“On Topic with Ken Starr” to Feature Conversation with Sean and Leigh Anne TuohyNov. 11, 2014
Baylor President welcomes family whose life was chronicled in the film and best-selling book “The Blind Side”
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Contact: Lori Fogleman, 254-710-6275
WACO, Texas (Nov. 11, 2014) – Baylor University President and Chancellor Ken Starr will welcome Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy to the Baylor campus for “On Topic With President Ken Starr,” a series of compelling conversations on contemporary issues, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, in Waco Hall.
The story of the Tuohys, as chronicled in Michael Lewis’s best-selling book, “The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game,” revolves around Michael Oher, a homeless teen turned first-round NFL draft pick, with the support and love of an unlikely adoptive family. The book's film adaptation – “The Blind Side,” directed by Baylor alumnus John Lee Hancock – starred Tim McGraw and Sandra Bullock, who won Best Actress honors at the 82nd Academy Awards for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Touhy. The film also was a Best Picture nominee.
In addition to writing the books “In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving” and “Making it Happen: Just Turn Around,” the Tuohys also established the Making it Happen Foundation, an organization that promotes awareness, provides hope and improves the standard of living and quality of life for children fighting to survive in the invisible cracks of society.
The event is being held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Nov. 16-18 in Waco. The theme of this year’s conference is “Live the Difference” based on 1 John 2:6, in which Christians are encouraged to “abide in Him and walk as He walked.”
While admission is free to “On Topic,” a ticket is required. Tickets may be picked up from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at the ticket office on the first floor of the Bill Daniel Student Center, 1311 S. Fifth St., on the Baylor campus. Available tickets will be distributed through the ticket office on a first-come, first-served basis through Nov. 17. Any remaining tickets will be available at the Waco Hall ticket office, 600 James Ave., on Nov. 18, beginning at 2 p.m.
President Starr’s past “On Topic” guests have included author, financier and alternative energy proponent T. Boone Pickens, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, constitutional law scholar and Yale Law Professor Akhil Reed Amar, U.S. Sen. George J. Mitchell, writer and social critic Os Guinness, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz and journalist and political commentator Juan Williams.
About Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy
Sean Tuohy married his college cheerleader sweetheart, the former Leigh Anne Roberts, 31 years ago. A native of New Orleans and graduate of The Isidore Newman school, Sean Tuohy was a record-breaking University of Mississippi basketball player before becoming a successful entrepreneur and NBA broadcaster. Drafted by the NBA’s New Jersey Nets in 1982, Sean continued his career overseas before returning to the U.S. to be with his father in his final days. Sean became a successful entrepreneur, building a company that now owns and operates 93 fast food restaurants, including KFC, Taco Bell and Long John Silver’s. Sean is in his 12th season as an NBA broadcaster for the Memphis Grizzlies, after several years as an analyst for radio broadcasts at Ole Miss as well as national broadcasts for Westwood One and CBS radio.
Dubbed a “warrior princess” in "The Blind Side," Leigh Anne is the inspirational matriarch of the Tuohy family. A Memphis, Tennessee, native, Leigh Anne attended Briarcrest Christian School and went on to graduate from Ole Miss with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. Leigh Anne owns “Flair I,” an interior design firm with her mother and partner, Virginia Roberts. Her work has been featured on HGTV and in numerous publications. She has designed for such clients as Peyton Manning, Scottie Pippen, Isaac Bruce and O.J. Mayo, and she was a member of the design team for “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Season 8” during the 2010-11 season.
Most recently Leigh Anne was seen in “Family Addition with Leigh Anne Tuohy” on UP, the network dedicated to uplifting entertainment. The new television show featured families as they go through the practical, physical and emotional process of adding a new family member and also facilitated a makeover of part of their homes to accommodate the new addition.
“Who knows where I’d be?” says Michael, who with the love and support of the Tuohys, improved as a student and became the most sought-after player in college and professional football.
Years after The Blind Side burst onto the scene, breaking box office records and inspiring individuals nationwide, Sean and Leigh Anne continue to make an impact. In July 2010, they released the New York Times bestseller, “In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving,” and established their charity, The Making it Happen Foundation, which promotes awareness, provides hope and improves standards of living for all the children fighting to survive in the invisible cracks in society.
Leigh Anne’s newest book, “Making it Happen: Just Turn Around,” details concrete action steps people can take to becoming more involved and giving – in both their community and in their one-on-one interactions with others. Through all of their projects, the Tuohy family continues its mission to inspire hope, ignite generosity and make it happen for deserving, but underserved youth.
The Tuohy family’s inspirational story has been covered all over the national media including “Katie,” “Fox and Friends,” “Good Morning America,” “20/20,” “The Today Show,” “Dr. Drew,” “Sean Hannity” and “Huffington Post Live,” to name a few. They are actively involved in many civic and faith-based organizations, including Grace Evangelical Church in Memphis, of which they are founding members.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.