Kearns Goodwin (Nov. 12), actress Sally Field (March 24) and novelist Colson Whitehead (April 23). It's a transitional year for the Bryan Series, which is planning to move from the Greensboro Coliseum to the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts. Season subs are on sale now; tickets for individual events went on sale Friday. Click here for speaker bios and ticket information.
The UNCG Concert & Lecture Series will have six events in 2019-20. It'll start with Nick Cave (the American visual and performing artist, not the Australian alt-rock singer) on Sept. 26 and wrap up with April 9 with Daveed Diggs, the actor best known for his dual roles of Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette in "Hamilton." For a complete schedule and ticket information, click here.
The Elon University Speaker Series will start its 2019-20 season next month with Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She'll speak at Fall Convocation on Sept. 27 (3:30 p.m., Schar Center at Elon). Tickets are available Aug. 19; call (336) 278-5610. Other events in this year's speaker series are Preet Bharara, former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York (Oct. 10 at the Carolina Theatre in Greensboro); Emmy-winning actress Sonia Manzano, best known for her role of Maria on "Sesame Street" (Jan. 14 at Elon); and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales (April 7 at Elon). Click here for a full schedule and speaker bios.
The 15th annual Bookmarks books and authors festival runs from Sept. 5-8 in Winston-Salem. The keynote speaker is Casey Cep, author of "Furious Hours," an account of a true-crime courtroom drama that also attempts to explain why Harper Lee wrote nothing after "To Kill A Mockingbird." A jam-packed Saturday schedule includes a few authors and panelists with North Carolina higher ed connections. Click here for a full schedule, ticket info and more details.
Finally, keep your eye on the Chancellor's Speaker Series and Town Hall Series at N.C. A&T. There's no 2019-20 lineup, but the speakers over the past couple of years have been well known. Here's the link to the A&T's speaker and town hall series website.