April 2, 2002
Milton Hershey School (MHS) and Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) are launching an annual series of high profile, inspirational speakers, beginning with actor/director/activist Christopher Reeve, on Thursday, April 11, at 7pm in Founders Hall in Hershey.

"Inside Founders Hall" is a speaker series developed by MHS and HACC to offer its students and the residents of this region the opportunity to hear nationally known speakers share their messages of inspiration and how they have conquered overwhelming obstacles and become successful.

"A lecture series such as this extends the mission of HACC to expand and enhance the educational experience for the students and residents of our region," says Dr. Donald Koones, director of HACC's Community Education Center. "We are honored to be invited by Milton Hershey School to work together and offer the community such a unique opportunity."

The first speaker in the series, Christopher Reeve, had established a reputation as one of the country's leading actors when an accident at an equestrian competition in 1995 left him paralyzed. Reeve will talk about his experience, and how he continues his directing career while also advocating for effective treatment of spinal cord injury and diseases of the brain and central nervous system. In addition to the evening event, Reeve will spend time earlier in the day with students from the Milton Hershey School.

"We're thrilled to host Reeve for our inaugural event," said MHS Director of Organizational Development, Dr. Bill Larkin. "His example of overcoming difficulties is a shining one, and I'm sure our students, as well as the greater community, will find much meaning in his message."

After graduating from Cornell University in 1974, Reeve pursued his dream of acting, studying at Juilliard under the legendary John Houseman. He made his Broadway debut opposite Katharine Hepburn in A Matter of Gravity and then went on to distinguish himself in a variety of stage, screen and television roles with a passion that continues today. Reeve's film credits include Superman, in 1978 and its subsequent sequels, Deathtrap, Somewhere in Time, The Bostonians, Street Smart, Speechless, Noises Off, Above Suspicion, and the Oscar-nominated The Remains of the Day.

Reeve made his directorial debut with In the Gloaming on HBO in April 1997. It was nominated for five Emmy Awards and won six Cable Ace Awards, including Best Dramatic Special and Best Director. Reeve's autobiography, Still Me, was published by Random House in April 1998 and spent 11 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List. In his first majo role since becoming paralyzed, Reeve starred in an updated version of the classic Hitchcock thriller, Rear Window, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries. He also served as Executive Producer of the film.

Reeve is the Chairman of the Board of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (CRPF), a national nonprofit organization that supports research to develop effective treatments and a cure for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury and other central nervous system disorders. CRPF also allocates a portion of its resources to grants that improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. As Vice Chairman of the National Organization on Disability (N.O.D.), Reeve has worked to help pass the 1999 Work Incentives Improvement Act that allows people with disabilities to return to work and still receive disability benefits. Reeve also serves on the Board of Directors of World T.E.A.M. Sports, a group that organizes and sponsors sporting events for athletes with disabilities.

Over the course of many years, Reeve has served as a national spokesman on behalf of the arts, campaign finance reform and the environment. Since 1976 he has been actively involved with Save the Children, Amnesty International, National Resources Defense Council, The Environmental Air Force and America's Watch. In 1987, he demonstrated in Santiago, Chile, on behalf of 77 actors threatened with execution by the Pinochet regime. For this action, Reeve was given a special Obie Award in 1988 and the annual award from the Walter Briehl Human Right Foundation.

Tickets for Reeve's Founders Hall appearance are $25 each. Contact HACC's Community Education Center, at (717) 780-2616, Monday through Friday, 7:30am Ð 4:30pm.

Please click the links below to share the latest #HACCnews on YOUR social media sites.