Purdue Northwest Sinai Forum’s 69th season to feature Gen. David H. Petraeus, Adam Savage, Elizabeth Gilbert, and more

July 5, 2022

The Purdue University Northwest (PNW) Sinai Forum announced its 2022 speaker lineup, which features distinguished guest speakers who will present on topics ranging from mental health, creativity and fine arts to the geopolitical climate and domestic politics.

The forum’s 69th season begins Sunday, Sept. 18 at 4 p.m. CST with critically acclaimed writer Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the best-selling memoir, Eat, Pray, Love. Gilbert’s memoir exploded onto the scene in 2006 and famously chronicled the year Gilbert spent traveling the world after a shattering divorce. In the years since, people around the world have looked to Gilbert for guidance in leading brave, authentic and creative lives. Gilbert’s bestselling nonfiction treatise, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, unpacks her own generative process and shares her wise, witty insights into the mysteries of curiosity and inspiration.

The season, which will continue through early December, also showcases Gen. David H. Petraeus, USA (Ret.), Adam Savage, one of the most admired figures in science and tech, Will Hurd, former U.S. Congressman and CIA operative, and renowned violinist and philanthropist Rachel Barton Pine.

“Sharing perspectives on the most prominent issues we face is what Sinai Forum does best,” says Leslie Plesac, executive director of the Sinai Forum at Purdue Northwest. “More than ever, it’s important that we come together to listen and learn from great leaders, creators and from one another.”

Tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning Tuesday, July 12 at pnw.edu/sinai-forum. The season will again provide in-person and virtual program viewing options.

For nearly seven decades the Sinai Forum has hosted thought-provoking speakers and leaders in Northwest Indiana. The forum is designed to provide audiences with a unique opportunity to listen to and see notable personalities and pose questions in a town-hall format.

More than ever, it’s important that we come together to listen and learn from great leaders, creators and from one another.

Leslie Plesac, executive director of the Sinai Forum at Purdue Northwest

Most Sinai Forum programs will be held at the James B. Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex at PNW’s Westville campus, 1401 S. U.S. 421, Westville, Ind. The Oct. 2 program featuring Adam Savage will be hosted at the Stardust Event Center at Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa, 777 Blue Chip Dr., Michigan City, Ind.

All Sinai Forum programs begin promptly at 4 p.m. CST, with doors opening at 3 p.m.

Visit pnw.edu/sinai-forum for more details.

The 2022 Sinai Forum Speaker Series

The 2022 Purdue Northwest Sinai Forum speakers are:

Elizabeth Gilbert – photo by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Critically acclaimed writer Elizabeth Gilbert opens the 69th season of the Purdue Northwest Sinai Forum at 4 p.m. on Sept. 18.
Elizabeth Gilbert – photo by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Elizabeth Gilbert — Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022

“Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear”

In her critically acclaimed memoir Eat, Pray, Love, and her immensely popular novels and works of nonfiction, Elizabeth Gilbert expands our understanding of creativity, spirituality and love. Whatever her subject — her own transformative experiences, the institution of marriage, or 1940s showgirls — Gilbert writes with a “mix of intelligence, wit and colloquial exuberance that is close to irresistible” (The New York Times Book Review). The woman Oprah Winfrey called a “rock star author” is among her generation’s most beloved and inspiring voices, with an avid international readership and devoted following.


Special effects designer and television personality Adam Savage will share his golden rules of creativity, curiosity and problem solving at the Purdue Northwest Sinai Forum at 4 p.m. on Oct. 2.

Adam Savage — Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022

“Every Tool’s a Hammer: Life is What You Make It”

One of the most beloved figures in science and technology, Adam Savage has spent most of his life gathering skills that allow him to take ideas and make them real. Titled “Every Tool’s a Hammer: Life is What You Make It,” Savage will share his golden rules of creativity, curiosity and problem solving. He will share insights from his “Mythbusters” journey through 40-plus years as a maker and creator. From finding inspiration to following through on making an idea a reality, he encourages us to push the boundaries of what’s possible and provides a toolbox of techniques to achieve personal and professional success.


Will Hurd

Former CIA operative and U.S. Congressman Will Hurd lays out his pragmatic idealism concept for moving America forward at the Purdue Northwest Sinai Forum at 4 p.m. on Oct. 23.

Will Hurd — Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022

“American Reboot: An Idealist’s Guide to Getting Big Things Done”

Called “the future of the GOP” by Politico, Will Hurd is a former member of Congress, cybersecurity executive, and officer in the CIA. In this program titled “American Reboot: An Idealist’s Guide to Getting Big Things Done,” Hurd will present a path forward for America grounded by what he calls pragmatic idealism — a concept forged from enduring American values. Hurd will discuss five seismic problems facing our country: the Republican Party’s failure to present a principled vision for the future; the lack of honest leadership in Washington, D.C.; income inequality that threatens millions of Americans; U.S. economic and military dominance that is not guaranteed; and a look at technological changes expected into the future.


David Petraeus

Gen. David Petraeus, USA (Ret.) addresses the most significant global challenges facing us today at the Purdue Northwest Sinai Forum at 4 p.m. on Nov. 13.

Gen. David H. Petraeus, USA (Ret.) — Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022

“Exploring the Geopolitical Landscape with General Petraeus”

One of the most effective military leaders in recent U.S. history, Gen. David H. Petraeus — a highly decorated four-star general, whose distinguished military career spanned over 37 years and culminated in six straight commands (five of which were in combat) — addresses the most significant global challenges facing us today, including ongoing international security issues, macroeconomic trends and the tasks of strategic leadership in the 21st century.


Rachel Barton Pine

Rachel Barton Pine shares her story about her path as a violinist and performs at the Purdue Northwest Sinai Forum at 4 p.m. on Dec. 4.
Rachel Barton Pine – photo by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Rachel Barton Pine — Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022

“An Afternoon with Rachel Barton Pine”

Violinist Rachel Barton Pine solos with leading orchestras worldwide — including the Chicago Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra — thrilling audiences with her dazzling technique, lustrous tone and landmark interpretations. She has performed on “The Today Show,” “CBS Sunday Morning” and NPR’s “Tiny Desk.” Her 40 albums include the 25th anniversary rerelease of “Violin Concertos by Black Composers Through the Centuries” (Cedille). Her Rachel Barton Pine Foundation assists young artists and, since 2001, has run the Music by Black Composers project. She performs on the 1742 “ex-Soldat” Joseph Guarnerius “del Gesù,” on lifetime loan from her patron.


Purchasing Tickets

Tickets are sold as a season series for all programs and can be purchased online at pnw.edu/sinai-forum starting July 12.

Regular season series tickets with general seating for all five programs are $175. Patron season series tickets, including reserved seating and an exclusive reception with speakers before each program, are $300. Both patron and regular series season tickets will include a link for each program to allow for virtual viewing, if preferred.

Virtual season tickets are $125. These tickets will allow only for virtual viewing via a weblink for each program and will not grant in-person attendance.

College and high school students can attend Sinai Forum events for free by showing a valid student ID. Registration is required at pnw.edu/sinai-forum due to limited seating availability that varies by program.


The Purdue Northwest Sinai Forum thanks the following sponsors for their generous support that helps make this engaging programming possible.

Season sponsors include Urschel Laboratories, Inc.; the Bankoff Family; David and Billie Bankoff; Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa; Healthcare Foundation of La Porte; the John W. Anderson Foundation; and The Times Media Co.

Additional sponsors include Crown Point Community Foundation; Harbour Trust & Investment Management Company; Horizon Bank; the LaPorte County Herald-Dispatch; La Porte County Symphony Orchestra; Legacy Foundation; the Leonard J. & Irene Brown Foundation; Markey’s Rental & Staging; Porter County Community Foundation; and Unity Foundation of La Porte County.