A trail-blazing corporate executive and diversity leader who grew up in the foster care system will be the first speaker in the President’s Distinguished Speaker Series at Northern Arizona University.

President Rita Cheng announced the launch of the speaker series this spring, with the intent to bring nationally recognized thought leaders to campus to discuss topics important to higher education. Steve Pemberton, chief diversity officer and divisional vice president for Walgreens, will speak at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, at Prochnow Auditorium.

Thanks to support from key alumni and partners, these events will be free for all NAU students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as for the general public and Flagstaff community.

 Pemberton overcame incredible odds as an orphan in foster care to attain the career he has now. Learn more about his message of self-empowerment and the importance of education.

More information on the President’s Distinguished Speaker Series can be found online.