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Ben Stein to speak at University of the Cumberlands


Acclaimed actor, author, commentator, teacher and attorney Ben Stein will speak at University of the Cumberlands on April 7.

Williamsburg, Ky. — University of the Cumberlands has announced that the speaker for UC’s fourth annual leadership program, sponsored by the Forcht Group of Kentucky Center for Excellence in Leadership, will be Ben Stein, Emmy-award-winning actor, writer, professor, conservative political and economic commentator and attorney.

Stein, well-known for his keen insights into American social, political and economic issues will share his opinions about the attributes of “21st Century Leadership.” on Tuesday, April 7, at 7:00 p.m., in the O. Wayne Rollins Center, on campus.

Ben Stein was born in Washington, D.C., the son of the noted economist and writer Herbert Stein. He received a B. A. with honors in economics from Columbia, where he was active in the civil rights movement to secure voting and other legal rights for African-Americans.

He was valedictorian of his class, by election of his classmates, at Yale Law School, class of 1970, where he also strenuously worked part time as a poverty lawyer and as an activist and demonstrator for civil rights and decent treatment of the poor.

After graduation, he served as a poverty lawyer, a trial lawyer in the field of advertising, and he taught classes on the political content of film and TV at American University; UC, Santa Cruz; and Pepperdine. He was a speech writer and lawyer for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, and he was a columnist and editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal.

In June of 1976, he moved to Hollywood, where he became an author, TV sitcom writer, and movie script writer. He has written and published 30 books—seven are works of fiction, and twenty-three are nonfiction—mostly about Hollywood and mass culture, but some are self-help books, and some are about finance. He has also written several screenplays, some of which were made into movies. His latest movie endeavor is a well-received documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, which addresses most higher-education institutions’ reactions to the theory of intelligent design.

Stein labored especially hard on a decade-long project to expose financial fraud and self dealing in large public companies. His work on the Milken/Drexel junk bond scheme was instrumental in the recovery of billions of dollars for investors and taxpayers.

In 1986, with no professional training, Stein became an instant cult hero for his role as the boring economics teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, in a scene that was recently voted one of the fifty funniest scenes in American film history. Afterwards, Stein appeared as a recurring character in Charles in Charge, and then in The Wonder Years. In 1997, he began his long-running hit quiz show, Win Ben Stein’s Money, which garnered seven Emmys for best game show and one for Stein as best game show host.

Currently, Stein is a columnist for The New York Times, a regular commentator for Fox News, and a frequent contributor to CNBC.

The goal of the Forcht Group of Kentucky Center for Excellence in Leadership is promote the University’s mission of leadership, service and growth. The Center for Excellence in Leadership Programs seek to nurture honesty, respect for and service to others, good citizenship, generosity, honor, courage, sound use of time and talents and a good solid work ethic.

21st Century Leadership is free and open to the public, but tickets are required and may be reserved by calling the University’s ticket hot line at 606-539-4432.