Bunny ears. Satin corset. Tuxedo-esque bowtie. Fluffy cotton tail. Probable plastic body parts.
Readers, by now you know exactly what I’m talking about. Not only is Playboy Enterprises part of one of the most enduring and lucrative industries in the modern world—pornography—but it has also remained the most recognizable cultural force at the forefront of adult entertainment.
But what, I hear you ask, does Brandeis have to do with Playboy?
Christie Hefner, daughter of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, graduated from Brandeis University in 1974. As an undergraduate, she majored in English and American Literature and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the prestigious national academic honor society. After her graduation, she began working at her father’s company and soon distinguished herself as an innovative and savvy businesswoman. Within five years, she became vice president of the company and in 1982, was made president. She finally served as chair of the board and CEO of Playboy Enterprises from 1988 until her voluntary departure in early 2009.
In addition to being a successful businesswoman, Hefner has also consistently been involved with the Center for American Progress. According to their website, she has been especially active in advancing women, providing adequate treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS and insuring First Amendment rights.
Student Union is bringing Hefner to campus as part of its Influential People series. The series focuses on bringing influential Brandeis alums to campus in order to speak about their successes and how they “embody the Brandeis spirit” in their lives post-graduation. Previous speakers have included Professor Anita Hill and retired Massachusetts Chief Justice Margaret Marshall.
The event will take place on Friday, Oct. 21 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Rapaporte Treasure Hall, located in the Goldfarb Library. Hefner will speak for 15 minutes, after which the floor will be opened for conversation with students about the business world, entrepreneurship and current social issues.