Big Speakers for URI’s Big Thinkers

The University of Rhode Island will welcome Jane Goodall, Bill Nye and Whoopi Goldberg to center stage at the Ryan Center this upcoming fall.  

Jane Goodall, an animal rights activist, primatologist, ethologist, and anthropologist will take the stage Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.

Goodall was born in London and later raised in Bournemouth, England. Her interest with animal behavior started in her early childhood where she would explore the outdoors.

According to the American Museum of Natural History, Goodall attended a private school at age 18, but then dropped out to work as a secretary at Oxford University. Through the people she met at the university, she was invited to participate at an anthropological dig in Africa where her dream of studying primates became a reality.

After numerous trips to Africa, particularly Tanzania, her fascination in primates led Goodall to a long-term study on chimpanzees to observe their behavior and relationships toward humans.

Today, Goodall is credited with being the first person to record observations of chimpanzees. She received countless awards. According to her organization, Goodall was awarded the National Geographic Award, International Peace Award and the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science.

Tickets for this event are no longer available, but Goodall’s lecture will be available to live stream through the URI website.

The man in the white lab coat is back. URI Student Entertainment Committee, Alumni & Family Weekend Committee and Spectra by Comcast Spectacor presents an evening with Bill Nye, on Oct. 20 at 8 p.m.

Bill Nye is most known as a science educator who hosts a TV show called “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” Born and raised in Washington, D.C., he attended Cornell University where he studied mechanical engineering.

Not only is Nye a science educator, but he is a comedian, actor, scientist and writer. According to the Public Broadcasting Service, he got his start in comedy after winning a Steve Martin “look alike” contest. He ended up working as an engineer by day and stand-up comic at night. It was then that he was called “The Science Guy.”

Other than acting, Nye advocated for environmental issues through his appearances on CNN and other news programs. He enjoys writing children’s books about science in his free time. Nye is also featured in an exhibit at the Space and Science Center in California that focuses around climate change.

Make sure to reserve your tickets through the Ryan Center website. Family bundles are available for purchase.

Award winning actress, Whoopi Goldberg, will be joining the URI Family Weekend on Oct. 21 at 8 p.m.

Caryn Johnson, also known as Whoopi Goldberg, an actress, comedian, television host and human rights advocate, was born and raised in New York City. She dropped out of high school at age 17 due to her dyslexia and moved to California to pursue a career in show business. After doing one-woman shows for seven years, she decided to move back to New York to work on Broadway.

Goldberg has appeared in over 80 films and was given an Academy Award for her role in the movie “Ghost.” She was the first African American to win the award in 50 years.

“I’m proud to be an actor and I’m going to keep being an actor,” said Goldberg in her acceptance speech.

After making numerous movies, Goldberg branched off into the talk show world. According to IMDB, she launched her own television talk show, “The Whoopi Goldberg Show.” Later, she appeared as a host on game and radio shows.

Today, you can see Goldberg on the popular talk show called “The View.” Multiple tabloids have documented her involvement with humanitarian foundations and charities such as UNICEF, 21st Century Leaders, AIDS LIFE and many more.

Tickets start at $40 for the General Public, $30 for URI Families & Faculty/Staff and $20 for URI Students with a student ID. Tickets can be purchased at the Ryan Center box office or online at http://www.theryancenter.com/events/Whoopi_Goldberg