2015-2016

With over 17.4 million followers on Facebook and 5.1 million on Instagram, it's no surprise that Brandon Stanton, the photographer and writer behind "Humans of New York," has been called an Internet phenomenon. Named on Crain's New York's 2015 "40 Under 40" list, Stanton is one of today's most unique and influential storytellers, whose own story illustrates the power of the internet, the value of storytelling and our desire to remain connected with real people in our increasingly technology-driven world.

September 21, 2015
3:30 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Jackie Cruz has been singing and acting her whole life and has entertained thousands with her unique sound and artistic skills. Cruz recently vaulted to stardom with her role as Flaca on Netflix's number one rated series, "Orange is The New Black". Born in New York City, Cruz spent her childhood shuttling between New York, Los Angeles, the Dominican Republic and Miami, and often says that she carries a little piece of each city with her. Raised by her mother and her aunts, Cruz draws from the strength that allowed her to survive a near fatal car accident that almost left her paralyzed. Cruz overcame brain surgery, a coma and collapsed lung, but remained resolute in her determination not to let anything stand in the way of her dream to become a musician.

September 30, 2015
3:30 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Award winning journalist, Soledad O’Brien has established herself as one of the most recognized names in broadcasting, bringing wider exposure as storyteller to some of the most important issues and stories in the world through her coverage of breaking news, and critically-acclaimed documentary series, "Black in America" and "Latino in America".

In 2005 O’Brien and her husband started Starfish Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps bridge the gap of opportunities for young minority women from low-income families to attend college.

Soledad's memoir "The Next Big Story: My Journey through the Land of Possibilities" chronicles her biggest reporting moments and how her upbringing and background have influenced these experiences and was published in 2010.

November 5, 2015
3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Hill is one of the leading intellectual voices in the country. He is host of BET News and a political contributor for CNN. He is the former host of the nationally syndicated television show "Our World with Black Enterprise" and the inaugural host of "Huff Post Live", as well as a  former political contributor to Fox News Channel. An award-winning journalist, Hill has received numerous prestigious awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, GLAAD and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

33rd Annual MLK Commemoration
January 21, 2016
4 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Dr. David Satcher M.D. is director of The Satcher Health Leadership Institute, which was established in 2006, at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors of Johnson and Johnson, MetLife and the CDC Foundation. He also serves locally on the board of United Way of Greater Atlanta and The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.

In 1998, Satcher was sworn in as the 16th Surgeon General of the United States. He also served as assistant secretary for health in the Department of Health and Human Services from February 1998 to January 2001, making him only the second person in history to have held both positions simultaneously.

Dolvett Quince is a force of nature. As a veteran health and fitness expert and one of the star trainers on "The Biggest Loser," Quince has dedicated himself to “helping people change their lives, one rep at a time.”  During his early years working as a trainer at the YMCA, he noticed that by helping his clients shape their bodies, he was also improving their self-esteem, creating an overall desire for better health. Believing in the importance of reshaping one’s self mentally to transform physically is central to Quince’s philosophy.

April 8, 2016
3:30 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Challenging himself creatively and testing musical boundaries are characteristics that have defined Usher's career, since he was first discovered twenty years ago. Usher has been ranked by the Recording Industry Association of America as one of the best-selling artists in American music history, having sold over 65 million albums worldwide. He has won numerous awards, including eight Grammy Awards, and was named the number one Hot 100 artist of the 2000s decade. Billboard named him the second most successful artist of the 2000s decade, with his career-propelling 2004 album “Confessions” being ranked as the top solo album of the 2000s decade. Usher has attained nine Hot 100 number one hits (all as a lead artist) and 18 Hot 100 top-10 singles.

April 12, 2016
3 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

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