Donald Trump Jr., the son of President Donald Trump, will be one of two speakers in the Kuehne Speaker Series for the upcoming academic year at the University of North Texas.
The speakers were announced Wednesday on the series' website.
A venue has not yet been secured for the event set for Tuesday, Oct. 24, said Kelley Reese, a spokeswoman for the university. In the past, the events have been held at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. The other speaker in this year's series, Melissa Francis of Fox News and Fox Business Network, will speak at the Anatole on March 29.
The speaker series is funded by private donors and was founded by Ernie Kuehne in 2013 to "provide a forum to engage in conversation about topics of national and global relevance." This year, the presenting sponsor for the series is Ryan LLC, a tax firm owned by Brint G. Ryan, chairman of the UNT Board of Regents. Reese said she did not know how much Trump Jr. would be paid for the speaking event.
"Donald Trump Jr. has been invited to participate in the Kuehne Speaker Series, which is a series supported by private donors with the aim of presenting timely and stimulating perspectives on our world as it pertains to national security, our economy, and topics that are of interest to the university's many and varied communities," Reese said in a statement. "The Kuehne Speaker Series is supported by private donors, and the speakers for the series are selected through a collaborative discussion among the series benefactor, the series donors and UNT staff."
Once Trump Jr.'s appearance was announced, comments and criticism spread online. Some community members, faculty and students shared on Facebook and Twitter that they didn't think it was appropriate for the university to host Trump Jr., but Reese said all viewpoints are welcome at UNT.
"As a public university that encourages the expression of differing points of view as part of the learning process, UNT welcomes speakers who represent all viewpoints, including conservative, liberal and progressive political ideology as well as all positions in between," Reese said.
Individual tickets are not available for the event, as attendance will come through table sponsorships. Packages start at $5,000 for a table for eight and go up to $50,000 for 20 people, plus additional interactions with Trump Jr.
JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889.