Reporter Rich Heldenfels to Moderate Schooler Lecture

April 02, 2015

ALLIANCE, Ohio – Award-winning Akron Beacon Journal reporter Rich Heldenfels will lead a moderated discussion with alumna and Tony Award-nominated actor Carrie Coon ’03 and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Tony Award-winning actor Tracy Letts at the 2015 Schooler Lecture at the University of Mount Union.

The Schooler Lecture will be presented at 8 p.m. on Monday, April 13 in the Timken Gymnasium of the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex.   

Heldenfels has been a reporter and columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal since 1994 and its popular culture writer since 2006. Having written about entertainment and other topics for more than 40 years, he is a member and former president of the Television Critics Association and the author of the book "Television's Greatest Year: 1954." With Tom Feran, he co-authored two other books, "Ghoulardi: Inside Cleveland TV's Wildest Ride" and "Cleveland TV Memories." He lives in Mogadore, Ohio with his wife Connie.

Coon recently made her silver-screen debut as Margo Dunne in the feature film “Gone Girl.” She can also be seen as Nora Durst in the HBO series “The Leftovers.” Coon is also known for her Tony Award-nominated performance as Honey in Broadway’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

Coon is a 2003 graduate of Mount Union, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Spanish. She then continued her passion for acting at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree.

Letts has won Tony Awards for Best Play for “August: Osage County” and Best Leading Actor in a Play for his performance as George in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” He also has won a Pulitzer Prize for “August: Osage County.”

Coon and Letts met while performing in “Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. They then performed together in the Broadway run of the show and were married in 2013.

Complimentary tickets to the lecture are still available and can be requested online at or by calling (330) 829-6120 and leaving a message including name, address, phone number and number of tickets requested. Please allow several business days for tickets to be processed and mailed.

About the Schooler Lecture

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 have included 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; and Daily Beast founder and former editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair and Newsweek Tina Brown.

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