Elon University announced that four speakers — columnist Leonard Pitts Jr., violinist Itzhak Perlman, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry and CEO Walter Isaacson — are scheduled to speak during the 2015-2016 year.

Pitts, currently a pop culture, social and family life columnist at the Miami Herald, will deliver the Baird Pulitzer Prize Lecture.

He is a former writer for Casey Kasem’s radio show “American Top 40” and author of “Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood.”

Fifteen-time Grammy award winner Perlman will headline Elon’s Fall Convocation October 6 in Alumni Gym. The Israeli born violinist has received honorary degrees from Harvard, Yale, Brandeis, Roosevelt, Yeshiva and Hebrew universities.

In 2003 Perlman received a Kennedy Center Honor by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Six years later he performed at President Barack Obama’s inauguration with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, clarinetist Anthony McGill and pianist Gabriela Montero.

Harris-Perry will speak in McCrary Theatre January 6 to open Winter Term. A graduate from both Wake Forest and Duke University, she now hosts “Melissa Harris-Perry” on MSNBC Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon.

Isaacson currently serves as president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute in Washington, D.C.

Prior to the Aspen Institute, Isaacson was the chairman and CEO of CNN and the editor of TIME magazine.


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