The University of Mount Union Gears up for Record-breaking Attendance at Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Schooler Lecture

February 01, 2017

ALLIANCE, Ohio—Interest in this year's Schooler Lecture at the University of Mount Union has been unprecedented, and last week, ticket requests exceeded the capacity of the Timken Gymnasium. As a result, for the first time in the history of the series, the Schooler Lecture will be moved from the gymnasium to the Peterson Field House, which will open up another 2,000-plus seats. 

Abdul-Jabbar, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, and six-time NBA and three-time NCAA Champion, will present the annual Schooler Lecture Tuesday, April 4, 2017 in this new location with room for a crowd of over 5,000. To request tickets, contact the University of Mount Union’s Office of Alumni Engagement at (330) 829-6120 or by email at

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.

Abdul-Jabbar is one of a handful of influential and respected black men in America who has a national platform as a regular contributing columnist for The Washington Post and Time Magazine, where he shares his thoughts on some of the most socially relevant and politically controversial topics facing our nation today. After 50 years as an athlete, activist, and New York Times best-selling author, he offers his perspectives as a nationally recognized speaker who regularly appears on the lecture circuit. His new political book, Writings on the Wall - Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White, was released in fall 2016 by Time Books and offers his personal perspectives on political issues facing America today. 

Late last year, his HBO Sports documentary, Kareem: Minority of One, debuted as HBO's most watched and highest rated sports documentary of all time. Currently, Abdul-Jabbar serves as the chairman of his Skyhook Foundation whose mission is to "Give Kids a Shot That Can't Be Blocked" by bringing educational STEM opportunities to under-served communities through innovative outdoor environmental learning. In 2012, Abdul-Jabbar was appointed as the only U.S. Cultural Ambassador by then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. His most recent projects include his debut novel Mycroft Holmes, a mystery novel and the first of an action/mystery series based on Sherlock Holmes's savvy older brother-released by Titan Publishing. In addition to the success of his novel, his first comic book series, Mycroft Holmes & the Apocalypse Handbook was released during Comic-Con in San Diego in July 2016 and continues to be a bestseller. His next book will be a memoir entitled Coach Wooden & Me - Our 50 Year Friendship, which is set to debut in June 2017.

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; Daily Beast founder and former editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair and Newsweek Tina Brown and, most recently, Tony Award nominated actor Carrie Coon ‘03 and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and Tony award-winning actor Tracy Letts.

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