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YOUNGSTOWN — World-renowned skateboarder Tony Hawk and Olympic medal record-setter Allyson Felix are among the featured guests in the 2022-23 Youngstown State University Thomas Colloquium Lecture Series.

Also slated are top CEO and innovator John Hope Bryant and PepsiCo’s director of global strategy Indra Nooyi.

Tickets to all lectures are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis with a limit of four per person.

Hawk will be in town 7 pm Sept. 21 at Stambaugh Auditorium with tickets on sale beginning Aug. 15.

Called the most recognized action sports figure in the world, Hawk was just 9 when his brother changed his life by giving him a skateboard. By 14, he’d turned pro, and by 16 he was widely considered the best skateboarder on earth. He was world champion 12 years in a row and is a 16-time X Games medalist.

In 1999, he became the first skater to ever complete a 900 — the holy grail of vertical skateboarding.

Shortly thereafter, he teamed up with Activision to launch Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, now a billion Hawk’s Pro Skater, now a billion-dollar video game franchise.

In 2022, a biographical documentary film titled “Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off” by award-winning director Sam Jones debuted on HBO, giving an in-depth look at Hawk’s legendary career and personal life.

He founded The Skatepark Project, which has given away more than $10 million to more than 650 skatepark projects throughout the United States that serve more than 6 million visitors a year.


John Hope Bryant speaks at 7 pm Oct. 13, also in Stambaugh Auditorium with tickets available beginning Aug. 29.

Bryant often is referred to as the “Conscience of Capitalism.” Most recently, he was named one of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Most Influential Atlantans, one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s Notable Georgians and one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices. Bryant also was recognized as one of the Most Admired CEOs in 2018, American Banker magazine 2016 Innovator of the Year, INC.’s The World’s 10 Top CEOs (honorable mention), and one of Time magazine’s 50 Leaders for the Future in 1994.

Bryant is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Operation HOPE Inc. the largest nonprofit, best-in-class provider of financial literacy, and economic empowerment services in the US He also is the chairman and CEO of Bryant Group Ventures and founder and principal of The Promise Homes Company, which is the largest minority-controlled owner of single-family rental homes in the United States. Both have experienced explosive growth under Bryant’s leadership.

Five former US presidents have recognized his work, and he has served as an adviser to three sitting US presidents from both political parties. In 2016, Bryant became the only private American citizen to inspire the renaming of a building on the White House campus, when the US Treasury Annex Building was renamed the Freedman’s Bank Building.


Indra Nooyi speaks March 23 at Stambaugh Auditorium, also at 7 pm, with tickets available beginning Feb. 7 next year.

She was responsible for growing PepsiCo’s revenues from $35 billion to $63.5 billion. She oversaw a portfolio of global brands and diversified products enjoyed by consumers more than 1 billion times a day in more than 180 countries and territories around the world.

As PepsiCo’s director of global strategy, Nooyi led the company’s restructuring, including the divestiture of its restaurants into the successful YUM! Brands Inc.; the acquisition of Tropicana and merger with Quaker Oats; the merger with PepsiCo’s anchor bottlers; and the acquisition of Wimm-Bill-Dann, the largest international acquisition in PepsiCo’s history.

Nooyi serves on the boards of Amazon, Philips and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and is an independent director of the International Cricket Council.

Celebrated for her hallmark motto of “do well by doing good,” Nooyi was chief architect of Performance with Purpose, PepsiCo’s pledge to do right by being responsive to the needs of the world through sustainable growth initiatives.

With appearances in Forbes’ The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, Fortune’s Most Powerful Women and TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in The World, Nooyi has been sought-out for her business insights and messages on leadership, inclusivity and change.


Allyson Felix will be in town 7 pm Sept. 14, 2023, at Stambaugh Auditorium, with tickets available Aug. 8, 2023.

The most decorated female track and field athlete in Olympic history, Allyson Felix stepped on the world stage as a passionate 18-year-old in her first Olympic Games. She has redefined athletics as she continues to cement her iconic status on and off the track.

Felix has amassed 13 global titles, 10 US championships, 11 Olympic medals, a world record and delivered the fastest 400 meters relay split in World Championship history. She holds the most US track and field Olympic medals of all time. Her accomplishments solidify her as one of the greatest female athletes ever and has garnered attention from Vogue, Glamour, Essence, Self, O Magazine, Sports Illustrated and Elle.

Felix has still made time to graduate with an elementary education degree from the University of Southern California. She also serves as an ambassador for Right to Play and Play Works, as well as being a member of The President’s Council on Fitness, Sport, and Nutrition.

Felix fought for new maternity policies for female athletes and continues to fight against discrimination in the athletic world. Recently, she turned her attention to helping the NFL’s Nnamdi Asomugha provide Los Angeles area teens with tools to prepare themselves for higher education through their ACTS College Summit.

Felix remains at the forefront of the fight for equality for all in sports and in life.

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