Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Present Schooler Lecture at the University of Mount Union

November 22, 2016

ALLIANCE, Ohio – The University of Mount Union is proud to announce that Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, six-time NBA champion and three-time NCAA champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will present the annual Schooler Lecture Tuesday, April 4, 2017 in the Timken Gymnasium of the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex.

The NBA’s all-time leading scorer, who regularly contributes as a columnist to The Washington Post and Time Magazine, recently released the New York Times best-selling Writings on the Wall - Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White. The book offers Abdul-Jabbar’s personal perspectives on political issues facing America today.

Abdul-Jabbar played for legendary coach and Hall of Famer John Wooden at the University of California, Los Angeles from 1966-1969. While at UCLA, he earned numerous personal accolades including three-time Final Four Most Outstanding Player, three-time National College Player of the Year and three-time Consensus First-Team All-American (1967-1969).

The White House announced this week that Abdul-Jabbar will be one of 21 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded by President Barack Obama. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. The awards will be presented at the White House on November 22.

At the Schooler Lecture, Abdul-Jabbar will present “It’s All about the Rebound,” during which he’ll discuss his life successes and the many challenging obstacles he had to overcome along the way including racism; criticism from the press and his peers; anti-Muslim sentiment; professional struggles as an NBA player, coach, and television commentator; and being taken seriously as a writer. Each of these obstacles was overcome through discipline, perseverance, patience, and some harsh introspection. 

The Schooler Lecture Series was established in 1988 with grant funding from the Schooler Family Foundation. The Foundation's philanthropy has enabled the University to provide a dramatically enhanced opportunity for young men and women studying at Mount Union and for the residents in the greater Alliance area to experience the breadth and depth of American culture.

Past Schooler Lecturers include the late former U.S. President Gerald R. Ford; the late astronomer Carl Sagan; the late former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop; former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger; the Rev. Jesse Jackson; the late former U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick; news magazine host Hugh Downs; the late news commentator David Brinkley; former hostage Terry Anderson; Schindler’s List author Thomas Keneally and the late holocaust survivor Leopold Page; Apollo 13 Commander James Lovell; Rabbi Laureate Harold Kushner; former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; environmental conservationist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.; former president of Poland Lech Walesa; Mount Everest explorer Dr. Beck Weathers; the late former New York Governor Mario Cuomo; media specialists Cokie and Steven Roberts; the Archbishop Desmond Tutu; former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young; world-renowned marine biologist Dr. Robert Ballard; the late Tim Russert; documentary filmmaker Ken Burns; political analysts James Carville and Mary Matalin; author Khaled Hosseini; astrophysicist, TV show host and author Neil Degrasse Tyson; former Newark, New Jersey mayor and current United States senator Cory Booker; Daily Beast founder and former editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair and Newsweek Tina Brown; Tony Award nominated actor Carrie Coon ‘03 and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and Tony award-winning actor Tracy Letts; and NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd.

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