Presidential Lecture Series

Temple Grandin

Recognition Year: 
2015-16

Professor of animal science, best-selling author, and Autism activist

September 9, 2015

7 p.m. Lecture
Wright State Nutter Center Arena

5:30 p.m. Public Reception

Co-sponsored with Office of Disability Services

Temple Grandin, Ph.D., didn’t talk until she was three and a half years old, communicating her frustration instead by screaming, peeping, and humming. In 1950, she was diagnosed with autism and her parents were told she should be institutionalized. Grandin tells her story of “groping her way from the far side of darkness” in her book that stunned the world, Emergence: Labeled Autistic. Until its publication, many professionals and parents assumed an autism diagnosis was a virtual death sentence to achievement and productivity.

Though considered “weird” during her young school years, she eventually found a mentor who recognized her interests and abilities. Grandin later developed her talents into a successful career as one of the world’s very few livestock-handling equipment designers. She has designed the facilities in which half the cattle in the United States are handled, consulting for firms such as Burger King, McDonald’s, Swift, and others.

Grandin earned a B.A. from Franklin Pierce College, an M.S. in animal science from Arizona State University, and a Ph.D. in animal science from the University of Illinois. She is currently a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, teaching courses that focus on livestock behavior and facility design. She has authored more than 400 articles about animal handling, welfare, and facility design in scientific journals and livestock periodicals.

She has been featured on National Public Radio, major television programs such as the BBC special The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow, ABC’s Primetime Live, The Today Show, Larry King Live, 48 Hours, and 20/20, and has been written about in national publications such as Time, People, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and The New York Times. Bravo Cable broadcast a profile and she was featured in the book Anthropologist from Mars.

Grandin’s current bestselling book on autism is The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger’s. She also authored Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships, Animals Make Us Human, Animals in Translation, Thinking in Pictures, Emergence: Labeled Autistic, and has produced several DVDs.

Learn more at templegrandin.com and grandin.com.