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Zakaria, Cousteau, Kristof and WuDunn open 2016-17 Maverick Speakers Series at UTA presented by Overture DFW

Monday, July 11, 2016 • Media Contact: Bridget Lewis

ARLINGTON, Texas — Internationally renowned journalists, an environmentalist and television venture capitalist headline The University of Texas at Arlington’s 2016-17 Maverick Speakers Series.

Best-selling author Reza Aslan opens the highly-anticipated season Sept. 13. This year’s lineup also includes “Mr. Wonderful” of ABC’s Shark Tank Kevin O’Leary, CNN political commentator Fareed Zakaria, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, and Alexandra Cousteau, an environmental advocate and granddaughter of famed ocean explorer/filmmaker Jacques Cousteau.

Now in its ninth season, the Maverick Speakers Series features thought-provoking conversations led by diverse voices for the university community. Presented by OVERTURE DFW, a 55+ living for a New Generation community, the new season also brings new ticket options. Students, faculty and staff may still attend the lectures at no cost.

Ticket options:

Maverick Speakers Series patrons are invited to purchase a season ticket package that includes one preferred ticket to each speaker to each of the five Maverick Speakers events at a cost of $150, a discount of $25 off preferred seating pricings. The package also includes one parking pass. The deadline to purchase season tickets at is Sept. 13.

Other ticket options include:

  • General Admission Tickets: The general public are invited to attend Maverick Speakers Series events for $5 per ticket.
  • Preferred Tickets: This option offers greater access and is available for $35 a ticket. The preferred ticket option includes reserved seating near the front of the venue, reserved parking near the front of the venue (one parking permit per purchase), and front-of-the-line access to book signings when offered. Preferred packages can be purchased at
  • V.I.P. Package: V.I.P. ticket holders are offered select benefits including preferred ticket access, parking pass, and an exclusive reception, seated dinner, photograph and autograph with the featured speaker (based on speaker availability). V.I.P. tickets are $500 per person. Contact Mark LaVelle at or 817-272-5235 to purchase this package.

All lectures are free for students, faculty and staff, but tickets are required. Reserve free student, faculty and staff tickets at with your email address. Free tickets are limited to two per person.

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

Complete Maverick Speakers Series schedule

Reza Aslan – “My Journey through the World’s Religions”

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016, 7:30 p.m. Texas Hall – Tickets available July 11, 2016

Aslan is an internationally renowned writer, commentator, professor, producer, and scholar of religions. His New York Times best-seller, “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth,” has been translated into dozens of languages around the world.

Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn – “A Path Appears: How an Individual Can Change the World”

Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016, 7:30 p.m. Texas Hall – Tickets available July 11, 2016

Journalists Kristof and WuDunn became the first husband-wife team to win a Pulitzer Prize for journalism for their coverage of China’s Tiananmen Square democracy movement. The couple have also written four best-selling books together.

Alexandra Cousteau – “This Blue Planet: Preserving & Sustaining a Healthy Earth”

Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, 7:30 p.m. Texas Hall – Tickets available July 11, 2016

A National Geographic Emerging Explorer, filmmaker and globally recognized advocate on water issues, Cousteau continues the work of her renowned grandfather Jacques-Yves Cousteau and her father Philippe Cousteau, Sr.

Kevin O’Leary – “Swimming with a Shark – An Evening with Kevin O’Leary”

Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, 7:30 p.m. College Park Center – Tickets available Nov. 3, 2016

The son of an international business expert, O’Leary is chairman of O’Leary Funds, a Canadian mutual fund company with $1 billion under management. O’Leary is an original cast member of Shark Tank.

Fareed Zakaria – “The Politics and Culture of the Global Economy”

Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 7:30 p.m. College Park Center – Tickets available Nov. 3, 2016

Host of CNN’s flagship foreign affairs program, Fareed Zakaria GPS, Zakaria is also a contributing editor at The Atlantic, and Washington Post columnist widely respected for his thoughtful analysis and ability to spot economic and political trends.

--Hillary Green, contributing writer

About Overture DFW

Overture is a new modern 55+ for rent active adult housing brand and has been established to meet the needs of the growing active adult population. Overture communities are highly amenitized luxury apartment communities with a hospitality-centric service package. Each community is tailored to meet the needs of the growing number of active adults 55+ looking for downsizing opportunities and a sense of peer community. Overture properties offer a vibrant resort lifestyle, maintenance free living, social activities and an environment focused on healthy living and wellness. For more information on Overture, visit

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a Research-1 Carnegie “highest research activity” institution of more than 53,000 degree-seeking students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times’ 2016 Best for Vets list. Visit to learn more, and find UTA rankings and recognition at