Christopher Gardner to kickoff 2009-10 Distinguished Speaker Series

September 08, 2009

University Park, Pa. -- Christopher Gardner, whose inspirational story of overcoming dire circumstances to become a successful entrepreneur was featured in the film "The Pursuit of Happyness," will lead Penn State's 2009-10 Student Programming Association Distinguished Speaker Series. Gardner will speak at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21, in Schwab Auditorium on the University Park campus.

The event is free and open to the public but tickets are required for admittance. Tickets will be available for students — one issued per ID — on Tuesday, Sept. 8, and available to faculty, staff and the general public on Monday, Sept. 14, based on availability.

Gardner, a philanthropist and avid motivational speaker, is also the owner and CEO of Gardner Rich LLC, a brokerage firm based in Chicago with offices in New York and San Francisco. His incredible life story was published as an autobiography, "The Pursuit of Happyness," in May 2006 and became a New York Times and Washington Post No. 1 best-seller. It was the inspiration for the film of the same title starring Will Smith. Gardner was an associate producer of the film, which is the second-highest all-time domestic grossing dramatic film. His newest book, "Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be," was released in May.

Tickets are available at the following locations and times:

Eisenhower Auditorium, corner of Shortlidge and Eisenhower roads, weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; HUB-Robeson Center, on Pollock Road, weekdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Bryce Jordan Center, corner of University Drive and Curtin Road, weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., all on the University Park campus; and Penn State Tickets Downtown, in the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center, 146 S. Allen St., State College, weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information about the Distinguished Speaker Series and the Student Programming Association, visit

Last Updated September 08, 2009