Since 1936, San Joaqin Valley Town Hall has showcased nationally and internationally renowned, thought-provoking, speakers who inform, educate, and entertain our audience.
1937: In the town of Hanford, California, Clio Lee Aydelott—a woman of letters—hoped to make an addition to the Central Valley's intellectual and cultural life by providing a venue for "thinking adults to become better informed." A Town Hall series, already established in twenty other U.S. cities, thus debuted in Fresno with a program in 1938; it consisted of seven morning and six evening lectures. The lectures were so well received that a second series was scheduled for the fall of the same year.
The lecture series continued under the direction of Dr. Rappaport for eight seasons. At that time, the San Joaquin Valley Town Hall of Fresno was formed to produce the lecture series independently. The first series of six morning lectures began in October of 1946, and that format continues to this day.
Over the years, Town Hall has hosted almost 500 speakers who have provided stimulating, intellectual entertainment. Some speakers of note include Margaret Mead, Bennett Cerf, Agnes DeMille, James Michener, Gore Vidal, Maya Angelou, Ray Bradbury, Condoleezza Rice, Henry Kissinger, and Chet Huntley. In the future, Town Hall will continue to work hard to bring you speakers who will enlighten and entertain.
Season ticket: $95
Admission to all six lectures, plus one single-lecture guest ticket good for any one lecture
Patron ticket: $200
Admission to all six lectures, plus three single-lecture guest tickets and recognition in annual brochure
Single lecture: $25
Must be purchased at the box office on the day of the lectureCancel Buy Ticket
Author of the critically acclaimed best seller, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, Jeffrey Toobin brings the inside story of one of America's most mysterious and powerful institutions to the Saroyan stage. At the podium, Toobin is an unbiased, deeply analytic expert on American law, politics and procedure and he provides a unique look into the inner workings of the Supreme Court and its influence.
Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court was published by Doubleday and spent more than four months on the NY Times best-seller list, earning Toobin the 2008 J. Anthony Lukas Prize for Nonfiction from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Toobin has also written several other best-selling books, including A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal that Nearly Brought Down a President; The Run of His Life: The People vs. O.J. Simpson; and Too Close to Call: The 36-Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election.
What's 75 million years old and brand spanking new? A teenage Utahceratops! Come to the Saroyan, armed with your best dinosaur roar, when Scott Sampson, Research Curator at the Utah Museum of Natural History, steps to the podium. Sampson's research has focused on the ecology and evolution of late Cretaceous dinosaurs and he has conducted fieldwork in a number of countries in Africa.
Scott Sampson is a Canadian-born paleontologist who received his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Toronto. His doctoral work focused on two new species of ceratopsids, or horned dinosaurs, from the Late Cretaceous of Montana, as well as the growth and function of certopsid horns and frills.
Following graduation in 1993, Sampson spent a year working at the American Museum of Natual History in New York City, followed by five years as assistant professor of anatomy at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine on Long Island. He arrived at the University of Utah accepting a dual position as assistant professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics and curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Utah Museum of Natural History. His research interests largely revolve around the phylogenetics, functional morphology, and evolution of Late Cretaceous dinosaurs.
In addition to his museum and laboratory-based studies, Sampson has conducted paleontological work in Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Madagascar, as well as the United States and Canada. He was also the on-the-air host for the Discovery Channel's Dinosaur Planet and recently completed a book, Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life, which is one of the most comprehensive surveys of dinosaurs and their worlds to date.