Issa Rae in conversation with GeNienne Samuels, ’97


They said it

Every semester, guests speakers bring fresh perspectives to campus — and often leave students inspired by the people they meet. Here’s are just a few of the visitors during the spring semester.

Issa Rae, an actor, writer, and director, drew a capacity crowd to a conversation in Camp Concert Hall hosted by local CBS news anchor GeNienne Samuels, ’97. Before the public session, Rae met with a small group of students from UR and neighboring Virginia Union and Virginia State universities. Rae, creator and star of HBO’s Insecure, shared a message of self-acceptance. “There’s no one else that can tell stories the way that you do or that has something to offer the way that you do.”

Speaker Atifete Jahjaga with students
Atifete Jahjaga, the first female president of Kosovo, discussed how women can work together to achieve success and seize new opportunities, even in her country’s difficult post-conflict environment. “I never go by the flow,” she said. “I always try to challenge the flow, not for the purpose of damaging, but always for the purpose of extracting the best outcome.”
Rainn Wilson speaks to guests in April
The chaplaincy hosted a conversation in Cannon Memorial Chapel with Rainn Wilson, who is best known for playing Dwight Schrute on The Office, as part of its Sylvester Spirituality Series. Wilson is co-founder of Soul Pancake, an organization created to encourage open-hearted dialogue about what it means to be human.