Elon University will host numerous speakers throughout the 2021-22 academic year, including Olympic Gold Medalist Carli Lloyd, Elon University President Emeritus Leo Lambert and award-winning actor BD Wong. The 2021-2022 speaker series focuses on mentorship, inspiration and equality, according to an Elon University press release. All tickets for the speaker series will be free for students, staff and faculty cost $15 those without an Elon ID. The Elon Common Reading Keynote Address by Jason Reynolds will be virtual and free of cost. The Liberal Arts Forum lecture will also not require tickets.

2021 Fall Convocation: Carli Lloyd and Danny Madaroski

Lloyd, a two-time Olympic Gold medalist and World Cup Champion, will be joined by her trainer Danny Madaroski and speak at fall convocation. Lloyd is the current captain of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team and has represented the country in the past four Women’s World Cup tournaments. Lloyd published her best-selling memoir “When Nobody Was Watching: My Hard-fought Journey to the Top of the Soccer World” in 2016. Fall convocation will be held in Schar Center at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 24.

Elon Common Reading Keynote Address: Jason Reynolds

New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds will join the Elon community virtually this year to discuss the Elon University Common Reading selection for the 2021-22 academic year, “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You,” co-written with Ibram X. Kendi. The event will be hosted virtually at www.elon.edu/live on Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Liberal Arts Forum Lecture: Brittany Kaiser

Brittany Kaiser is the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, whose experiences were detailed in the Netflix documentary “The Great Hack,” a film co-written and edited by Elon University alumna Erin Barnett ‘09. As a board member of more than 10 technology companies, Kaiser helps develop solutions that promote transparency and cybersecurity. Kaiser will be the Liberal Arts Forum Lecture this year and speak at Whitley Auditorium on Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 21: Leo M. Lambert and Peter Felten

Lambert, president emeritus of Elon University, will be joined by Executive Director of the Center for Engaged Learning at Elon Peter Felten are the authors of “Relationship-Rich Education: How Human Connections Drive Success in College.” The book, published in 2020 by Johns Hopkins University Press, features nearly 400 interviews with students, faculty and staff at 29 institutions of higher education across the country. The interviews were supplemented with research data collected from Elon University Poll. Lambert and Felten will speak on Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m., location to be determined.

Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address: BD Wong

Wong, an award-winning actor, will deliver the 2022 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address as part of the university’s annual events to honor King’s legacy. Wong has appeared on Broadway and in over 20 films, such as “Father of the Bride” and Disney’s “Mulan.” Wong speaks about his experience with rejection and racism within the entertainment industry. In his memoir, “Following Foo: The Electronic Adventures of the Chestnut Man,” Wong recounts the journey that he and his former partner went through on their road to parenthood. Wong will speak at McCrary Theatre, Center for the Arts on Jan. 11 at 6 p.m.

Feb. 8: Eric Liu

Eric Liu founded the national non-profit platform Citizen University in 2005 to foster citizenship through activation, communication and education. Liu’s 2014 TED talk on civic power, “Why ordinary people need to understand power,” has over 2 million views. Previously, Liu served as a White House speechwriter and domestic policy advisor, and is the author of several books. Liu will address the Elon community on Feb. 8, location and time to be determined

Baird Lecture: Leland Melvin

Leland Melvin has worn many hats throughout his life: an engineer, educator, former NASA astronaut and NFL wide receiver, to name just a few. After being drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1986, a hamstring injury ended his NFL career. Less than a decade after beginning work at NASA, Melvin, who majored in chemistry in college, was selected as an astronaut. As an astronaut, Melvin helped construct the International Space Station. Melvin will share his life story as an athlete, astronaut, scientist, engineer, photographer and musician with the Elon community on March 31 at 7 p.m. in Alumni Gymnasium.

April 5: Bella Liang

Professor of counseling psychology in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College, Bella Liang’s research explores mentoring and relational health in young adults. Liang is the principal investigator in the Purpose lab, where she is currently developing a curriculum and web-based application for creating purpose profiles to be used in educational settings called True North. Liang will speak at Whitley Auditorium on April 5 at 7:30 p.m.