Youth advocate and best-selling author Wes Moore will be the 2014 speaker in the Tom and Marla Corts Distinguished Author Series at Samford University Monday, March 17, at 7 p.m., in Wright Center.
Moore is an Army veteran, social entrepreneur and host of Beyond Belief on the Oprah Winfrey Network. His first book, The Other Wes Moore (2010), which contrasts Moore's life with that of a man who shared his name but made bad choices, became a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller.
The story chronicles how two kids with the same name in the same city made different choices that resulted in one being a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow and business leader, and the other serving a life sentence in prison for felony murder. A young adult version of the book, Discovering Wes Moore, was published in 2012.
Moore's talk at Samford will focus on the importance of education and how small choices can make big differences in life.
Raised by his widowed mother, Moore overcame early struggles in life to graduate Phi Beta Kappa from John Hopkins University in 2001 and earn a master's degree from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar in 2004. He was a paratrooper in the U.S. Army, serving a combat tour of duty in Afghanistan. He later served as a White House Fellow and special assistant to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He founded STAND!, an organization that works with Baltimore, Md., youth involved in the criminal justice system.
Tickets are $15 general admission and $5 for non-Samford students, who receive free admission. A VIP reception at 6 p.m., including lecture admission, is $50. To order tickets, go to tickets.samford.edu or call (205) 726-2853. Books will be available at the event, and Moore will sign autographs after the lecture.
The distinguished author series, established in 2011, honors the late Thomas Corts, who served as Samford president for 23 years, and his wife, Marla, a former high school English teacher. Proceeds from the lecture will benefit Samford's Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education.
To focus on Moore's theme, students in a Samford class on teaching in different educational settings were required to read his book. As a follow up on Tuesday, March 18, education students will attend a luncheon/dialogue to discuss family and cultural influences on education, to share their own stories of failure and success, and explore how personal and cultural biases affect teaching and learning. Education students from Miles College will participate as part of a continuing partnership between the two schools.