The 18th century novelist Laurence Sterne once wrote that “the desire of knowledge ... increases with the acquisition of it.” Oklahoma City Town Hall invites such seekers of knowledge to help perpetuate that tradition during its 80th season of lectures.
This season's series will explore a wide range of topics, everything from foreign affairs, terrorism and the impact of globalization to religion, history and the White House's pastry kitchen.
Town Hall's 2012-13 season opens Sept. 20 with an appearance by Martha Raddatz, an ABC News foreign affairs correspondent. A frequent guest on National Public Radio and Washington Week, Raddatz will take “A Look at the World's Hot Spots” as she examines the challenges facing the United States today. Guitarist Edgar Cruz will perform before the lecture.
Barry Asmus, a senior economist for the National Center for Policy Analysis, will speak Oct. 18 about “Globalization and How it Affects America's Future.” Asmus will address issues of sustained economic growth, the government's sale of assets and harnessing the power of incentives to produce jobs and prosperity.
The fall portion of the season draws to a close Nov. 15 with a lecture titled “The Face of 21st Century Terrorism.” Speaker Clint Van Zandt, a criminal analyst for NBC/MSNBC, spent 25 years with the FBI and brought about the release of numerous hostage and kidnap victims.
On Feb. 21, former White House executive pastry chef Roland Mesnier will offer a glimpse into the lives of the five first families he served. From the Carter administration to that of George W. Bush, Mesnier created thousands of elegant and delicious desserts.
Jill Carroll will examine “The Role Religion Plays in World Affairs” at her March 21 lecture. A former director of the Boniuk Center for Religious Tolerance at Rice University, Carroll believes a peaceful coexistence can be achieved when people make an effort to understand each other. As a scholar in religious studies, she has spent more than two decades studying the world's religions and major religious movements.
Town Hall favorite Elliot Engel returns to close the 2012-13 season on April 18. Author of 10 books and a frequent international lecturer, Engel is president of the Dickens Fellowship of North Carolina. His topic is “Leonardo da Vinci …. Before the Code.”
“We have a very hardworking board of directors who take our commitments seriously,” said Kaye Adams, Town Hall's public relations chairman. “The night before each lecture, we have a board dinner and the speakers are almost always overwhelmed by the hospitality they receive. By bringing in so many diverse and interesting speakers, Town Hall has been able to sustain itself for 80 years.”