Diverse group spoke at UF in 2013

The Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Maya Angelou spoke in front of a packed audience at the Phillips Center on Feb. 27.

Sun file photo
Published: Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 11:01 a.m.

From the profound words of Maya Angelou to the profane humor of Sarah Silverman, the University of Florida attracted a diverse group of scientists, politicians and entertainers to Gainesville in 2013.

Some of those speakers included former presidential candidate Ron Paul, investigative journalist Carl Bernstein and philosopher and activist Noam Chomsky.

Listed in the order they appeared, here's a look back at the Top 5 speakers at UF in 2013, all of whom filled the rafters of the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

Feb. 27: Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Maya Angelou, author of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” drew a record-setting crowd of more than 1,700 when she spoke during Black History Month and Women's History Month.

April 3: Celebrity astrophysicist, author and TV host Neil DeGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York, dazzled the audience with his talk about asteroids, and encourage students not to let the world pass them by.

April 22: Raunchy comedian and gay rights activist Sarah Silverman, whose TV show airs on Comedy Central, brought her tart, profanity-laden humor to the Phillips Center in conjunction with UF Pride Awareness Month.

Nov. 12: TV Producer Vince Gilligan, creator of the Emmy-winning AMC series “Breaking Bad” and a writer and producer for “The X-Files,” regaled the audience at the Phillips Center with tales of his career.

Nov. 21: Wearing his signature orange bow-tie and blue suit, Bill Nye, known as “the Science Guy” to many kids who grew up in the 1990s, exhorted students to go out and change the world, even getting Tyson on the phone to talk about the science or lack thereof in the film “Gravity.”

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