Thousands of people listen to the speakers in Guilford College’s Bryan Series, but the work that leads up to those events takes place out of the Greensboro Coliseum spotlights.
“Bryan Series: Behind the Scenes,” an article in 1808: Greensboro’s Magazine, focuses on the planning and logistics that make the series possible.
Suzanne Ingram, associate director of the Bryan Series, is the speaker handler, in addition to other duties. She makes or confirms travel and lodging reservations. Once speakers are in Greensboro, she makes sure they are at the right place at the right time.
“Suzanne puts a great face to Guilford College. We want [speakers] to have a great impression of Greensboro and of Guilford. And I think they do,” said Ty Buckner, associate vice president for the Bryan Series and advancement communications.
The article also describes how Ty and Suzanne, with substantial input from the campus community and subscribers, put together successful seasons. The most famous speakers don’t necessarily give the best speeches, according to audience feedback. The most highly rated Bryan Series speaker has been journalist and author Fareed Zakaria.
“He was the first to really literally walk out on stage of War Memorial and stand there for 55 minutes and speak with such authority, totally off the cuff. ... He’s brilliant,” Ty told the magazine.
The 2016-17 Bryan Series will begin on Sept. 30 with sustainable food advocate and bestselling author Michael Pollan.
Past speakers have included two former U.S. Secretaries of State, four heads of state, five Nobel Prize laureates, 10 Pulitzer Prize winners – and winners of MacArthur Fellowships and Academy, Tony, Grammy and Emmy awards.