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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Sept. 6, 2012

Student Activities Council announces lineup for 2012-2013 lecture series

The Student Activities Council at Northwest Missouri State University has announced its SAC Speaks lecture series for the 2012-2013 academic year, which features a ground-breaking football coach whose inspiring story was depicted in a Disney film, a college student whose testimony to a state house committee about his non-traditional family helped stir a national dialogue about gay marriage, and a sex columnist who created a popular video project with a lasting impact.

“With the SAC lecture series, we try to be diverse in the speakers we bring to the Northwest campus,” said Erica Martin, director of lecture programming for the Student Activities Council. “These lectures help students gain a better understanding of varied lifestyles and cultures, and they help students develop an awareness of obstacles they may encounter.”

All lectures will begin at 7 p.m. and take place in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom. Tickets are free and will be available at Student Services Center, located on the first floor of the Administration Building, at a later date.

The mission of the Student Activities Council is to plan and administer activities for Northwest students, in order to contribute to a more well-rounded social, recreational and cultural life for the campus and community. SAC provides entertaining alternatives to students with late night activities and events throughout the year including concerts, lectures, movies and comedians.

For more information, contact the Student Activities Council at 660.562.1226 or

A complete schedule of this year’s SAC lecture series appears below with more information about each guest.

Herman BooneHerman Boone: Football Coach Portrayed in “Remember the Titans” (Tuesday, Sept. 25)

In 1971, racial tensions ran high in Alexandria, Va., as three schools were newly integrated to form the T.C. Williams High School. It was from this union that the Titan football team was created. The former rivalries between the schools coupled with the strain between black and white players resulted in a team that was far from united.

Tensions only escalated when Herman Boone, assistant coach of the former T.C. Williams High School, was named head coach of the Titans, passing over Bill Yoast, the local favorite and successful head coach of the former white Hammond High. Yoast’s supporters were angered by Boone’s appointment, which was seen as a gesture of goodwill to the black community.

Remarkably, the two coaches put aside their prejudices and unified their players to form a team whose common vision was to respect each other and win football games. At the same time, through the game of football, Boone and Yoast helped their small Virginia community put aside their intolerance and join in support of their children. The Titans became one of the best teams in Virginia, compiling a 13-0 record and went on to win the state championship.

Zach WahlsZach Wahls: “What Makes a Family” (Monday, Oct. 15)

The son of two lesbian mothers, the 19-year-old University of Iowa engineering student had no idea his heartfelt testimony before the Iowa House Committee in January 2011 would spread like viral wildfire, and even land him on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

A state champion in high school debate and multiple national finalist in competitive acting, Zach was no stranger to speaking before an audience. Yet, he had never talked about his family in a public setting or in such open and candid terms. But just two days after he testified during that hearing, a YouTube video of his testimony went viral, garnering millions of views via Facebook, Twitter, national and international television and other online media.

Never before had he had such an opportunity to stand up and speak out on behalf of his family. So he did what any of us would do, deciding to advocate for family and families like his all over the country. Zach shares a story that has never been told and offers a fresh, bold perspective on the contentious issue of gay marriage.

Dan SavageDan Savage: “Savage, Love, Live” (Monday, March 12)

Dan Savage delivers his unique brand of sex advice in the popular “Savage Love,” an internationally syndicated column read by millions of people every week. But it’s his “It Gets Better” video project on YouTube that turned him into a household name after its creation in 2010.

By asking people to make and upload short positive videos about their experiences in the LGBT community, Savage hopes the rate of gay teen suicides will drop. Advertising Age called “It Gets Better” one of the top social media campaigns of 2010, and Mashable called Savage one of the most captivating online personalities of 2010. Savage has won a Webby Special Achievement Award and was selected for Out magazine's “Power 50” and “Out 100” lists, and O, The Oprah Magazine’s, “O Wow! List” of breakthrough achievers.

Savage has written his column for 15 years and it runs in more than 70 newspapers in the throughout the world. His book, “It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying and Creating a Life Worth Living,” is a New York Times best-seller. Another of his books, “The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Get Pregnant,” is an award-winning memoir about adoption and the inspiration for a new musical from the producers of “Avenue Q.” Savage is a regular contributor to the op-ed pages of The New York Times and to the public radio program “This American Life.”

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468