UW–Madison’s podiums and classrooms have been busy places. Some of these speakers were leading figures before they first spoke on campus; others were rising thinkers and advocates.
In March 1962, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the Union Theater. In November 1965, he returned after receiving a Nobel Peace Prize and spoke at the Stock Pavilion.
It may sound odd today, but there was a lot of controversy in April 1968 when Muhammad Ali spoke at the Stock Pavilion. Less than a year earlier, he had refused induction to the draft and had been convicted of a felony. His speech was called “The Black Muslim’s solution to Racism.”
In February 1969, Rev. Jesse Jackson joined a campus conference called “The Black Revolution: To What Ends?” The conference occurred 10 months after King’s assassination, and Jackson’s speech was titled “Is Non-Violence Possible Anymore?” Jackson has returned to campus several times since then.
In November 1972, the UW welcomed Angela Davis to campus, just five months after the former UCLA professor had been acquitted of charges following the Marin County Civic Center attacks. She has since appeared on campus several more times, most recently in 2019.
bell hooks MA’76 wasn’t famous when she first came to campus as a graduate student in 1974. But she went on to be a leading voice in issues surrounding gender and race. She has returned as a speaker, including in 1994, when the photo in this puzzle was taken.
Poet and novelist Maya Angelou appeared in the Union’s distinguished speaker series in 1990.
Later, in the fall of 1990, Audre Lorde came to campus. She passed away just two years later.