Award-winning actor to speak Oct. 6 at BW


Brown’s lecture is a part of the “Voices of Imagination and Innovation” series, which is “part of a 2018-19 cultural series inspired by creative leaders who enlighten thinking and transform the world around us,” according to BW’s website.

Brown, an Emmy award winner who recently became the first African American to win both the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award and Golden Globe, was an easy choice to kick off the series, said Shawn Salamone, director of public information in BW’s University Relations office.

“Each year, the School of Business looks for national thought leaders and [individuals] who can address timely topics for this signature annual event,” said Salamone. “As one of Time Magazine’s 2018 ‘Most Influential People,’ a business major turned artist, and an advocate for access to arts education, Mr. Brown is a perfect fit.”

Salamone said the series, which began in 2015, has featured appearances by other well-known individuals in the past ranging from the head of the FDIC during the financial crisis and former politicians turned pundits to one of the “sharks” from the ABC show “Shark Tank.” The variety of speakers and formats means is one of the benefits of the series, she said.

“The format of this ‘lecture’ series varies from guest to guest. Sheila Bair and Sanjay Gupta gave traditional talks, Newt Gingrich and Van Jones appeared in a debate moderated by political science professor Tom Sutton, Daymond John’s presentation included big screen multimedia elements,” said Salamone. “For Sterling K. Brown, we’ll be using a conversational question and answer format with President Helmer interviewing the actor so all of us in the audience will get to see where the unrehearsed conversation takes us.”

NBC Universal
Sterling K. Brown plays Randall Pearson in the NBC hit show “This is Us.” Brown has
won multiple awards for the role.


The topics for the lecture range from the power of creativity to inspire innovation, along with other ideas on how art is used as a medium to illustrate the human condition and how important it is to include diverse voices in media, said Salamone. She also said Brown may also hint where his “This is Us” character, Randall Pearson, may be heading in the upcoming season.

Dan Karp, the assistant vice president and director of University Relations, emphasized the importance of students attending these events at least once.

“The whole idea is [students] come to it and they would get a sense of ‘wow,’ an insight into someone they recognize, their life story and how they got to being, very often starting as a college student, where they are today, along with their ideals and their principles,” said Karp. “Hopefully, somewhere in the middle of that is something that [students] grab onto that’s inspirational that can mean something [to them].”

Both Karp and Salamone said students should be more aware of when these events come up, as tickets for Brown’s event have already sold out.

The Business Leadership Lecture series started in 2015, which was made possible by an endowment from BW Trustee, Stephen Boesel ’68.