Cherie Blair, the barrister wife of former British prime minister Tony Blair, will be speaking at the Asia Society on August 31 about the Asian University for Women (AUW). In a series of embarrassing emails released last month, Mrs Blair was revealed to have lobbied Hillary Clinton – also a former first lady – for a meeting with an erstwhile first lady of Qatar, who Blair refers to as “my friend from Q”. When Clinton agrees, Blair writes, “Great … politics is too important to be left to the bad people.” Blair serves as chancellor of the AUW, a liberal arts institution in Bangladesh, the founding chairman of which is Jack Meyer …

Dubbed “one of the investment world’s biggest stars” by The Wall Street Journal, Meyer, while president and chief executive of the Harvard Management Company, quadrupled the university’s endowment within 15 years. In 2005, he co-founded his own hedge fund, Convexity Capital Management, out of which investors recently pulled US$3 billion. Taking a light-hearted approach to fiscal failure, Meyer last year quoted lyrics from a song by rock band The Doors in a letter to his investors, writing, “Been down so long it looks like up to me.” Those words were immortalised by the band’s lead singer, Jim Morrison …

Described as “charismatic but tormented” by The New York Times, “the super bad boy of rock music” by The Washington Post, and the embodiment of “hippie counterculture rebellion” by the Chicago Tribune, Florida-born Morrison proclaimed himself the “king of orgasmic rock”. After graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a film degree, Morrison founded The Doors with a college friend. The band’s name was inspired by an Aldous Huxley book detailing a mescaline trip, The Doors of Perception, which in turn is named after a phrase from a poem by William Blake …

Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, the radical Romantic had wanted to be a painter when he was growing up; he later produced illustrations to John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost. Named the 38th greatest Briton to have ever lived in a 2002 BBC poll, Blake continues to have enormous influence: his poem Auguries of Innocence, which includes the line “to see a world in a grain of sand”, partially inspired the 1981 song Every Grain of Sand, written by Bob Dylan …

The American singer-songwriter didn’t just make history, he also witnessed it: on August 28, 1963, when Martin Luther King Jnr gave his now legendary “I have a dream” speech in Washington, Dylan was in the audience, having performed Only a Pawn in Their Game and, perhaps his most famous hit, Blowin’ in the Wind, moments before. The winner of Oscars, Golden Globes and Grammy awards, Dylan can count among his celebrity fans actress Helen McCrory …

Born in 1968 to a diplomat father and a physiotherapist mother, McCrory and her siblings grew up in Cameroon, Tanzania, France and Norway before settling down in Buckinghamshire, England. Perhaps best known as Narcissa Malfoy, wife of Lucius Malfoy and mother of Draco, in the final three instalments of the Harry Potter franchise, McCrory also appeared in The Queen and The Special Relationship – in both films portraying Cherie Blair.