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Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

October 8, 2024 | 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm  |

  | $24 – $129

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Single tickets to this performance are on sale August 5, 2024.

2024 Press Distinguished Lecture


Dive deep into the past and build connections to the present during this very special evening with scholar and Emmy-Award-winning filmmaker Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Based on his groundbreaking PBS series, Finding Your Roots, Professor Gates will share insights from his influential series about genealogy, genetics and history’s impact on our lives today. Program followed by a Q&A session.

Endowed by philanthropist Lucille Caudill Little, the Press Distinguished Lecture Series brings notable speakers who have improved our nation’s civic and cultural life to Centre College. The series was named in honor of late Kentucky civic leaders O. Leonard Press, founding director of Kentucky Educational Television, and Lillian Press, founding director of the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program.


This package includes one premiere ticket and exclusive access to a meet-and-greet reception with Professor Gates after the event.


Professor HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic and institution builder, Professor Gates’s most recent books are Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow and The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song. He has also produced and hosted an array of documentary films. The Black Church (PBS) and Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches (HBO), which he executive produced, each received Emmy nominations.

In January 2024, Finding Your Roots, Gates’s groundbreaking genealogy and genetics series, returned for its tenth season on PBS. His latest history series for PBS, Gospel, premiered in February 2024.

Professor Gates has received countless awards and honors, including a George Polk Award for his social commentary in The New York Times, a MacArthur Fellowship, the Chicago Tribune Literary Award for lifetime achievement, and the prestigious Gold Medal from the National Institute of Social Sciences, among many others. His filmmaking has received Emmy, Peabody and NAACP Image Awards, as well as an Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Award. Professor Gates serves on the boards of many notable institutions, including: the New York Public Library, the Aspen Institute, the Brookings Institution, and is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. A consummate scholar and esteemed public intellectual, Professor Gates is a highly sought-after keynote speaker for his riveting addresses to audiences of all kinds.

Please note that the Norton Center is a historic venue with limited accessible seating. Special reserved wheelchair and companion seating is available for all shows. Interpretive services and large print programs are available upon request at least 20 days in advance of the performance. Please call the Box Office at 859-236-4692 to request assistance with your accommodations.

Ticket sales are non-refundable. Tickets purchased through a subscription package may be exchanged for another show in the same season. Tickets are transferable to friends or family. Donations for the value of tickets are appreciated.

Tickets to Norton Center performances are sold exclusively through the Box Office in person, by phone at 859-236-4692 or online at If you purchase tickets from any other source, including Ticketmaster, StubHub or an individual we cannot guarantee your seat. The prices of tickets obtained from unauthorized sources are often greatly inflated. The Norton Center is not responsible for tickets purchased from other sources. Tickets purchased from secondary sellers are not eligible for replacement if tickets are lost or stolen, or if the event is canceled or rescheduled.

For more information, please call the Box Office at 859-236-4692 or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

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