WFU Face to Face Speaker Forum announces 2024-25 lineup

Peyton Manning, Anderson Cooper, Jesmyn Ward, David Brooks and John Legend

Face to Face graphic with photos of 2024-25 speakers

The community-facing Face to Face Speaker Forum brings world-renowned, influential voices to the greater Winston-Salem area to discuss topics in a variety of areas including political affairs, social justice and global issues, arts and culture, and business and innovation. 

The 2024-25 Face to Face Speaker Forum season will feature:

Peyton Manning The NFL’s only five-time MVP, Hall of Fame Quarterback, and two-time Super Bowl Champion, Manning supports various organizations including the PeyBack Foundation and the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. In 2020, he founded the Emmy Award-winning company, Omaha Productions.
(September 11, 2024, LJVM Coliseum)

Anderson Cooper A highly respected CNN anchor and correspondent for CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Cooper has received 20 Emmy® Awards and authored four books—all of which topped The New York Times Bestseller List.
(November 21, 2024, Wait Chapel)

Jesmyn Ward – An American novelist, she is one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and a MacArthur Genius Grant recipient. Face to Face is presenting Ward in partnership with The Program for Leadership and Character at Wake Forest University.
(December 5, 2024, Wait Chapel)

David Brooks – A bestselling author, op-ed columnist at The New York Times and a commentator on “PBS NewsHour,” Brooks is well known as a keen observer of politics and people with a gift of humor and quiet passion.
(February 27, 2025, Wait Chapel) 

John LegendA critically acclaimed, multiplatinum singer-songwriter and the first African American man to earn Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards, Legend leverages his influential position in the entertainment industry to advocate for ending mass incarceration and advancing community equity.
(April 8, 2025, LJVM Coliseum) 

Season Four subscriptions to the Face to Face Speaker Forum will be available starting at 10 a.m. on May 1. Individual tickets to all of Face to Face’s Season Four events will go on sale August 1.

Since 2020, Wake Forest University’s Face to Face Speaker Forum has shaped minds, explored frontiers of knowledge and nurtured intellectual entrepreneurship. Regarded as one of the country’s finest platforms for distinguished and engaging discussions, the Face to Face Speaker Forum provides unique opportunities for student interaction, faculty discourse and community debate with world changers.

When possible, Face to Face offers a special opportunity for a student-led Q&A with the speakers before the evening keynote event. Wake Forest students and students from area schools are invited to attend at no charge.For more information and to purchase subscriptions, please visit A complete list of past Face to Face events can be found here.

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