Guilford College’s Bryan Series enriches the educational and cultural experience for students, faculty and staff of the College and residents of Greensboro and the central North Carolina region by providing speaker programs featuring well-known figures in the arts, humanities and public affairs.
The Bryan Distinguished Visiting Professorship in the Arts Humanities and Public Affairs was established at Guilford by a $1 million gift by Joseph M. Bryan Jr. ’60 and the former Kathleen Price Bryan Family Fund in 1994. In 2011, Joe made a $1.5 million gift to the College’s Advancing Excellence campaign to strengthen the endowment for the series.
Major speaker events began in 1996 and the lectures became the “Bryan Series” in 2002. Four heads of state, five Nobel Prize laureates, 10 Pulitzer Prize winners, two former U.S. Secretaries of State and winners of MacArthur Fellowships and Academy, Tony, Grammy and Emmy Awards have been speakers in the series.
Past speakers have included Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev, Tony Blair, Madeleine Albright, Robert Gates, Desmond Tutu, Ron Howard, Sidney Poitier, Tom Brokaw, Anderson Cooper, Bill Bradley, Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Bill Moyers, Thomas Friedman, Malcolm Gladwell and Toni Morrison.
Until 2005, events were presented on the Guilford campus. The Bryan Series was held at 2,400-seat War Memorial Auditorium in the Greensboro Coliseum Complex from 2005-14. Two events were held in the larger Coliseum Arena in 2010 and 2011, and the subscription series began a four-season run in the coliseum in 2014-15. Beginning in 2018, programs are scheduled to be presented at the new Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts downtown.
The subscription program was established in 2005. Patrons are from more than 50 cities and towns across central North Carolina. In 2011, the Bryan Series Legacy Society was established with premium benefits.