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Centennial Lecture

Laura Linney

Barrett, The Honors College will be hosting Laura Linney as the 2023 Flinn Foundation Centennial Lecturer.


2023 Centennial Lecture graphic

Speaker biography

Award-Winning Theatre, Film and Television Actress, Laura Linney, speaks about the importance of infusing creativity into all aspects of our lives, both for those in the corporate space and for students. She distinguishes how the arts enrich everything we do and allow us to live fuller, more prosperous lives. She demonstrates how we, as a society, can reconsider liberal arts careers as the important instruments of skills like socialization, interpretation, character building, and originality. It is an intelligent examination of professionalism and creativity, in which one cannot thrive without the other.

History of the Flinn Foundation Centennial Lecture

In 1985, the Flinn Foundation established an endowment to commemorate the University’s 100th year. The gift created the ASU Centennial Lecture, and in 1989 it provided the Barrett Honors College the resources to bring some of the world’s most influential intellects to campus.

In just a few short years, the Centennial Lecture has become one of ASU’s premiere intellectual events featuring noted diplomats, scientists, playwrights, and authors. Each of the women and men chosen as the Centennial Lecturer has added significantly to the strength of the University, and each has provided students and members of the community with a memorable experience.

Year Presenter Title
2022 Maria Teresa Kumar "Our Changing America"
2021 Common "An evening with Common"
2020 Roxane Gay "Roxane Gay: With One 'N'"
2019 Jose Antonio Vargas "Define American: My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant"
2018 Norah O'Donnell "An Evening with Norah O'Donnell"
2017 Titus Kaphar “Making Space for Black History, Amending the Landscape of American Art.”
2016 Henry Cisneros "Immigrants: An Essential Ingredient for a Strong America and Our Nation's Future"
2015 Sherman Alexie "An Urban Indian’s Look at the World and How to be a 21st Century American Nomad"
2014 Sandra Postel "Understanding the Importance of Urban Water Systems"
2013 Michael Pollan "Out of the Garden and Onto the Plate: A Writer’s Education"
2012 Sylvia Nasar “Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius in Modern Times”
2011 Oscar Arias “For We Have Promises to Keep: Ensuring Peace for Future Generations”
2010 Edward James Olmos "We're All in the Same Gang"
2009 Joel Meyerowitz "A Look Behind the Lens"
2008 Leonard Downie, Jr "Focusing on the Future: Politics, Conflict and the Media"
2007 Anna Quindlen "The Value of Reading and Writing in a Democratic Society"
2006 Jules Feiffer "Feiffer on Feiffer: My Life and Funny Times"
2005 Kathleen Sullivan "Civil Liberties in a Time of National Crisis"
2004 Edward Albee "The State of Theater and the Arts in America"
2003 Charles Johnson "Mindfulness and the Beloved Country"
2002 David Halberstam "America and the World: New Challenges in a Time of Uncertainty"
2001 N. Scott Momaday "Origins: The Reinvention of the Sacred"
2001 Meave Leakey "My Life in Science: An Evening with Meave Leakey"
2000 Jonathan Weiner "Evolution in Action: The View from Darwin's Islands and Benzer's Bottles"
1999 Carlos Fuentes "A Dialogue for the Americas"
1998 Annie Dillard "Performance of Beauty and Grace"
1997 James Fallows "News and Democracy: Knowing Enough to Survive"
1996 Stephen J. Gould "Pattern and Lack of Progress in the History of Life"
1995 Sir Crispin Tickell "The Human Hazard: Refugees and Environmental Change"
1994 Lynn Margulis "Gaia as the Living Earth from Space: Soft Goddess or Hard Science?" - See more at:
1992 Susan Sontag "Traditions of the New"
1991 Robert Coles "The Iconography of Western American Art"
1990 Robert Coles "The Spiritual Life of the Hopi Child"