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It's the speakers series
that rises to the occasion.

NOTE: Now, you can purchase individual event tickets  online. (Of course, you can always purchase your tickets by calling the Emerson Center box office at 772.778.5249.)

Click here to learn about getting Seasons Subscription tickets for our upcoming 2012 series.

The Celebrated Speakers Series has developed a proud tradition of bringing important speakers face-to-face with the people of our communities.  Want to know more about past programs at The Emerson Center? We've provided a place where you can browse our archives by clicking here.

This tradition of quality presentations is a tribute to the Sponsors, Patrons, Subscribers, Advertisers, and Guests who continue to share our commitment to providing a diversified line-up of events in our facility.

You can become a part of this proud tradition.

For the record...
Here's a look at the archived information from our website
telling us about the Celebrated Speakers Series programs
from our 2011 Season.
(Please note, some of the hyperlinks used
on this page may have been subsequently moved or replaced.)


When the 2011 Celebrated Speakers Series at The Emerson Center kicks off, audiences will experience a whole new level of programming, thanks in large part to the generous support of the series’ Presenting Sponsor, Wilmington Trust.

According to Donald Croteau, “Wilmington Trust's support has enabled us to continue bringing leading speakers to our annual series, enabling our patrons, subscribers, and guests to participate in the important dialogues of our times.”

Take a look at what's appearing next in our 2011 Series:


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January 15, 2011
Patrick Jake (P.J.) O’Rourke

With more than a million words of trenchant journalism under his byline and more citations in The Penguin Dictionary of Humorous Quotations than any other living writer, P.J. O'Rourke has established himself as America's premier political satirist. His best-selling books include Parliament of Whores, Give War a Chance, Eat the Rich, The CEO of the Sofa, Peace Kills and On the Wealth of Nations. His latest book, Don't Vote—It Just Encourages the Bastards, was published in September 2010. Both Time and The Wall Street Journal have called him "the funniest writer in America." He frequently appears on television, and is a regular panelist on National Public Radio's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. O'Rourke covers current events with the skill and discipline of an investigative reporter but adds a unique spin that has earned him a reputation as a modern-day Will Rogers. O’Rourke bashes all political persuasions while his razor sharp insights never fail to inform and entertain. He is known as a hard-bitten, cigar-smoking conservative, making him unique among contemporary humorists. He covers current events with the skill and discipline of an investigative reporter but adds a unique spin that has earned him a reputation as a modern-day Will Rogers.



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has passed.

NOTE: Brinkley appeared in place of
Peggy Noonan, who unexpectedly cancelled.

February 5, 2011
Douglas Brinkley

February's 100th anniversary of the birth of President Ronald Reagan will be marked by The Emerson Center's Celebrated Speakers Series with a presentation from historian Douglas Brinkley, considered by many to be the leading historical authority on the 40th President of the United States. Brinkley, the author of The Boys of Pointe du Hoc: Ronald Reagan (2005) and editor of the New York Times' best-selling The Reagan Diaries (2007), is a professor of history at Rice University and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. Brinkley regularly appears as history commentator for CBS News. His articles have appeared in Rolling Stone magazine, Atlantic Monthly, and other contemporary publications. He is a fellow of the James Baker Institute for Public Policy. Brinkley holds the distinction of having six of his books selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. The Chicago Tribune has dubbed him "America's new past master." He has also received critical acclaim for books on Hurricane Katrina and, most recently, an introspective entitled The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America. Brinkley's February 5 appearance occurs on the eve of the 100th birthday of President Reagan.


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February 26, 2011

Zbigniew Brzezinski

Zbigniew Brzezinski’s resume is lengthy and impressive with the most outstanding as National Security Adviser to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981. In 1981, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his role in the normalization of U.S.-Chinese relations and for his contributions to the human rights and national security policies of the United States. Today he is Trustee and Counselor, Center for Strategic & International Studies; and Robert E. Osgood Professor of American Foreign Policy, at the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, located in Washington, D.C. He is the author of many books including his latest published in 2008, America and the World: Conversation on the Future of American Foreign Policy.


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March 19, 2011
Gwen Ifill

Gwen Ifill, moderator and managing editor of Washington Week and senior correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, interviews newsmakers, and reports on issues ranging from foreign affairs to politics. She is also frequently asked to moderate debates in national elections, such as the Vice Presidential debate during the 2004 election. Ifill joined NBC News from The New York Times where she covered the White House and politics. She spent five years at NBC News as chief congressional and political correspondent, and still appears as an occasional roundtable panelist on Meet The Press. Ifill is the recipient of honorary doctorates, broadcasting excellence awards and honors from the National Press Foundation. She has also covered national and local affairs for The Washington Post, Baltimore Evening Sun, and Boston Herald American, and is the author of The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.


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has passed.

April 9, 2011

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman, Professor of Economics at Princeton University, is one of the world’s preeminent economists, having won the 2008 Nobel Prize for Economics. An insightful, outspoken Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times, he is a passionate and articulate speaker, with a gift for relating global economic events to his audiences. His twice-weekly Op-Ed pieces for the Times model the depth of insight and the unflinchingly outspoken style he brings to his speeches. He is the author of several books, including his most recent, The Conscience of a Liberal, and The Great Unraveling, a best-seller. In response to the current financial crisis, Professor Krugman has released his updated edition of The Return of Depression Economics, which warned almost ten years ago of the problems we face today. The new book is titled The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008.


Halsey Smith, Managing Director of Wilmington Trust adds, “We are excited about helping bring the Celebrated Speakers Series to our community. Since its inception in 2006, the Celebrated Speakers Series has continued to distinguish itself by providing quality performances and attentive service to the people of Indian River County and beyond. We are especially excited about the 2011 season and know this season will be remembered as the best ever.”

Tickets to individual performances begin at $65 and may be purchased now online by clicking here. Also, you may call the Box Office at 772.778.5249.



Of Interest