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Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales to Speak


Posted 11/13/2006
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Category: Campus Announcements

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales will deliver the Ellsworth Lecture on Nov. 15.
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales will deliver the Ellsworth Lecture on Nov. 15.

Jimmy Wales, the founder of the phenomenally successful online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, will deliver the Ellsworth Lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 15. The program will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Lincoln Theater.

The lecture is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. For tickets, stop by the Lincoln Theater Box Office, or call the box office at 860.768.4228 or 800.274.8587.

Students are invited to attend a reception with Wales prior to the lecture. The reception will take place on Nov. 15 from 6 to 7 p.m. in Suisman Lounge, Gengras Student Union. Refreshments will be served.

The Ellsworth Lecture, presented by the University and the Barney School of Business, is aimed at promoting an awareness of and appreciation for the American business system. It was created in 1979 by Ensign-Bickford Industries, Inc., to honor its former chairman, the late John E. Ellsworth.

The topic of Wales' lecture will be "Free Knowledge for Free Minds."

Since its creation in 2001, Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org) has grown into the largest reference website on the Internet. The content of Wikipedia is free, and is written collaboratively by people from all around the world. Wales developed the site using a "wiki," software that allows users to create and edit Web page content freely. The result is that anyone with access to the Internet can edit, correct, or improve information in Wikipedia.

"Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge," Wales has said in explaining the purpose of Wikipedia.

In 2003, Wales set up the Wikimedia Foundation, a Florida-based nonprofit organization, to support Wikipedia and its younger sibling projects. By the end of February 2005, the Wikimedia Foundation was supported entirely by grants and donations. Wales has become increasingly involved with promoting and speaking about its projects at conferences and Wikimedia functions.

Wales was appointed a fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School in 2005. In October 2005 he joined the board of directors of Socialtext, a provider of wiki technology to business. He was listed as one of the world's 100 most influential people in the "Scientists and Thinkers" section of the May 8, 2006 edition of Time magazine.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales will deliver the Ellsworth Lecture on Nov. 15.
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales will deliver the Ellsworth Lecture on Nov. 15.

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