UA lectures series includes Daymond John, Ari Fleisher, David Axelrod

Daymond John / Inc. Magazine

University of Arkansas officials today announced the featured speakers for two upcoming Distinguished Lectures events.

Daymond John, star of ABC’s “Shark Tank” and founder of FUBU clothing company, will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, at the Fayetteville Town Center on the downtown Fayetteville Square. The lecture is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

Ari Fleisher, former press secretary for President George W. Bush, and David Axelrod, former senior advisor to President Barack Obama, will speak one week later at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, in Bud Walton Arena. This lecture is also free and open to the public, with no tickets required.

According to a news release, both lectures will be followed by question and answer sessions.

The Distinguished Lecture Series is a student-funded program. Speakers are chosen by a committee of students, faculty and staff.

Recent speakers have included journalist Bob Woodward, science educator Bill Nye, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and anthropologist Jane Goodall.

From the UA:

Daymond John is the founder and chief executive officer of the clothing company FUBU – “for us, by us” – which he started with friends in his mother’s basement in Queens, New York, and is now a $6 billion brand. He joined the Emmy award-winning reality series Shark Tank in 2009. On the program John and four other business executives hear business pitches from everyday people, and decide whether or not to invest money in their projects.

John also works as a consultant and motivational speaker, sharing his expertise with everyone from students and aspiring entrepreneurs to small business owners and CEOs of major corporations.

Ari Fleisher was White House press secretary for President George W. Bush from January 2001 to July 2003, serving in the time following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He had a lengthy career as press secretary for several members of Congress and as spokesman for the Ways and Means Committee for the U.S. House of Representatives. He currently runs Ari Fleischer Sports Communications, and has worked as media consultant for the College Football Playoff Selection Committee.

David Axelrod served as chief strategist for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. He was appointed senior adviser to the president following the election, leaving in 2011 to lead Obama’s successful re-election campaign. He currently serves as the director of the non-partisan Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago and is a senior political commentator for CNN.