Winner of three NAACP Image Awards for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series during his time as a forensic scientist on the CBS television show from 2004 to 2013, Harper earned two degrees from Harvard University, serves on President Barack Obama's Cancer Panel, has written four bestsellers and carries out his philanthropic vision with an eye to social justice.
Leadership and service fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha and SUNY Oswego's diversity and inclusion committee co-sponsor Harper's talk, said Dan Roberts, committee member and coordinator of new student orientation. Harper, who received a law degree and a master's degree in public administration from Harvard, is a member of the national fraternity.
Harper, now appearing as the CIA's director of clandestine services in the USA Network series "Covert Affairs," has authored New York Times bestsellers "Letters to a Young Brother," "Letters to a Young Sister," "The Conversation" and "The Wealth Cure." He recently published a fifth book, "Letters to an Incarcerated Brother." He won an American Library Association award in 2007 for "Letters to a Young Brother."
The son of two Iowa City doctors, Harper's acting resume includes appearances in Spike Lee films such as "Get on the Bus" and "He Got Game," Oprah Winfrey's "Beloved," the '90s TV comedy "Married ... with Children" and such television projects as HBO's award-winning "Lackawanna Blues." He made his directorial debut with the short film "The Truth," a 2012 Pan African Film Festival Award Winner.
Members of the public can reserve a free ticket starting Wednesday, Jan. 28, for Harper's appearance, by contacting the college box offices at Marano Campus Center, 315-312-3073, or Hewitt Union, 315-312-2141. Those attending may park in the employee and commuter lots adjacent to and across Washington Boulevard from Sheldon Hall. Students, faculty and staff of the college have first opportunity for free tickets by contacting the above box offices starting Jan. 20.
Harper's keynote will culminate a Black History Month kickoff week at SUNY Oswego that includes an oratorical contest, a musical performance and Community Service Day.