Jerry of ‘Ben & Jerry’s’ to speak at WKU


Ice cream superstar Jerry Greenfield, of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, will speak at the next installment of WKU’s Cultural Enhancement Series.

Greenfield’s presentation is March 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Van Meter Hall.

Greenfield will share “his thoughts on entrepreneurial spirit, his sense of social responsibility and his innovative business philosophy.” The first 400 attendees receive free ice cream for the event, according to Cultural Enhancement’s promotional poster.

David Lee, dean of Potter College of Arts and Letters and chairman of the Cultural Enhancement committee, said Greenfield was chosen for a number of reasons.

“Firstly, he’s a very successful business man,” Lee said. “Secondly, he has a very distinctive approach to social responsibility of entrepreneurs… Not everyone will agree with him, but the questions he poses are interesting.”

Lee said Greenfield is “a bit of a character” and hopes that students will be “challenged in some way” by the businessman’s ideas.

“I hope students hear an idea they like, an idea they disagree with, an idea they’ve never heard before,” Lee said.

“Something that gets them out of their own heads.”

Mina Doerner, assistant to the dean of Potter College, expects a packed house for Greenfield’s presentation.

“With all of the feedback we’ve gotten so far, I think he’ll be a big hit,” Doerner said. “Of course, it might have something to do with the free ice cream, too.”

Doerner said Greenfield’s entrepreneurial background is unique to the Cultural Enhancement series.

“We’ve had scientists, physicists, writers, performers, but we never really looked at a business person,” she said. “He also speaks about social responsibility, which is important to this university.”

Greenfield isn’t the only presenter for this semester’s Cultural Enhancement series. Award-winning poet, novelist, and playwright Ntozake Shange is speaking on April 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Van Meter Hall.

Shange is best known for her Tony award-nominated play “For Colored girls who have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enuf.” The play inspired the 2010 film “For Colored Girls,” which included actresses Janet Jackson, Anika Noni Rose and Whoopi Goldberg.

Doerner hopes that this semester’s guest speakers will continue the mission of the Cultural Enhancement series.

“Our mission is to provide cutting-edge people and culture to a Bowling Green and WKU audience,” she said.