University officials announced this morning that the 30th annual Salem State Series will feature renowned investigative journalist, author and CNN television host Anderson Cooper on April 24 and on Nov. 8 the series will feature new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, who will appear in conversation with New England Sports Network's Peter Gammons.
Both lectures will be at 8 p.m. in Salem State University’s O'Keefe Center (225 Canal St.).
The series was one of the first high-profile speaker series in the country and has hosted world leaders, artists, athletes and intellectuals, including Bill Clinton in 2001. More than 7,500 patrons attend the series annually.
The series has often housed controversial figures. Former US House speaker and current Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich headlined last year's series along with novelist John Irving.
Cooper is known for his live, on-the-ground reports from Iraq, Afghanistan and the hurricane ravaged Gulf Coast and well as his ability to moderate both Republican and Democratic presidential candidate debates.
"Anderson Cooper has earned America’s trust as an unbiased and eloquent journalist whose reports reveal the depth of his research and capture both the humanity—and inhumanity—of man," a press release announcing the speakers said.
Valentine replaced longtime Red Sox manager Terry Francona in December and will serve as the club's 45th manager this year.
"When his own playing days ended, Valentine distinguished himself as a manager, leading the New York Mets to a 97–66 record and a wild card playoff berth in 1999," the release said. "The baseball guru eventually turned his sights to sports journalism, making his broadcast debut as a baseball analyst for ESPN during the 2009 American and National League Championship Series and World Series."
Valentine will be joined on stage by Gammons, a three-time recipient of the National Sportswriter of the Year Award, voted annually by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
Tickets, which will range in price from $10 for students to $100 for inner circle seating for Cooper that includes a post-lecture reception with the speaker, go on sale at 10 a.m. tomorrow. There are also general admission tickets for $20 and seats for $50 and $80 per person. Tickets for both presentations may be purchases online at salemstateseriestickets.com, or by calling the box office at 978.542.7555.
Justin A. Rice can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.