University News

Legendary Actor Al Pacino and Yankee Superstar Bernie Williams to be Featured in William Paterson University's Distinguished Lecturer Series This Fall

An extraordinary 31st season of William Paterson University’s Distinguished Lecturer Series will feature "A Conversation with Al Pacino" on October 1 and "Bernie Williams in Words and Music" on November 12 in Shea Center for Performing Arts on the campus in Wayne. Both programs begin at 7 p.m., and will present rare opportunities for audiences to connect with these stars in the intimate setting of a college theater.

 Pacino, the legendary actor who has won an Oscar, a Tony, and an Emmy, will provide insights into his career and life and will perform a monologue or two in character. Williams, the Yankee superstar who has now achieved accolades as a jazz guitarist, will talk baseball with author and veteran sportswriter Phil Pepe, and will perform with the William Paterson University Jazz Orchestra. The Bernie Williams program is produced in conjunction with the University’s Jazz Room Series. Both speakers will take questions from the audience.

 Individual tickets for “A Conversation with Al Pacino” are $75 for orchestra and $60 for loge. Individual tickets for “Bernie Williams in Words and Music” are $55 for orchestra and $45 for loge. Tickets may be purchased online at or from the Shea Center Box Office at 973-720-2371. Parking is free.

For the first time, premium packages are available for the Distinguished Lecturer Series. These special packages for each program provide one orchestra seat and a pass to a private VIP reception where guests can mingle and be photographed with the speakers.

 A premium package for Al Pacino is $200 and for Bernie Williams is $125. A limited number of premium packages are available. To reserve a package, please call Mary Pospisil at 973-720-2934.

 Pacino is a cinema legend whose early work on the stage earned him an Obie Award and a Tony Award. Through the years he has starred in many films which are now considered classics including “The Godfather I, II, and III;” “The Panic in Needle Park,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” and “Scarface,” picking up numerous awards for his work. Pacino made his directorial debut with “Looking for Richard,” an award-winning look into the relevance of works by William Shakespeare. In 2003, Pacino’s star turn as Roy Cohn in “Angels in America” earned him an Emmy Award. He was honored with a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Film Institute in 2007, and is currently at work on an independent feature.

 Williams, a revered baseball star, and now a critically acclaimed jazz guitarist, developed an interest in baseball and music as a young child growing up in Puerto Rico. He attended the Escuela Libre de Musica, a performing arts school, while becoming one of the best athletes on the island. Williams signed a contract with the Yankees at 17, and reached the pinnacle of the sport during his 16-year career. He was a four-time World Series champion, and was named All-Star five times, among numerous achievements. Williams has continued to pursue his passion in music and released his first album, the critically praised “The Journey Within” in 2003. In April 2010, Williams released a second popular album, “Moving Forward.”

 William Paterson's 31st Distinguished Lecturer Series is presented by William Paterson University. This program is presented through the generous support of the series’ premier partner, Mercedes-Benz USA, in conjunction with media partner The Record.