Free tickets available February 17 as Cameron University continues Academic Festival with Jeff Speck, city planner/urban designer

Cameron University will continue its triennial Academic Festival, “Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities,” with a presentation by city planner/urban designer Jeff Speck. The event, which is free and open to the public, takes place at Cameron University Theatre on Thursday, March 12, at 7:30 p.m. A book signing will follow. Tickets are required for admission and can be reserved online at beginning Tuesday, February 17 at 8 a.m. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis; there is a limit of two tickets per person.

“Mr. Speck is a leading proponent of walkable communities,” says CU President John McArthur.  “His presentation will address the advantages of living in a walkable city and will no doubt give us considerable points to ponder.”

photo of Jeff SpeckSpeck is an international advocate for smart growth and sustainable design. As Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 through 2007, he presided over the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and created a new initiative, the Governors’ Institute on Community Design. Prior to his federal appointment, Speck spent 10 years as Director of Town Planning at Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co., the founders of the New Urbanism movement, where he directed or managed more than 40 of the firm’s projects. Since 2007, he has led Speck & Associates LLC, a boutique planning firm that specializes in making downtowns more walkable. His recent book, “Walkable City,” which the Christian Science Monitor called “timely and important, a delightful, insightful, irreverent work,” was the bestselling planning/design book of 2013.

The McCasland Foundation of Duncan is the primary sponsor of “Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities.” Over the years, financial support for the Academic Festivals has come from the McCasland/Amquest Bank Endowed Chair, established by the McCasland Foundation in 1989. Additional funding for this year’s festival is provided by the Cameron University Foundation and through the Cameron University Lectures and Concerts Series.

“Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities” continues Cameron’s popular series of Academic Festivals. Cameron’s first Academic Festival, “Year of the Renaissance,” took place in 1991-92. Themes of previous Academic Festivals include cultural diversity; science and technology; bridging the millennium; globalization and the human experience; health and wellness; and, most recently, an in-depth study of the country of Afghanistan.

For more information, contact the Cameron University Office of Public Affairs at 581-2211 or via e-mail at



February 11, 2015

PR# 15-022