‘The Ethicist’ Columnist Randy Cohen at the Hett on Sept. 27

Former New York Times Columnist Leads off McKendree Speaker Series

Lebanon, Ill. — Randy Cohen, an Emmy Award-winning writer and humorist, begins McKendree University’s 2012-13 Distinguished Speaker Series on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m. His appearance in the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts is one of four speaker programs this season. It is free and open to the public.

The theme of the series is “Wit, Wisdom, and Responsibility,” which will challenge people to examine key issues facing our society. Cohen’s interest focuses on right and wrong behaviors – lying, cheating, stealing – and moral dilemmas that everyone faces.

He is currently the host of “Person Place Thing,” a public radio program on WAMC in New York. For 12 years he wrote a weekly column, called “The Ethicist,” for The New York Times Magazine. Other accomplishments include three Emmys for his writing on “Late Night with David Letterman” and a fourth for his work on Michael Moore’s “TV Nation.” Cohen started his career writing entertaining essays and stories for magazines and newspapers. His most recent book is “Be Good: How to Navigate the Ethics of Everything.”

Following Cohen this fall will be Nancy Tate, executive director of the League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization that encourages informed citizen participation in government. Tate will present her message on Tuesday, Nov. 27. She worked previously in the Department of Energy, Department of Education and the Office of Economic Opportunity.

Krista Tippett concentrates on what matters in life and in death. She discusses these themes on her weekly National Public Radio program “On Being,” where she and her guests explore the meaning of faith and spirituality amid shifts of the 21st century. Over the last year, she has focused on the topic of civility. Tippett will be at the Hett on Tuesday, Feb. 5.

Motivational speaker J.R. Martinez isa retired soldier, former soap opera actor (“All My Children”) and perhaps most famous as the season 13 winner of TV’s “Dancing with the Stars.” People magazine chose him as one of its “25 Most Intriguing People of the Year” in 2011. When Martinez was badly burned while serving in Iraq but decided during his long recovery to use his experience to help others. He will bring his message of resilience and optimism to McKendree University on March 21.

All speakers programs begin at 7:30 p.m. They are free and the public is welcome. Reservations are recommended; for tickets, call (618) 537-6863.or visit www.theHett.com.




The Russel E. and Fern M. Hettenhausen Center for the Arts—“The Hett”—is Southern Illinois’ premier performing arts venue, presenting world class dance, drama, classical music and jazz. The 488-seat auditorium is located on the McKendree University campus in Lebanon, Illinois, 25 miles from downtown St. Louis. www.theHett.com