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The 2019-20 Bryan Series season begins with two inspiring voices.

Education, the environment and trusting your gut were some of the hot-button topics addressed by the kick-off speakers for the Guilford College Bryan Series. On Sept. 10, former First Lady Laura Bush shared thoughts about family and the “afterlife” — meaning life after the White House — to a crowd of 2,600 at the Greensboro Coliseum. She said that she and former President George W. Bush are enjoying life in Dallas, Texas, and shared updates on their daughters and grandchildren.

Laura said her passion for education guided her time as First Lady and continues to play an important role in the “afterlife.” She talked about her career as an educator in Texas and how her experiences shaped her values regarding literacy and education. Additionally, Laura continues to devote time to global women’s issues and the preservation of natural resources.

She also candidly discussed her struggle with identity. “Do what you think is right,” Laura recalls her mother-in-law, Barbara Bush, advising.

Laura Bush at the Guilford College Bryan Series
Photo by Julie Knight/Lynn Hey

On Oct. 2, The Honorable Stephen Breyer and CBS News’ Chief Legal Correspondent Jan Crawford had an intimate conversation about politics, family, Stephen’s latest book and the inner workings of the Supreme Court. The Associate Justice said through his book, The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities, that he wants to educate people on the impact of the law beyond U.S. borders. “Local versus global isn’t going to go away … when do we meddle and when do we not?”

In a Q&A session led by Jan, Stephen then addressed a full gamut of questions — from conservative versus liberal justices to how to achieve a long, happy marriage. His advice for the next generation of change-makers? “Read. Think. Talk. Listen.” And liberal arts helps. “Anything that tells you about the lives of people you might not otherwise meet.”



The Guilford College Bryan Series invites you to be our guest for the Spring 2020 events, now at the new state-of-the-art Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Greensboro.

March 24 - Sally Field

The two-time Academy Award winner is one of our most celebrated and enduring actors who has played notable and memorable TV and film roles such as Gidget, Sybil, Norma Rae and Mary Todd Lincoln. Her intimate memoir In Pieces was a 2018 New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

April 23 - Colson Whitehead

Author of six novels, including The Underground Railroad, he is a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner and a significant voice on slavery and segregation. As our society grapples with lingering race issues, unpacking this history together is an important exercise. His newest book, The Nickel Boys, was released in May.