Skeggs Lecture Series to feature Gifford, Kelly


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By Amanda Tonoli

atonoli@vindy.com

IF YOU GO

What: Youngstown State University Skeggs Lecture Series

Who: Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly

When: 7 p.m. next Thursday

Where: Stambaugh Auditorium

Tickets: Call 330-941-2136 or email jmleviseur@ysu.edu

YOUNGSTOWN

Youngstown State University Skeggs Lecture Series will welcome Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly at 7 p.m. next Thursday in Stambaugh Auditorium.

Giffords, a former U.S. congresswoman, was the target of an assassination attempt in 2011. Kelly, her husband, is a retired NASA astronaut.

“We have wonderful stories, and our speakers always have a lot to share,” said Jackie LeViseur, YSU events director, about the Skeggs Lecture Series.

Giffords represented Arizona’s 8th Congressional District when, in January 2011 she was a victim of an assassination attempt near Tuscon. Six people were killed and 13 injured in the shooting; Giffords suffered a gunshot wound to the head.

Kelly, a retired Navy captain, flew his first space shuttle mission in 2001, and also piloted flights in 2006, 2008 and 2011.

LeViseur said Kelly will be doing a presentation in the Ward Beecher Planetarium before the lecture to give YSU students a chance to interact with a professional in their field.

“It’s just amazing to be able to see students get this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” LeViseur said.

“[And] Gabby’s story has so much to offer with how courageous she is what she went through and how she’s going out encouraging people and sharing her story,” LeViseur said. “[Both speakers and] their topics are about leadership, courage and perseverance. It’s just motivational.”

The presentation is free but requires a ticket to attend. Tickets are available at the Stambaugh box office or online at stambaughauditorium.com.

Although tickets are almost all taken, LeViseur suggests contacting the events office at YSU at 330-941-2136 or emailing her at jmleviseur@ysu.edu.

LeViseur added YSU is fortunate to have the Skeggs Family Foundation funding the lecture series at no cost to the university.

“It’s a huge benefit to campus and community,” she said.

In September, Ben Stein, actor, writer, lawyer and political commentator, will join the Skeggs Lecture Series family.

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