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City Recognizes Philadelphia Speakers Series as a “Cultural Treasure”

The Philadelphia Speakers Series presented by Widener University celebrated its 10 season this year, and on Monday, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter closed the season by recognizing Widener’s contribution to the cultural life of the city with an official tribute.

President Harris, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Mayor NutterMayor Nutter presented the tribute from the City of Philadelphia to Widener President James T. Harris III at the Kimmel Center prior to a talk by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

"The Philadelphia Speakers Series offers Philadelphians the chance to see, hear, and learn from the leaders who have had the character, courage, and competencies to affect positive change in our world," Nutter said. "It is fitting and appropriate, therefore, that the City of Philadelphia officially recognize with this tribute The Philadelphia Speakers Series presented by Widener University and urge all citizens to take advantage of one of our city most unique and accessible cultural treasures and commend Widener University for making this cultural experience a signature event in Philadelphia."

Established in 2004, the Philadelphia Speakers Series provides series subscribers with access to former presidents, Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, legendary journalists, extraordinary leaders, and inspiring individuals who have helped shape the history of our nation and our world. Staged at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the series has grown to become one of the region's most popular and unique cultural events.

The series has been sold out for each of its 10 seasons, which have included speakers such as Bill Clinton, John Major, Bob Woodward, Madeleine Albright, Henry Kissinger and Walter Cronkite to name just a few. The series offers audience member the opportunity to interact with these speakers during a question and answer period following each lecture.

"On behalf of the university and the Widener Board of Trustees, I would like to thank you, Mayor Nutter, and the city of Philadelphia, for this official Tribute," Harris said. "It has been the great pleasure of Widener University to present the Philadelphia Speakers Series to the people of the greater Philadelphia region for the past decade, and it has been heartwarming to see the region embrace the Philadelphia Speakers Series as part of its cultural and intellectual landscape."

Presented by Widener, the Philadelphia Speakers Series is sponsored by WHYY and The Haverford Trust Company. For subscriptions or information, visit, or call 215-893-1955.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development, and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences and professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate's, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees. The university's campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, PA, and Wilmington, DE, serve approximately 6,300 students. Widener is proud to be a tobacco-free university. For information, visit


Photo Caption:  Widener President James T. Harris III (left) poses with historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.