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Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Sheryl WuDunn to open The Forum; Ticket sales begin June 9

June 2, 2014
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Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Sheryl WuDunn will open The Forum season Oct. 16.

EAU CLAIRE — Tickets will go on sale June 9 for the 73rd season of The Forum at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The 2014-15 season of the distinguished lecture series will open Oct. 16 with a presentation by Sheryl WuDunn, the first Asian-American reporter to win a Pulitzer Prize.

WuDunn is a business executive and best-selling author who works with entrepreneurs in new media, media technology and social enterprise at a small investment banking boutique in New York City. She and her husband, columnist Nicholas Kristof, are the authors of "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide" (2009). The New York Times best-seller focuses on the challenges facing women around the world and how Americans are building direct connections with social entrepreneurs to help create solutions for women in the developing economy. "Half the Sky" inspired a PBS documentary series in 2012.

WuDunn and Kristof received the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for their coverage of China's Tiananmen Square democracy movement in 1989, becoming the first married couple ever to receive a Pulitzer Prize for journalism. Named one of Newsweek's 150 Women Who Shake the World (2011) and Fast Company magazine's League of Extraordinary Women (2012), WuDunn was included in the 2013 PBS program "Makers: Women Who Make America".

Her presentation — titled "Half the Sky: Female Equality" — will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium. The program is the first of five Forum events scheduled for the 2014-15 season. The following also will be presented:

  • Bob Harris, "The International Bank of Bob," Nov. 4, Schofield Auditorium, 7:30 p.m. Bob Harris is an author, comedian and "Jeopardy!" champion who was hired in 2008 by Forbes Travel Guide to help compile its annual list of the world's finest accommodations. Overwhelmed by the contrast between rich and poor, Harris found his way to Kiva.org, a portal through which individuals make microloans all over the world. For as little as $25 and $50, businesses are financed and people are uplifted. Astonished at the 99 percent repayment rate, Harris reloaned the money to others over and over again. His original $20,000 has now been loaned and repaid more than six times over, helping fund more than 5,200 businesses from Peru and Bosnia to Rwanda and Cambodia.

  • Alan Page, "Mentoring and Role Models: Two Things Students Cannot Live Without," Dec. 3, Schofield Auditorium, 7:30 p.m. Minnesota's first African-American Supreme Court Justice, Alan Page was elected to the court in 1992 after serving as an assistant attorney general. He is renowned for his former career as a professional football player, particularly for his defensive efforts with the Minnesota Vikings in the 1970s. While playing football, he became a full-time law student at the University of Minnesota and earned his law degree in 1978. He used his 1988 induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame to launch the Page Education Foundation, which encourages minority and other disadvantaged youth to pursue postsecondary education. Financial assistance is granted to college students who, in return, work with elementary school students as tutors, mentors and role models.

  • Temple Grandin, "Different Kinds of Minds Contribute to Society," Feb. 17, Schofield Auditorium, 7:30 p.m. A passionate and influential advocate for the humane treatment of animals, Temple Grandin is the world's most accomplished and well-known adult with high-functioning autism. The 2010 HBO movie based on her life, starring Claire Danes, received seven Emmy Awards. Grandin thinks in pictures rather than words and is hypersensitive to noise and other sensory stimuli. She did not talk until she was nearly 4 years old, communicating instead by screaming, peeping and humming. Blessed with determined parents and good teachers and mentors, she was placed in a structured nursery school and, later, a special boarding school with dairy cows and horses. "Animals saved me," Grandin said. She went on to academic success, earning a degree in psychology and a doctorate in animal science. A professor of animal science at Colorado State University since 1990, Grandin has used the insights gained from her autism to revolutionize the livestock industry.

  • Mark Lynas, "GMOs are Green: How an Environmentalist Changed His Mind on Biotechnology," April 8, Schofield Auditorium, 7:30 p.m. Mark Lynas is a British author, journalist and environmental activist who frequently speaks about climate science and policy. His books include "Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet" (2007), winner of the Royal Society Prize for science writing and adapted for a National Geographic Channel special. Lynas parted company with many in the environmental community in 2010 when he became an advocate for genetically modified crops that he believes offer benefits to health, food security and environmental susceptibility.

Established in 1942, The Forum continues its tradition of presenting many of the world's greatest minds and imaginations. A typical Forum includes a 60-minute lecture, a 30-minute question-and-answer session and an open reception.

Ticket sales begin June 9 at the Service Center in the east lobby of Davies Center, 715-836-3727. Season subscriptions are available for 25 percent off the single-ticket price.

Tickets for individual Forum events are $8 for the public; $6 for those age 62 and older and UW System or Chippewa Valley Technical College faculty and staff; and $4 for those age 17 and younger and UW System or CVTC students. Student tickets are half price, $2, until the day of the event. On the day of the event, students must pay the full student ticket price.

Patrons may charge their tickets to Discover, MasterCard or Visa when they purchase online or order by phone. Call 715-836-3727 or, outside the immediate Eau Claire area, call toll-free 800-949-UWEC. A $3 handling fee will be added to all online and telephone charge orders.

The Forum is funded by the students of UW-Eau Claire and administered by the Activities, Involvement and Leadership office of the University Centers. Wisconsin Public Radio and Community Television have contributed generous promotional support.

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