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Anderson Cooper to headline UT Arlington's Maverick Speakers Series

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Media Contact: Bridget Lewis

News Topics: Arlington, College Park Center, lectures, Maverick Speakers Series

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Maverick Speakers Series

Five distinguished guests will share their global experiences and diverse perspectives as part of The University of Texas at Arlington's 2013-14 Maverick Speakers Series. 

The season opens Sept. 24 with a lecture by immigration rights activist Jose Vargas and includes CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg, entrepreneur and ESPN founder Bill Rasmussen, and neurosurgeon and CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta.

Now in its sixth season, the Maverick Speakers Series is a cross-disciplinary lecture series that brings to the University individuals of extraordinary accomplishment. The lectures are free and open to the public.

“We are delighted to bring these outstanding individuals to campus,” said Vistasp M. Karbhari, UT Arlington president. “Each of these speakers will share their unique perspectives and will provide an enriching experience for our university community.”

All lectures begin at 7:30 p.m., either in College Park Center, 601 Spaniolo Drive (formerly S. Pecan St.), or Texas Hall at 701 W. Nedderman Drive. Visit to learn more.


Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, 7:30 p.m. Texas Hall – Tickets available Aug. 26

Jose Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, filmmaker and founder of Define American, an immigration-awareness campaign. He exposed his story as an undocumented immigrant in the groundbreaking essay, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant,” for the The New York Times Magazine, stunning the media and political circles and attracting worldwide coverage. An alumnus of San Francisco State University, Vargas has served as a senior contributing editor at the Huffington Post and covered the tech and video game culture, HIV/AIDS, and the 2008 presidential campaign for The Washington Post. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech.

Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, 7:30 p.m. Texas Hall – Tickets available Sept. 19

Bill Rasmussen changed the face of sports and television when he founded ESPN in the summer of 1978. The legendary entrepreneur and business advisor’s innovations in advertising, sports and broadcast are numerous and include not only ESPN, but also the concept for Sports Center, wall-to-wall coverage of NCAA regular season and “March Madness” college basketball, and coverage of the College World Series. He holds a degree in economics from DePauw University and served in the U.S. Air Force before beginning his professional career working for Westinghouse in sales and marketing. He later earned his master’s degree in business administration from Rutgers University.

Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, 7:30 p.m. College Park Center – Tickets available Oct. 3

Anderson Cooper is anchor of Anderson Cooper 360°, an unconventional, wide-ranging news program on CNN. He has covered major breaking news stories, including the war in Iraq, the space shuttle Columbia disaster and the 2004 presidential election. Before joining CNN, Cooper served as an ABC News correspondent and host of the network’s reality program, The Mole. He wrote the memoir Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of Wars, Disaster, and Survival, which chronicles his personal struggles and journalism success.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 7:30 p.m. College Park Center – Tickets available Feb. 13

Sanjay Gupta is a practicing neurosurgeon, assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine and chief medical correspondent for CNN. His medical preparation and public health policy experience distinguish his reporting on a range of topics including brain injury, disaster recovery, health care reform, fitness, military medicine, HIV/AIDS and other areas. He is the author of two best-selling books, Chasing Life and Cheating Death, both of which became companion documentaries for CNN. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and a doctorate in medicine from the University of Michigan Medical School.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 7:30 p.m. Texas Hall – Tickets available March 6

Nina Totenberg is an award-winning legal affairs correspondent for National Public Radio whose reports are heard on All Things Considered and Morning Edition. In 1991, her groundbreaking report about University of Oklahoma Law Professor Anita Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas, then a nominee for the Supreme Court, led the Senate Judiciary Committee to re-open Thomas’s confirmation hearings. Before joining NPR in 1975, Totenberg served as Washington editor of The New York Times Magazine, and before that she was the legal affairs correspondent for the National Observer. She is the only radio journalist to have won the National Press Foundation award for Broadcaster of the Year. 

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of more than 33,800 students and more than 2,200 faculty members in the heart of North Texas.  It is the second largest institution in The University of Texas System. Visit to learn more.


The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.