Celebrated Social Entrepreneur Nancy Lublin to Give Annual Hanify-Howland Lecture

The 51st annual Hanify-Howland Memorial Lecture will be given by Nancy Lublin, founder and CEO of Crisis Text Line, on Tuesday, October 25 at 8 p.m. in the Hogan Campus Center Ballroom at the College of the Holy Cross. The lecture, which recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves in the realm of public service in honor of Edward Hanify, a member of the graduating class of 1904, and Weston Howland, will address challenges facing America today. The talk, titled “The Giving Solution: How Philanthropy is Changing the World,” is free and open to the public.

Crisis Text Line, the world’s first 24/7, free, text message-based support service for people facing a range of issues — from depression and substance abuse to eating disorders and physical abuse — was launched during Lublin’s 2013 TED talk. With counselors trained to respond to a range of situations, the service has responded to over 20 million text messages since its inception, and has recently expanded internationally. Lublin’s innovation in big data and technology has also made the service a benefit to researchers everywhere: from Crisis Text Line, Lublin was able to introduce Crisis Trends, which tracks and predicts the timing and locations of crises affecting the world, allowing for more effective response and prevention work.

Prior to launching Crisis Text Line, Lublin was CEO of DoSomething.org, where she championed the nonprofit into expansion through targeting young activists to create a culture of activism and social change. Lublin began her career in nonprofit organizations in 1995, when, at the age of 23, she used her $5,000 inheritance to create the organization Dress For Success. This organization has helped over 900,000 women across the world gain resources for economic independence, providing individual support and professional attire to allow women everywhere an opportunity to succeed in the workplace.

One of the Schwab Foundation’s 2014 Social Entrepreneurs of the Year, Lublin was selected as a Young Global Leader by The World Economic Forum and named one of the NonProfit Times’ 50 Most Powerful Leaders three years in a row. She is the author of four books, including the best seller “Zilch: the Power of Zero in Business” (Portfolio, 2010) and “The XYZ Factor: The DoSomething.org Guide to Creating a Culture of Impact” (BenBella Books, 2015). Lublin was named to Forbes’ “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” in 2014, has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and The Economist, and has appeared on Oprah, CNN, and 60 Minutes. Her TED talk has over 80,000 views on YouTube.

Since 1965, the Hanify-Howland lecture series has brought a host of distinguished speakers to Holy Cross who, through their work, have exemplified the spirit of public service that the series was established to encourage. Past speakers include astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson; retired Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft, U.S. Air Force; associate justice of the United States Clarence Thomas ’71; director of the Program in International Law and Organizations at Johns Hopkins University Ruth Wedgwood,; investigative journalist Bob Woodward; co-author of the bestselling books “Freakonomics”(Harper, 2009) and “Superfreakonomics” (Harper, 2011) Steven D. Levitt; award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien; Governor Jon Huntsman; and the Pulitzer Prize-Winning couple Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

In addition to the lecture and in keeping with the tradition of the Hanify-Howland lecture series, Lublin will conduct a seminar on campus, which will allow students to interact with the speaker in an intimate and intellectually stimulating environment.

By Devyn McHugh '19.