John Quiñones to kick off 2021-22 season of UTRGV Distinguished Speaker Series

John Quiñones

By Arnold Gonzalez

John Quiñones, an ABC News veteran, and creator and host of the highly-rated What Would You Do?, will serve as the first speaker of UTRGV’s 2021-22 Distinguished Speaker Series on Tuesday.

The in-person event, hosted by UTRGV Student Activities, will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the TSC Performing Arts Center in Brownsville.

A lifetime of “never taking no for an answer” took Quiñones out of poverty to a more than 30-year career at ABC News and the anchor desk at 20/20 and Primetime.

Along the way, he broke through barriers, won the highest accolades and became a role model for many. Now in its 14th season, What Would You Do? — a hidden-camera ethical dilemma newsmagazine — has made Quiñones “the face of doing the right thing” for millions of fans.

“This year’s series will be a combination of in-person and virtual events,” said Cindy Mata, director of UTRGV Student Activities. “We noted that last year’s virtual events were a huge success with our student body, and we want to continue bringing that to them. However, we don’t want to lose the connection that in-person events bring to the university.”

Mata said Quiñones’ moving life story, along with his thought-provoking insight into human nature and ethical behavior, made him the ideal speaker to open the DSS series.

“His story is one that can resonate with our student body,” Mata said. “He has a similar upbringing to many of our students, and his story can inspire our students to continue looking ahead and achieving their goals.”

For more information about DSS, visit