Updates and Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Skip to main content

KNOXVILLE — Neurosurgery pioneer Dr. Ben Carson will speak at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, on Monday, Oct. 11, to kick off the sixth annual Legends Lecture Series, a signature program of the Black Cultural Programming Committee designed to honor successful African-Americans who have made significant contributions to society.

The lecture begins at 7 p.m. in the University Center Auditorium. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow at the Black Cultural Center, located at 1800 Melrose Ave.

Known for his trailblazing contributions to the field of neurosurgery, Carson was raised in a single-parent home in Detroit. Poverty, poor grades, a bad temper and low self-esteem were a few of the hurdles Carson had to overcome. His mother challenged him to be successful because she herself only had a third-grade education. She limited his television time, making sure he did his homework and making him read two library books each week. Because of her efforts, Carson graduated with honors from high school and attended Yale University and went on to the Medical School of the University of Michigan.

Following medical school, Carson began a neurosurgery residency at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He has now directed pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins for more than 25 years. Carson has many well-known career highlights, including the first successful separation of Siamese twins joined at the back of the head in 1987.

Carson is the recipient of many awards, including 40 honorary doctorates and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor given by the president of the United States. Carson has written four books: “Gifted Hands,” “Think Big,” “The Big Picture” and “Take the Risk: Learning to Identify, Choose and Live with Acceptable Risk.” “Gifted Hands” was made into a movie and premiered on the TNT network. It also has won many awards.

For more information or questions about the Living Legends Lecture Series, or to inquire about disability accommodations, contact the Black Cultural Center at 865-974-9945 or visit our website.

C O N T A C T :

Demetrius Richmond, Office of Minority Affairs (865-974-6861, drichmon@utk.edu)

Rebekah Winkler, UT Media Relations (865-974-8304, rwinkler@utk.edu)