Past Speakers


John Dean John Dean
President Nixon's White House lawyer and central figure in Watergate
Heidi Cullen Heidi Cullen
Interim CEO of Climate Central and the Weather Channel's first on-air climate expert
no image David Diers/Dale Schuit/Ann Vendrely
Noted physical therapists discussing injury prevention for runners
Erin Gruwell Erin Gruwell
Educator, author and President of the Freedom Writers Foundation
James B. Stewart James B. Stewart
New York Times columnist and author of "Tangled Webs: How False Statements are Undermining America"
Michele Norris Michele Norris
Co-host of NPR's "All Things Considered"
Molly Cummings Molly Cummings
Biologist, University of Texas at Austin


Byron Pitts Byron Pitts
Emmy award-winning journalist for CBS News and 60 Minutes correspondent
Eugene Robinson Eugene Robinson
Washington Post columnist, author and MSNBC regular
Richard Roeper Richard Roeper
Film critic and columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times
Meghan McCain Meghan McCain
Author and blogger


Bryan Burrough Bryan Burrough
pecial correspondent at Vanity Fair magazine and the author of five books, including the bestselling “Public Enemies: America’s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34”
Mitch Albom Mitch Albom
Author of “Tuesdays with Morrie,” “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” and “For One More Day”
Jeffrey Zaslow Jeffrey Zaslow
Columnist for The Wall Street Journal and co-author of the current international bestseller “The Last Lecture”
Andrew Young Andrew Young
Ambassador, congressman, mayor, civil rights pioneer, humanitarian, ordained minister, international businessman and sports enthusiast


Kathleen Hall-Jamieson Kathleen Hall-Jamieson
Professor and the co-author of "unSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation"
Bill Kurtis
Veteran broadcast journalist
Jeffrey Toobin
Senior Analyst for CNN and staff writer for The New Yorker
Robert Osbourne Robert Osborne
Primetime host and anchor of Turner Classic Movies television network and official biographer of the Academy Awards


Vincent Bugliosi Vincent Bugliosi
Former Los Angeles prosecutor who convicted Charles Mansion and author of "Helter Skelter"
Frank Deford Frank Deford
Veteran sportswriter, author, and NPR commentator
John Douglas John Douglas
Pioneer in criminal profiling and a former FBI Special Agent
Marlee Matlin Marlee Matlin
Actress and author


Jim Bitterman Jim Bittermann
CNN’s senior European correspondent
Amy Tan Amy Tan
Acclaimed novelist of several books including “The Joy Luck Club,” “The Bonesetter’s Daughter,” and “Saving Fish from Drowning”
Nancy Grace Nancy Grace
CNN Legal analyst and victim’s rights advocate


Bob Woodward Bob Woodward
Best selling author and legendary investigative reporter who forever changed history by breaking the story of Watergate for the Washington Post with his partner Carl Bernstein
Ruth Ozeki Ruth Ozeki
Award winning filmmaker and novelist
Russell Banks
Photo Courtesy
Emma Dodge Hanson
Russell Banks
New England writer famous for novels “Affliction” and “The Sweet Hereafter” both made into critically acclaimed movies
Patti Davis Patti Davis
Daughter of the late president Ronald Reagan, author of several books including “The Way I See It” Angel Don’t Die” and “The Long Goodbye”


Garrison Keillor Garrison Keillor
Noted author and story-teller, host of National Public Radio’s “A Prairie Home Companion”
Tim O'Brien Tim O'Brien
Vietnam veteran and author of several books, including “The Things They Carried,” “Tomkat in Love,” and “July, July”
Paul Loeb Paul Loeb
Author and social activist, an affiliate scholar at Seattle’s Center for Ethnic Leadership
Carole Simpson Carole Simpson
Emmy winning journalist


Leon Panetta Leon Panetta
President Clinton’s Chief of staff, co-director of the Leon and Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public policy at California State University
Barbara Ehrenreich Barbara Ehrenreich
Essayist and social critic, author of “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America”
Jim Lovell Jim Lovell
Commander of the perilous Apollo 13 mission, chronicled the Apollo 13 mission in the book “Lost Moon”
Erik Larson Erik Larson
Author of the international best-seller “Isaac’s Storm” and National Book Award nominee “The Devil in the White City”
Christopher Kyle Christopher Kyle
A Terre Haute native and ISU alumnus, is currently working on a screenplay based on Erik Larson’s bestseller, “The Devil in the White City”
Dave Barry Dave Barry
Pulitzer prize-winning columnist and author


Robert Ballard Dr. Robert Ballard
Explorer of the Titanic wreckage, John F. Kennedy’s PT 109 boat, the WWII American aircraft carrier, Yorktown
Lawson Inada Lawson Inada
Poet and author of nationally recognized books, “Legends from Camp,” “Drawing the Line” and “The Seven Lessons of Humanity”
Andy Rooney Andy Rooney
Best known for his Sunday evening essays on CBS' “60 Minutes” and winner of six Writers Guild Awards for best script of the year



Elizabeth Norman
Nurse and the daughter of two World War II veterans, she has published two books, “Women at War” and “We Band of Angels” -both about the experiences of military nurses

Richard Preston
Best-selling author in the field of bioterrorism

Charles Johnson
Novelist, essayist, critic, philosopher, illustrator, screenwriter and playwright. Prestigious National Book Award winner for “Middle Passage”

Lee Hamilton
Former Indiana congressman who served on the Foreign Affairs committee during his entire tenure, director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

Jean Kilbourne
Author and researcher


Stephen Jay Gould
Evolutionary biologist and interpreter of science and its complex social consequences, author of award-winning books, “The Panda’s Thumb” and “The Mismeasure of Man,” Harvard University faculty member

Peter Schickele
Composer, musician, author, satirist, host of “Schickele Mix,” four Grammy Awards for Best Comedy Album for his P.D.Q. Bach

Reuben Greenberg
Chief of police, Charleston, S.C., served law enforcement agencies in San Francisco, Savannah, Mobile, Florida, author of “Let’s Take Back Our Streets,”

Jane Hamilton
Best-selling novelist, author of “The Book of Ruth,” “A Map of the World,” and “The Short History of a Prince”

Loung Ung
National spokesperson for the campaign for a Landmine Free World, author of “First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers,” and eyewitness account of the savagery exhibited by the Khmer Rouge during that country’s civil war


James Randi
World-renowned magician, skeptic, author, lecturer

Eva Mozes Kor
Holocaust survivor, founder of C.A.N.D.L.E.S. Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terre Haute

Robert Pinsky
39th poet laureate of the United States, graduate writing program, Boston University

Abraham Verghese, M.D.
Infectious disease specialist, witnessed firsthand the spread of AIDS and wrote
“My Own Country: A Doctor’s Story”

James M. McPherson
Preeminent contemporary historian on the Civil War


Ronald Takaki
Nation’s foremost spokesperson for multicultural education, professor of Ethic Studies, U of California, Berkeley

Karen Armstrong
One of the foremost commentators on religious affairs, London’s Leo Baeck College for the Study of Judaism

Donna Lopiano
Executive director of the Women’s Sports Foundation

Sister Helen Prejean
Involved in prison ministry where she counseled Death row inmates, Louisiana State Penitentiary, “Dead Man Walking”

James Wines
Designed more that 150 architectural, interior design, public space, and landscape architecture projects for corporate clients, lectured over architecture and environmental design in over 30 countries


Robert Bakker
Paleontologist whose research interests include mass extinction and cycles of worldwide eco-system collapse, author of “The Dinosaur Heresies”

Norma Cantu
Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education

Margarethe Cammermeyer
Highest ranking officer separated from military after revealing she was a lesbian

Frank Sulloway
Scholar on the history of science, Harvard University

Lawrence Krauss
Theoretical physicist, Case Western Reserve University



Francis Fukuyama
Profound futurist, presentation concerned future of society and social virtues, wrote widely on Soviet foreign policy in the Third World, member of the United State delegation to the Egyptian-Israeli talks on Palestinian autonomy

James Autry
Jet fighter pilot, poet and consultant on leadership and management thinking and author of four books

Sherry Turkle
Professor of sociology in the program of science, technology and Society of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Carl Djerassi
Chemist and Stanford University professor, researched the chemistry of steroids, structure of antibiotics, and the synthesis of drugs

Gregory Williams
Dean and professor of law and political science at the Ohio State University College of Law, author of best selling memoir “Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who Discovered He was Black”


Harry Edwards
Professor of sociology at the University of California-Berkeley, concentration on black athletes in the world of sports and their education

Terry Waite
British hostage negotiator who spent five years in captivity in Beirut, founder chairman of Y-Care International

Wilma Mankiller
Principle chief of the Cherokee Nation since 1987

Juan Williams
Among the nation’s foremost political analysts, author of PBS series “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965.”

Joycelyn Elders
Former U.S. Surgeon General, pediatric endocrinologist, cites violence, sexually transmitted diseases, poverty, and substance abuse as biggest threat to children’s health


Cornel West
Professor of Afro-American studies and philosophy of religion, Harvard University, author of “Race Matters”

Chinua Achebe
Charles P. Stevenson Professor of Literature, Bard College, “The Education of the British-Protected Child”


Leon Lederman
President, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Nobel Prize Winning Physicist, Illinois Science and Math Academy

Maya Angelou
Poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director

Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
Pulitzer prize winning author and historian

Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Attorney-at-law, human rights and political activist, president of the “Keep Hope Alive” political action committee, vice-president at-large of Operation PUSH

Judith Katz
Author, leader in cultural diversity training programs


Syd Mead
Set designer for “Star-Trek – The Motion Picture," “Blade Runner”, “Aliens” and “Tron”

James Burke
Science correspondent for the BBC, television host of “Connections” on PBS and author of “2050 – Life After the Greenhouse Effect,”

Frances Moore Lappe and Paul Dubois
Co-founders of the Institute for Food and Development policy

Ann McLaughlin
Secretary of labor for the Reagan Administration

Arthur Levine
Chairperson for the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard Graduate School and author of “Shaping Higher Education’s Future”


Joan Embery
Goodwill ambassador, Zoological Society of San Diego, California

Anthony P. Carnevale
Chief economist, American society for Training and Development

Daniel Janzen
Professor of biology, University of Pennsylvania

Faye Wattleton
President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Lester R. Brown
President, Worldwatch Institute



Kenneth H. Cooper, M.D.
Founder/president of the Aerobics Center, Dallas, Texas

Andrei Codrescu
Romanian poet/essayist/English professor

C. Everett Koop
Former U.S. Surgeon General

Donald Woods
Exiled South African journalist

Isabel Allende
Exiled Chilean novelist, journalist and dramatist

Wu’er Kaizi and Jun Chen
Student leaders in the democratic movement of The People’s Republic of China


Jonathan Kozol
Activist, author of Illiterate America

Naomi Tutu-Seavers
Chairperson of Tutu Foundation and daughter of South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Reginald Wilson
Senior scholar, American Council on Education

Martha Layne Collins
Former governor of Kentucky


Jack Anderson
Nationally syndicated columnist

Robert Gale
United States medical representatives to Chernobyl

Ernest L. Boyer
President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

Stephen Jay Gould
Science historian


Lord Harold Wilson
Former Prime Minister of Great Britain

Gerald R. Ford
38th president of the United States

Fred Friendly
Former CBS News executive

Gilbert Grosvenor
President of the National Geographic Society


Father Andrew Greeley
Best-selling novelist and sociologist

Richard Leakey

John Brademas
President of New York University and former U.S. Representative from Indiana

Madeleine Leininger
Founder of the field of transcultural nursing


Abba Eban
Former Israeli ambassador to the United State and United Nations

Joseph P. Allen
Former astronaut from Indiana

Robert Coles
Pulitzer prize-winning author and social psychologist


Dr. Chen Ning Yang
Nobel laureate in physics

Harry Edwards
Sports sociologist

Marshall Mason
Founder of Circle Repertory Company and New York theater critic

Paul McCracken
Economist and former chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers


Willian F. Buckley
Political commentator

Carolyn Heilbrun
Feminist writer

Maya Angelou, poet
Author, screenwriter

Richard Leakey


Martin Marty
Historian of religion

Kenneth Boulding
Economist and social scientist

Lawrence Kohlberg
Developmental psychologist

Ralph Nader
Consumer advocate


John Hope Franklin

Jean Michel Cousteau

Melvin Kranzberg
Historian of technology


James Watson
Nobel laureate in physics

Juanita Kreps
Economist and former secretary of commerce