The 23rd season of the Omnibus Lecture Series at Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) features four engaging and thought-provoking speakers.

This year’s line-up includes:

Captain Mark Kelly

“Endeavour to Succeed”
Thursday, October 12, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets available at 12:30 p.m. on September 25

With an extraordinary career of service to our military, our nation, and humanity, NASA space mission commander Mark Kelly is a role model, modern-day pioneer, and leader. With his twin brother, Scott, he has laid the groundwork for future space exploration as subjects of an unprecedented NASA study on the effects of space on the human body.

Kelly shares lessons learned from extensive travels, the Navy, outer space, and on the ground—from leading teams in some of the most dynamic environments imaginable to the thrill of spaceflight, and the resilience of his wife, Gabrielle Giffords.

The AWS Foundation is co-sponsoring this lecture in celebration of their 10th anniversary.

Robert Edsel

“The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History”
Tuesday, November 14, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets available at 12:30 p.m. on October 30

Robert Edsel’s impassioned journey unraveled the secrets of the unsung heroes who saved the world’s greatest art and cultural treasures. A former nationally ranked tennis player and oilman, he is now a renowned art preservation advocate.

Edsel’s New York Times best-selling book, The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, was the basis for the 2014 film George Clooney wrote, directed, and starred in and which featured an all-star cast.

The Fort Wayne Museum of Art is co-sponsoring this lecture.

Wes Moore

“From Troubled Teen to Rhodes Scholar: The Transformative Power of Education”
Wednesday, February 7, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets available at 12:30 p.m. on January 22

Acclaimed author and CEO Wes Moore has a remarkable story of overcoming adversity through education, embracing personal responsibility, and emerging as an inspirational leader.

From wayward inner city youth to decorated veteran, Rhodes Scholar, White House Fellow, and business leader, he is the subject of a major motion picture, The Other Wes Moore, from executive producer Oprah Winfrey. Based on his New York Times bestseller, it tells the story of how education, parental influence, mentors, and community support helped him transcend the unfortunate fate of a man with the same name who lived just blocks away.

Moore’s lecture is one event the university will host to celebrate Black History Month.

Lilly Ledbetter

“Grace and Grit: How I Won My Fight at Goodyear and Beyond”
Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets available at 12:30 p.m. on March 5

After 19 years as a successful supervisor at Goodyear, Lilly Ledbetter suspected she wasn’t getting paid as much as male counterparts. When this was confirmed, she brought an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Complaint against Goodyear and won. However, the company appealed and the ruling was overturned by the Supreme Court. This decision motivated legal groups and politicians and on Jan. 29, 2009, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the first act of Congress signed by President Obama—making it easier for women who have experienced pay discrimination to fight back.

Ledbetter’s lecture is one event the university will host to celebrate Women’s History Month.

Omnibus Lecture Series Information

The Omnibus Lecture Series is dedicated to sharing diverse ideas through educated, respected, insightful, and entertaining speakers for the campus community and people throughout northeast Indiana.

The English, Bonter, Mitchell Foundation has been the Omnibus Lecture Series sponsor since 1995. Media sponsors for the 2017–18 series are WANE-TV NewsChannel 15, Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly, and 89.1 WBOI News and Diverse Music.

Omnibus Lecture Series Tickets

All lectures are held in the Auer Auditorium at the Rhinehart Music Center and require free tickets. There are three options to obtain tickets:

  • Pick up tickets in person at the Larson Ticket Office in the Gates Athletics Center between 12:30 and 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Reserve tickets online. Go to the Box Office website to purchase tickets. Tickets are free, but a convenience fee of $1 per ticket will be charged.
  • Tickets reserved online can be mailed for an additional fee of $1 or picked up at Will Call in the lobby of the Rhinehart Music Center beginning one hour before the lecture. Unclaimed tickets will be offered to other guests 15 minutes before the program begins.
    Doors open one hour before each lecture. Free parking is available in parking garage 3, located in the Fine Arts Plaza.

For more information about the lecture series, speakers, tickets, or the campus map, visit the Omnibus Lecture Series website.
For media inquiries, contact Kimberly Wagner, director of public relations, at 260-481-4174 or

About IPFW

Established in 1964, Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne is the largest university in northeast Indiana. As a Metropolitan University, it is uniquely positioned to serve the region as a crossroads of intellectual, social, economic, and cultural advancement and to continue expanding its global reach through research, scholarship, and creative expression. Challenging academics are combined with a focus on student success across many prestigious degree programs, taught by nearly 350 full-time faculty. More than 8,300 degree-seeking students of diverse ages, ethnicities, and nationalities pursue their education on the nearly 700-acre campus. More than half of the students are first-generation college students, 15% are from underrepresented populations, and 73% of students receive some form of financial assistance to achieve their academic and career goals. A majority of the growing alumni network of 57,000 live and work in northeast Indiana, contributing to the region’s economy, vitality, and intellectual strength.