33 Years of Exceptional Programs


Gloria Steinem on May 4, 2012

For audiences eager to hear illuminating discussions by today’s most in-demand speakers, William Paterson University offers the Distinguished Lecturer Series (DLS)—an event that brings illustrious personalities from the worlds of politics, government, the arts, literature, sports, science, and business, along with original programs—to Wayne, NJ.

In 2011-2012, the Series presented Gloria Steinem and Diane Ravitch. Previous speakers include actor Al Pacino, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox general managers Brian Cashman and Theo Epstein, musical theatre composer Stephen Sondheim, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, film directors Oliver Stone and Spike Lee, performer Gregory Hines, and writers Alice Walker and Joyce Carol Oates to more than one hundred thousand audience members who have attended DLS since its inception.

Al Pacino

Al Pacino on October 1, 2010.

Through the years, nearly one hundred business entities and individuals have provided the funding needed so that audiences could personally encounter, at affordable ticket prices, the more than one hundred public figures who have come to the University. Here is a complete list of lecturers who have attended DLS since its inauguration on February 11, 1980.


Theo Epstein, general manager for the Boston Red Sox, and Brian Cashman, general manager for the New York Yankees on January 25, 2008.

Past Lecturers


Steve Adubato
James G. Affleck
Madeleine K. Albright
America’s Health Care Crisis
Eric Anderson
Hanan Ashrawi
Isaac Asimov
Lee Babiss
Howard Baker
Russell Baker
Dave Barry
Harry Belafonte
Carl Bernstein
Wolf Blitzer
Peter Bogdanovich
Robert Bork
Ed Bradley
Willy Brandt
William J. Bratton
Fran Brill
Art Buchwald
Christopher Buckley
William Buckley
The Capitol Steps
Brendan Byrne
James Carville
Brian Cashman
Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.
Lynne V. Cheney
Richard Cheney
Chris Christie
Henry Cisneros
Kevin Clash
Harlan Coben
William S. Cohen
Jon Corzine
Christos M. Cotsakos
Catherine Crier
Chris Daggett
Michael Davis
Frank Deford
Alan Dershowitz
David N. Dinkins
Lou Dobbs
Elizabeth Dole
Abba Eban
M. Joycelyn Elders
Theo Epstein
Jaime Escalante
Geraldine Ferraro
Marlin Fitzwater
Malcolm “Steve” Forbes, Jr.
Gerald Ford
Harold Ford, Jr.
Al Franken
Louis Freeh
Frank Gaffney, Jr.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Tony Geiss
Richard Gephardt
David Gergen
Penn Gillette
Raymond Gilmartin
Newt Gingrich
Rudy Giuliani
Doris Kearns Goodwin
William H. Gray III
Philip Habib
Alexander Haig
Alex Haley
Edward Heath
Nat Hentoff
Gregory Hines
Richard Holbrooke
Benjamin Hooks
Charlayne Hunter-Gault
Molly Ivins
Jesse Jackson
Spenser Johnson
Thomas Kean
Jack Kemp
Alan Keyes
Peter King
Jeanne J. Kirkpatrick
Henry Kissinger
Edward Koch
C. Everett Koop
Charles Kuralt
Richard Leakey
Spike Lee
Carol Leifer
Mike Lupica
Catharine A. MacKinnon
Norman Mailer
Sonia Manzano
Wynton Marsalis
Mary Matalin
Bob McGrath
James McGreevey
The McLaughlin Group
Brad Meltzer
George Mitchell
Susan Molinari
Dee Dee Myers
Ralph Nader
John Naisbitt
Peggy Noonan
Joyce Carol Oates
P.J. O’Rourke
Frank Oz
Al Pacino
Alan C. Page 
Douglas H. Palmer 

Leon Panetta
Sara Paretsky
Jacques Pépin
Boone Pickens
Deborah T. Poritz
Colin Powell
Jody Powell
William Proxmire
Jane Bryant Quinn
Anthony Rapp
Dan Rather
Diane Ravitch
Janet Reno
Sally Ride
Selena Roberts
Steve Roberts
Marty Robinson
Charlie Rose
Dennis Ross
Warren B. Rudman
Mark Russell
Murray Sabrin
Murray Sabrin
Jehan Sadat
Peter Sagal
William Safire
Patricia Schroeder
Arkady Shevchenko
Beverly Sills
Phil Simms
Anna Deveare Smith
Stephen Sondheim
Susan Sontag
Caroll Spinney
Gloria Steinem
George Stephanopoulos
Oliver Stone
Peter Tarassoff
Norman Thagard
Margaret Thatcher
Fred Thompson
Alvin Toffler
José "Joey" Torres
John Tower

Calvin Trillin
Paul E. Tsongas
Stansfield Turner
Neil deGrasse Tyson
John Updike
Steven Van Zandt
Alice Walker
Christine Todd Whitman
Bernie Williams
Walter Williams
Pete Wilson
Adrien Wing
Tom Wolfe
Andrew Young