Guilford College Bryan Series

Inspiring Speakers Who Share a Clarity of Conviction

Their talks will stay with you long after the standing ovation.

In 2018-19, we bring you people of action, doers committed to moving the needle on our most persistent issues. Our speakers have a conviction about what’s right and what’s possible. They’ve invested the sweat equity to become not only experts in their areas, but tireless advocates, willing to roll up their sleeves and tackle challenges head on. Join us for the 2018-19 season, when we’ll hear from inspiring speakers who share a powerful trait for positive change: an admirable balance of determination and integrity along with the clarity of conviction.

Become a Subscriber

We couldn't do what we do without our loyal subscribers. Subscriptions for the 2018-19 season are no longer available. Single-event tickets may be purchased at the Greensboro Coliseum's Advance Box Office or at

Become a member of the Legacy Society

The Legacy Society was established in 2011 to provide dedicated benefactors with a premium Bryan Series experience. Members engage with the speakers in a VIP reception and receive special seating and parking privileges. Thank you to our 2018-19 members! For more information, read our Frequently Asked Questions or email

2018-19 Season Speakers

David Axelrod and Karl Rove

7:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 1, Greensboro Coliseum

David Axelrod and Karl Rove, high-profile political strategists from opposite sides of the spectrum, will share our stage just weeks before the 2018 midterm election. They bring more than keen insiders’ perspectives; they share the ability to spar respectfully and with an open mind to sound arguments. In the Bryan Series, they will address topics relevant to current national commentary, helping prime us all for the political decisions that lie ahead.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 23, Greensboro Coliseum

What we know and admire about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s phenomenal 20-season NBA career is just the beginning. More than 40 years ago, he made a bold move to convert to Islam, a thoughtful decision he calls “a transformation of the heart, mind and soul.” His passion and leadership extends far beyond the game of basketball and into the social, political and cultural arenas. He is an author and commentator, contributing his voice to many critical issues.

Julia Gillard

7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 15, Greensboro Coliseum

Julia Gillard broke the glass ceiling by becoming the first woman elected Prime Minister of Australia, and her voice has inspired women from one country to the next, especially on matters of prejudice and discrimination. She is a world leader with fresh insights on geopolitics and the global economy, particularly the volatile Asian markets, as well as a champion for economic and education equality for women and children everywhere.

Dr. Paul Farmer

7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 19, Greensboro Coliseum

For nearly 30 years, Dr. Paul Farmer has done what others thought impossible: bringing first-rate medical care to the poorest people on Earth. A physician and anthropologist, Farmer is chief strategist and co-founder of Partners In Health, an international social justice and healthcare organization with a powerful mission — to serve as an antidote to despair by delivering the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need.

Diana Nyad

7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 11, Greensboro Coliseum

It took five attempts and untold training for Diana Nyad to fulfill her lifelong dream of completing the 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida, but in 2013 at age 64, she realized her goal. Nyad is a living example of her own words: Never, ever give up. In her 2015 memoir, Find a Way, Nyad engages us with a unique, passionate story of this heroic adventure and the extraordinary life experiences that have served to carve her unwavering spirit.

Ideas That Move

For more than 20 years, the Guilford College Bryan Series has brought thought-provoking speakers to our campus and the greater Greensboro community — not just thought leaders but paradigm shifters whose ideas spark the next step forward and get us all thinking and talking about exciting possibilities.

Video Archive

Take a look at some of our past speakers, which include Ken Burns, Toni Morrison, Yo-Yo Ma and many more.

89 Speakers

featured in the last 20 years

2,150 Subscribers

5 Nobel Prize Winners

4 Former Heads of State

Contact Us

Suzanne Ingram

Suzanne Ingram

Director of the Bryan Series

Ty Buckner

Ty Buckner

Associate VP for Alumni and Constituent Relations