Bryan Series

Speaker Topics

Ron Howard

An Evening with Ron Howard

In a conversation with noted film critic Leonard Maltin, Ron Howard will offer the Bryan Series reflections on his 50 years in the motion picture and television industry. He will discuss his journey from his role as “Opie” in fictional Mayberry, N.C., to his achievements as one of the most accomplished film makers of our time. Expect him to talk about the creative process and the significance of his films including Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Frost/Nixon and others.

Bill Bryson

Notes from All Over

One of the world’s most beloved and prolific travel writers, best-selling author Bill Bryson will regale our audience with his quirky observations, eye-opening tales and self-effacing humor through reading and sharing stories. Attendees can expect stories and anecdotes from his books, including One Summer: America 1927, At Home: A Short History of Private Life, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid and A Walk in the Woods.

Robert Reich

Bi-Partisan Solutions for America’s Economic Future

Robert Reich will address a simple proposition: what is a good society and what role does the widening income gap play in the deterioration of our nation’s economic health? In a paradigm-shifting, non-partisan manner, Reich will show why we all need to focus more on building up the middle class as without a strong middle class the economy cannot grow. He shares how tackling income disparity is at the very core of getting America on the right track towards growth.

Margaret Atwood

An Evening with Margaret Atwood

With pithy observations and witty comments, Margaret Atwood will speak on literature, social activism, the creative process, technology and art, and, of course, her own accomplished body of work. She will enlighten and challenge our audience to think critically about our relationship to words and language. “The answers you get from literature depend on the questions you pose,” she says.

Anderson Cooper

A 360-Degree Look at World Events

Anderson Cooper will deliver a refreshingly human account of today’s front-page news direct from his experience as a journalist. Armed with an insatiable quest for unfolding stories, which has taken him from Cairo to Sarajevo to Somalia to South Africa, his fresh and fearless reporting has quickly made him one of the most recognizable faces in news.

Speaker Biographies

Ron Howard

Academy Award-winning film maker Ron Howard is one of the most enduring legends of film and television. In 50 years in the entertainment industry, he has produced, directed, written and starred in of some of the seminal works of his generation. He earned an Oscar for Best Director for A Beautiful Mind, and his films Apollo 13 and Cocoon captured two Oscars apiece. He has received Best Director of the Year Awards from the Directors Guild of America. Howard and his creative partner, Brian Grazer, have been honored for their work by the Producers Guild of America and other organizations. The pair co-founded Imagine Entertainment in 1986 to create independently produced feature films. Howard has also served as an executive producer on a number of award-winning films and television shows, such as the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, Fox’s Emmy Award winner for Best Comedy, Arrested Development, which he also narrated, and NBC’s Parenthood. He began his career in film as an actor and is best known for appearing on the long-running television series The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days.

Event moderator Leonard Maltin is a noted film critic, historian and author. He was the movie reviewer on the syndicated television series Entertainment Tonight from 1982-2010, and is well known for his annual paperback reference guide to movies that was first published in 1969. He is a member of the National Film Preservation Board and teaches in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.

Bill Bryson

Best-selling author Bill Bryson is one of the world’s most beloved and prolific commentators, finding delight in the minutiae of travel and the subtleties of culture. “Bryson could write an essay about dryer lint or fever reducers and still make us laugh out loud,” says the Chicago Sun-Times. His bestselling travel books include The Lost Continent, A Walk in the Woods and Notes from a Small Island, which in a national poll was voted the book that best represents Britain. His acclaimed book on the history of science, A Short History of Nearly Everything, won the Royal Society’s Aventis Prize as well as the Descartes Prize, the European Union’s highest literary award. He has written about language, Shakespeare and, in the hilarious memoir The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, his own childhood. His books also include the best-seller At Home: a Short History of Private Life and the critically acclaimed One Summer: America 1927, a chronicle of the season when America came of age and changed the world for ever. He was born in the American Midwest and lives in the U.K.

Robert Reich

Robert Reich is one of the world’s leading thinkers about work and the economy. The Wall Street Journal has named him one of the nation’s top 10 thought leaders. Now Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, he has served in three presidential administrations, most recently as Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton. He also served on President Barack Obama’s Economic Transition Advisory Board. In 2008, Time magazine named him one of the 10 most successful cabinet secretaries of the past century. He is the author of 14 books, including the 2010 best-seller Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future, in which he looked at where the economy was headed after the Great Recession. He is the co-creator and host of the 2013 documentary Inequality for All, in which he explains underlying forces that are shaping our economy and lays out pragmatic solutions for a broader prosperity. Reich was awarded the Václav Havel prize for his original contributions to economic thinking.

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is a giant of modern literature who refuses to rest on her laurels. She has anticipated, satirized and even changed the popular pre-conceptions of our time. A winner of many international literary awards, including the prestigious Booker Prize, Atwood is the author of more than 30 volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction and nonfiction. She is perhaps best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Robber Bride, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin, Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood. Her non-fiction book Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth was made into a documentary. Her new book, MaddAddam (the final novel in the trilogy that begins with Oryx and Crake), has received rave reviews. Her work has been published in more than 40 languages. In 2004, she co-invented the LongPen, a remote signing device that allows someone to write in ink anywhere in the world via tablet PC and the Internet. Born in Ottawa and raised in northern Ontario, Quebec and Toronto, she is a popular personality on Twitter and other social media.

Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper is the anchor of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°, a nightly newscast that goes beyond the headlines – keeping politicians and policy makers honest with in-depth reporting and investigations. Since the start of his career in 1992, he has covered nearly all-major news events around the world, often reporting from the scene. Most recently, he has extensively covered the conflicts in Syria and Egypt, the NSA surveillance programs, the Boston Marathon bombing, and the Sandy Hook shootings. Cooper has played a pivotal role in CNN’s political and election coverage and has anchored from conventions and moderated several presidential debates. In addition to his show on CNN, Cooper is also a regular correspondent for CBS’s 60 Minutes. At CNN and 60 Minutes, Cooper has won numerous major journalism awards. He helped lead CNN's Peabody Award-winning coverage of Hurricane Katrina and DuPont Award-winning coverage of the 2004 tsunami. Additionally, he has been honored with eight Emmy Awards, including two for his coverage of the earthquake in Haiti, and an Edward R. Murrow Award.