Michelle Obama's brother joins Dominican ILS lecture list

Craig Robinson, head men’s basketball coach at Oregon State University and the older brother of First Lady Michelle Obama, will speak at Dominican University of California on Tuesday night, April 27, inside the Conlan Recreation Center.

Robinson is author of A Game Of Character: A Family Journey from Chicago’s Southside to the Ivy League and Beyond.  He takes readers behind the scenes to meet his family and the other important influences in his life who have contributed to his success both on and off the basketball court. The result is a stunning tribute to his parents, coaches and other mentors who have contributed to his ongoing search for what it truly means to have character.

The “Craig Robinson in Conversation” presentation at Dominican will be moderated by Bay Area radio personality Brian Copeland,  an actor, comedian, playwright and author of Not a Genuine Black Man. The speaking engagement is a late addition to the 2010 Institute for Leadership Studies’ Spring Lecture Series at Dominican. It is a cooperative effort between Dominican and Book Passage.

Admission to the Robinson event is free on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 6 p.m. followed by the presentation at 7 p.m.

On March 31, the ILS Lecture Series featured Dr. Louann Brizendine, author of the groundbreaking New York Times best seller The Female Brain. More than 650 people showed up on a rainy night at the 841-seat Angelico Concert Hall to hear her speak about her sequel, The Male Brain.

Author, educator  and environmentalist Bill McKibben, who wrote Earth: Making A Life On A Tough New Planet, will appear at Angelico Hall on April 22, Earth Day. Then novelist  Michael Chabon – author of  the 2001 Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – arrives at Dominican on April 28 with his book to close out the spring lecture series. Chabon’s appearance is in conjunction with Marin County Library’s One Book One Marin program.

Best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert and Dr. Atul Gawande already have appeared at Dominican’s Angelico Hall this year in the ILS Spring Lecture Series.  All events, with the exception of Gilbert’s, are free to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Preferred seating is available with purchase of the author’s book from Book Passage.

Robinson, who will turn 48 on April 21, will share rich, heartwarming stories of what life was like growing up with his parents, Fraser and Marian Robinson, and his younger sisterfrom days playing street basketball while excelling academically; to dodging third-grade girls chasing him home thanks to Michelle’s sisterly protection; to family outings to the drive-in and grandparents’ homes; to summers at Dukes Happy Holiday Resort; to admission to Princeton University, where he was twice named Ivy League Player of the Year playing under legendary Hall of Fame coach Pete Carril.

 After playing basketball professionally in Europe, Robinson made an about-face, entering the competitive field of finance. With his MBA from the University of Chicago, his meteoric rise landed him a partnership in a promising new venture. But another dream beckoned, and Robinson left the financial world to become a basketball coach.  

However, most  Americans first met  Robinson when he introduced Michelle Obama at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Within minutes, he won the hearts of the nation by sharing highlights of their childhood on Chicago’s Southside, where they were raised by exemplary and devoted parents who  instilled the values of education, hard work, and courage in their children and always encouraged them to reach far beyond what they ever dreamed  possible.

Seven months after the Democratic National Convention, Robinson led Oregon State, a last-place team in the Pacific-10 Conference the previous season,  to its first post-season championship ever in his first season as the Beavers head coach. They won the College Basketball Invitational, beating the University of Texas El Paso in the best-of-three game championship series . Robinson was named District IX Coach of the Year by the United States Basketball Writers Association.

Prior to joining Oregon State, Robinson spent two years as the head coach at Brown, leading a revival of the Bears’ program. He won more games in his first two years than any other head coach in Brown’s basketball history and was named Ivy League Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year by Basketball-U.com. Before Brown, Craig spent six seasons with the Northwestern Wildcats under head coach Bill Carmody, where he developed and implemented his local, national, and international recruiting technology. Robinson currently lives in Oregon with his wife, Kelly, and his children. 

For more information on Dominican’s spring lecture series or to join its mailing list, call (415) 458-3202 or e-mail ILS@dominican.edu.