Vanderbilt hosts Astronaut Mae Jemison and NFL Attorney A.A. Birch, III

(l-r) Mae Jemison and Adolpho A. Birch, III

Over the coming few weeks, two very influential African Americans will be hosted by Vanderbilt University. One is the first African American woman to travel into space, and the other is a leading attorney for the National Football League.

Mae Jemison, scientist, educator and first African-American woman in space will be joined by the Honorable Rush Holt, physicist and former Congressman. They will participate in the Vanderbilt Chancellor’s Lecture Series (CLS) event on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Langford Auditorium. The doors open at 5:30 p.m. for this non-ticketed event open to the public. Science advocacy and innovation will be the theme of this, the final, lecture of the season.

Mae Jemison is an accomplished educator, engineer, entrepreneur and physician, who became the first black woman to travel in space when she served as an astronaut on STS-47 aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in September, 1992. Rush Holt is a physicist, a former U.S. Congressman of New Jersey’s 12th district (1999-2015), and the chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The two will sit down with outgoing Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos to discuss the new frontiers of scientific thought and the importance of the STEM fields for America’s progress.

A special Vanderbilt campus visit by Adolpho A. Birch III is scheduled for April 23 and 24. In the days leading up to the NFL draft in Nashville April 25-27, Chancellor Zeppos will host Adolpho A. Birch III, NFL executive and Vanderbilt Board of Trust secretary, for a variety of discussions and panels on issues related to sports, law and society. Birch, a native Nashvillian who graduated Harvard undergraduate and Vanderbilt Law, is Sr. Vice President of Labor Policy & League Affairs at the NFL.

The lectures and activities taking place on April 23-24 are outlined in the following paragraphs.

On Tuesday, April 23, from 4 – 5 p.m. “Reaching the End Zone: Preparing for Success in College and Beyond” is the title of a talk Birch will give in the Black Cultural Center Auditorium; Open to all. Later that day, from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., a Student Dinner will be hosted by the Residential Faculty for Birch and interested students.

Wednesday, April 24, from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m., Birch will attend Breakfast with the VU Office of General Counsel Staff. From 12 Noon – 1 p.m. “Lunch & Learn: The Student-Athlete Experience”, a conversation geared towards students and staff involved with athletics will take place in the East Multipurpose Room of the Recreation and Wellness Center; Open to all. And, finally, from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. “College Athletics, The Draft, and the Business of Professional Sports” is the title of a panel discussion featuring Adolpho A. Birch III, John Ingram and Carolyn Peck, moderated by Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos.

The panel starts at 5:30 p.m., with a reception beforehand, in the Board of Trust Room, Student Life Center; Open to all.