Maverick Speakers Series 10th anniversary season

Two outstanding UTA alumni - a critically acclaimed Hollywood actor and a highly respected American economist - will return to their alma mater along with an exceptionally strong lineup to for the 10th anniversary season of The University of Texas at Arlington’s Maverick Speakers Series, a premier venue for the nation’s best minds.

Celebrated actor, director, and producer Lou Diamond Phillips, a 1985 graduate of UTA, opens the season with a lecture Sept. 7.  The University will host a film festival showcasing some of Phillips’ work between Aug. 31 and Sept. 6. 

Economist Roland Fryer, a 1998 UTA graduate who became the youngest African-American faculty member to receive tenure at Harvard University appears Nov. 2.

Astronaut and entrepreneur Anousheh Ansari, award-winning food author and activist Michael Pollan, and broadcast journalist turned workplace equality advocate Gretchen Carlson complete the series for this season.

Now in its tenth year, the Maverick Speakers Series has distinguished itself as a highly anticipated community event that presents diverse voices who provoke thoughtful conversations.

Students, faculty and staff may attend lectures at no cost, but tickets are required and can be reserved through  Tickets for the general public are now on sale.

Ticket options

General Admission: $5 per ticket

Preferred: $35 per ticket.  Includes reserved seating near the front of the venue, reserved parking access, and front-of-the-line access to book signings when offered by the speaker.

Season:  $150 per ticket. Includes preferred ticket to each event with reserved seating near the front of the venue, reserved parking access, and front-of-the-line access to book signings when offered by the speaker.

Tickets can be purchased through


Complete Maverick Speakers Series Schedule

Lou Diamond Phillips – “An Evening with Lou Diamond Phillips”

September 7, 2017, 7:30 p.m. Texas Hall

UTA Alumnus Lou Diamond Phillips is an actor, director, writer and producer who has appeared on stage and on screen.  Film credits include La Bamba, Young Guns, Stand and Deliver, and Courage Under Fire. He is currently cast in the Netflix show Longmire.

Anousheh Ansari – “My Dream of Stars”

October 3, 2017, 7:30 p.m. Texas Hall

Co-founder, chairwoman, and CEO of Prodea Systems, Anousheh Ansari captured headlines as the first female private space explorer, the first astronaut of Iranian descent, and the first Muslim woman to go to space.

Roland Fryer – “Solutions to Fixing Education in America:  No More Excuses”

November 2, 2017, 7:30 p.m. Texas Hall

Roland Fryer is a UTA alumnus and an award-winning Harvard economist and education activist. He is the faculty director of the Education Innovation Laboratory and a former junior fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows, one of academia’s most prestigious research posts.

Michael Pollan – “One Writer’s Trip:  From the Garden to the Plate and Beyond”

February 20, 2018, 7:30 p.m. Texas Hall

For the past two decades, Michael Pollan has written about food and agriculture.  A four-hour Netflix miniseries based on his most recent book, Cooked:  A Natural History of Transformation, premiered in 2016.

Gretchen Carlson – “An Evening with Female Empowerment Advocate & TV Host Gretchen Carlson”

March 29, 2018, 7:30 p.m. College Park Center

Gretchen Carlson co-hosted the cable morning show, Fox and Friends, for seven years, making her one of the nation’s most recognized news anchors.  She is now an advocate for employment equality after going public about sexual harassment in the workplace.