Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales to deliver 2021 Baird Lecture on April 8

The Baird Lecture is just one of the many cultural events planned by Elon for students, faculty, staff and the community this spring. Full details are available on the university’s Spring Cultural Calendar.

Wikipedia founder and entrepreneur Jimmy Wales will deliver the 2021 Baird Lecture on Thursday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. His virtual presentation will be streamed at

Jimmy Wales will deliver the 2021 Baird Lecture on Thursday, April 8.

A leading technology futurist, Wales helped build Wikipedia to become the fifth-most popular website worldwide. Named one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People,” Wales has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as one of the top 250 leaders around the world for his professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to share the future.

Wales founded Nupedia in 2000, a “free encyclopedia” characterized by an extensive peer-review process designed to produce high-quality articles comparable to professional encyclopedias. The addition of “wikis” – a collection of web pages that enable anyone to contribute or modify content — transformed the site into Wikipedia, with Wales providing the founding principles and content, and establishing an Internet-based community of contributors. As of Feb. 15, 2021, the English Wikipedia includes more than 6.2 million articles containing 3.78 billion words, with more than 650 articles added each day.

Wales has been a fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School and serves on the boards of the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization Creative Commons and on the advisory board of the Sunlight Foundation, which advocates for open government.

Wales’s address will be part of Elon’s Baird Lecture Series, which was endowed in 2001 by a gift from James H. Baird and his late wife, Jane M. Baird, of Burlington, N.C.

The Baird Lecture is among the broad offerings of academic and special programs presented by Elon as part of its Spring Cultural Calendar series of events. A selection of featured events from February and March is included below. Find the full lineup of Spring 2021 Cultural Events here.

The Hit Men

Tuesday, February 16
Virtual concert available at 5 p.m.

Relive Rock’s greatest hits with The Hit Men – the real guys who performed with legendary artists including members of Foreigner, Journey, Styx, The Hooters, Steely Dan, Cheap Trick, The Rascals, Alan Parsons, 3 Dog Night, Cream, Grand Funk and The Who. Their exciting multimedia concert celebrates these mega-stars with first-hand experiences to rock history and performances of classic hits including “Layla,” “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “I Want To Know What Love Is,” “Feels Like The First Time,” “Sunshine of Your Love,” “Eye in the Sky” and many more!

Neil Callander, “Companion Painting”

Monday, February 22 – Thursday, March 18
Art installation, Gallery 406, Arts West

Cinema is the king of narrative. Photography is a much more efficient form of documentation. Music is superior at catharsis. Television and the internet dispense propaganda.

Experiencing dense paintings that slowly reveal their nature can help us contend with the pervasiveness of fast-talking, slick images. In a media-riddled world, painting is a stabilizing force. Neil Callander’s current practice revolves around painting his son from direct observation, then allowing these portraits to be color informants for invented scenes and abstract paintings built on gradations. This exhibition contains three suites of paintings – each suite featuring a small, humble source painting accompanied by its offshoots.

Callander has exhibited extensively including solo installations at Goose Barnacle, Brooklyn, New York; Bowling Green State University, Ohio; and The Kentucky School of Art, Louisville, Kentucky, as well as group exhibitions across North America. Current creative endeavors include an upcoming solo exhibition at MANIFEST Gallery in Cincinnati and participation in Art Week (July 2021) at the fabled family home of painter Fairfield Porter on Great Spruce Head Island in Maine.

Department of Performing Arts presents “Redemption for Our Skin: The Black History Month Dance Concert”

Friday-Saturday, February 26-27, 7:30 p.m.
Virtual performance available at

The annual Black History Month dance concert will challenge the toxic belief systems that reinforce oppression, dismissal and the dehumanization of Black people in America. The concert will feature works from globally recognized working artists including North Carolina Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green, Africa Unplugged and Maurice Watson.

Directed by Keshia Wall and featuring work by Maurice Watson and North Carolina Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green.

Shana Tucker, cello

Wednesday, March 10, 7:30 p.m.
Virtual concert 

Shana Tucker’s unique genre of ChamberSoul weaves jazz, roots, folk, acoustic pop and a touch of R&B. She is intrinsically drawn to acoustic instruments because of their resonance, warmth, and intimacy. ChamberSoul brings the audience closer and makes the music tangible, no matter how large or small the room.

Tucker studied cello at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she took her first dive into improvisational performance and honed her singer-songwriting skills. She later received her degree in violoncello performance from CUNY-Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, where she studied with master cellist Marion Feldman. Shortly after the release of her debut CD “SHiNE” in 2011, Cirque du Soleil recruiters invited Tucker to be cellist/vocalist for the show, “KÀ” in Las Vegas, where she performed for five years before returning to North Carolina.

Lee Rocker (of the Stray Cats)

Tuesday, March 23
Virtual concert available at 5 p.m.

Lee Rocker made his mark as a founding member of The Stray Cats, the Rockabilly-revival sensation of the 1980s and 1990s. He is still playing, spinning and rocking his giant upright bass as he performs with his own all-star band. His concert show includes mega-hits “Stray Cat Strut,” “Sexy and Seventeen,” and “Rock this Town,” with time to tell stories about his days on the road with legends like George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson, Leon Russell and John Fogerty.