Be Sure to Participate with the UTRGV Distinguished Speaker Series


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Distinguished Speaker Series is a signature program that aims to provide the university and surrounding community with world-class speakers and lecturers.

The series has brought in notable speakers, such as former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the late civil rights activist and author Dr. Maya Angelou, Emmy award-winning CNN host Larry King and Grammy/Oscar award-winning R&B artist John Legend.

J.R. Martinez

November 7 | 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

UTRGV Performing Arts Complex in Edinburg

Doors open at 7:00 PM for UTRGV students, faculty and staff w/valid UTRGV identification.

Doors for the general public open at 7:15 PM.

Lecture begins at 7:30PM.

Actor, bestselling author, motivational speaker, advocate and wounded U.S. Army veteran J.R. Martinez is many things, but he’s perhaps best known as an inspiration. His career has been incredible and perhaps even a bit improbable. Once a high school football player from a small town in Georgia and the only son of a single working mother who emigrated from El Salvador, J.R.’s trajectory would be forever changed, allowing him to make an impact through his experiences.

For more information, click here.

Laverne Cox

February 8, 2017 | Time to be Announced

UTRGV Performing Arts Complex in Edinburg

Laverne Cox is an Emmy-nominated American actress, television producer, writer and LGBT advocate. She is the first trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show, Netflix’s Orange is the New Black. As a renowned speaker, she has taken her empowering message of moving beyond gender expectations to live more authentically all over the country.

Alison Levine

March 29, 2017 | Time to be Announced

TSC Arts Center in Brownsville

Allison Levine is a history-making adventurer and New York Times bestselling author. She served as the team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition, has scaled the highest peak on every continent and skied to both the North and South Poles – an accomplishment known as the Adventure Grand Slam, which fewer than 40 people in the world have achieved.


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