Past Speakers

Sixty-seven years of exceptional programming has left a lasting impression on Northwest Indiana. The Sinai Forum at Purdue University Northwest is fortunate to have hosted a range of world-renowned leaders!

Jonathan Rauch

Jonathan RauchJoin the Sinai Forum at Purdue University Northwest for a free virtual event, “On Free Speech and Cancel Culture with Jonathan Rauch.”

Jonathan Rauch is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington and is the author of seven books and many articles on public policy, culture, and government. He is a contributing writer for The Atlantic and recipient of the 2005 National Magazine Award, the magazine industry’s equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. Rauch, who is currently working on a book tentatively titled The Constitution of Knowledge will join us to discuss the idea of cancel culture and the “unending battle” for free speech.

Anthony Rizzo

Chicago Cubs First Baseman Anthony RizzoJoin the Sinai Forum at Purdue University Northwest for a free virtual event, “Talking Baseball with Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs First Baseman.”

Anthony Rizzo, first baseman for the Chicago Cubs, is a three-time National League All-Star and three-time National League Gold Glove Award winner. In 2016, he led the Cubs to their first World Series Championship in 108 years. Rizzo was named the recipient of the 2017 Roberto Clemente Award, annually given to the player who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy, and positive contributions, both on and off the field.

Rizzo, overcame Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2008 and established The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation in 2012 to support pediatric cancer patients and their families. Anthony Rizzo is considered by many to be one of the most respected players in Major League Baseball.

With interviewer Dan Plesac, a Crown Point native, 18-year Major League Baseball veteran and MLB Network analyst.

*Virtual season shortened due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Alan Dershowitz

Alan DershowitzProfessor Alan M. Dershowitz is a Brooklyn native who has been called “the nation’s most peripatetic civil liberties lawyer” and one of its “most distinguished defenders of individual rights.” A prominent scholar on US Constitutional and criminal law, Dershowitz has also been called the “winningest” criminal lawyer in modern history, and has argued hundreds of appeals in courts throughout the nation.

As a speaker, he challenges audiences with his thought-provoking perspectives on today’s foremost social, legal and ethical issues. Dershowitz joined the Harvard Law School faculty at age 25 – the youngest in the school’s history – and became an emeritus professor after 50 years of teaching.

Captain “Sully” Sullenberger, III

Captain “Sully” Sullenberger, III has been dedicated to the pursuit of safety his entire adult life. While he is best known for serving as Captain during what has been called the “Miracle on the Hudson,” Sullenberger is a safety expert, speaker, and author. He still flies privately. Born and raised in Denison, Texas, Sullenberger pursued his childhood love of aviation by learning to fly at age 16, while still in high school, and later at the United States Air Force Academy. At his graduation from the Academy in 1973, he received the Outstanding Cadet in Airmanship Award. In addition to his bachelor’s degree in psychology, he also has two master’s degrees, one in industrial psychology from Purdue University and one in public administration from the University of Northern Colorado. He also has an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Purdue University. Sullenberger served as a fighter pilot for the United States Air Force. He advanced to become a flight leader and a training officer, attaining the rank of captain. During his active duty, he was stationed in North America and Europe. After serving in the Air Force, in February 1980 Sullenberger became an airline pilot with Pacific Southwest Airlines, later acquired by US Airways, until his retirement from commercial flying in March 2010. Prior to gaining worldwide attention, Sullenberger was an active and ardent safety advocate throughout his four-decade-long career. He was selected to perform accident investigation duties for the United States Air Force and served as an Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) representative during a National Transportation Safety Board accident investigation. Additionally, Sullenberger served as a Local Air Safety Chairman for ALPA and was a member of one of their national technical committees, where he contributed to the creation of a Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular. He was also instrumental in developing and implementing the Crew Resource Management course used by US Airways, and he taught the course to hundreds of other airline crewmembers. After logging more than 20,000 hours of flight time Sullenberger became internationally renowned on January 15, 2009 when he and his crew safely guided US Airways Flight 1549 to an emergency water landing in New York City’s frigid Hudson River. The Airbus A320’s two engines had lost thrust following a bird strike. Sullenberger and his crew received international acclaim for their actions that day, including the passage of a Congressional resolution recognizing their bravery. Sullenberger was ranked second in TIME’s “Top 100 Most Influential Heroes and Icons of 2009” and was awarded the French Legion of Honour. Sullenberger is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters and also wrote Making a Difference: Stories of Vision and Courage from America’s Leaders. Clint Eastwood directed the major motion picture about Sullenberger’s life, titled Sully, based on Highest Duty. Tom Hanks starred in the lead role; Aaron Eckhart and Laura Linney co-starred. The film was released to critical acclaim in September 2016 and garnered four Broadcast Film Critics nominations and one Academy Award nomination. Highest Duty has been republished as Sully: My Search for What Really Matters. Sullenberger is an international lecturer and keynote speaker at educational institutions, corporations and non-profit organizations about the importance of aviation and patient safety, high performance systems’ improvement, leadership, crisis management, life-long preparation, and living a life of integrity. He presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2011, as well as the Swiss Economic Forum that same year. In collaboration with DuPont Sustainable Solutions, Sullenberger developed and was featured in an award-winning video training program, Miracle on the Hudson: Prepare for Safety, which helps employees increase their commitment to safety and transform their organizations’ safety culture. At the request of Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Sullenberger began serving on the DOT’s Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation in January 2017. From 2009 to 2013, he served as co-chairman of EAA Young Eagles—a program that inspires and educates youth about aviation. Most recently, Sullenberger has lent his voice to fulfilling what he feels is his latest mission: defending our democracy.One of the most captivating American heroes of our time, and now an ardent advocate for the safety of everyone who flies, Captain “Sully” Sullenberger’s preparation and leadership enabled him to safely guide US Airways Flight 1549 to an emergency water landing in New York City’s frigid Hudson River – an inspirational and iconic moment in modern history. His incredible personal story is captured in Sully, a major motion picture directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks as Captain Sullenberger. Captain Sullenberger will share his lifetime of experience which prepared him to handle the unprecedented crisis presented by the “Miracle on the Hudson.”

Gloria Steinem

Gloria SteinemGloria Steinem remains an iconic and inspiring voice, and one of the most visible symbols of the women’s movement. Steinem is a writer, lecturer, political activist and feminist organizer. She travels in the US and other countries as an organizer and lecturer and is a frequent media spokeswoman on issues of equality.

Steinem produces and hosts “WOMAN with Gloria Steinem,” a TV series on VICELAND that explores human rights and violence against women around the world. Her next book “THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE, BUT FIRST IT WILL PISS YOU OFF,” is out October 29, 2019.

General John F. Kelly, U.S. Marine Corps (RET)

In a world where dictators are falling and rising, governments posture for a greater impact on the global stage, and information is the critical currency, who will emerge and where will opportunities exist? A 4-Star General, US Secretary of Homeland Security and former White House Chief of Staff, few people are as qualified as General Kelly to provide firsthand insight into the evolving geopolitical landscape around the world. From the UN to the Pentagon, from the South China Sea to Washington, DC, General Kelly discusses the trends, risks and potential rewards amid the hot spots around the globe.

Liz Murray

Liz MurrayLiz Murray’s life is a triumph over adversity and a stunning example of the importance of dreaming big. Murray was raised in the Bronx by two loving but drug-addicted parents. She grew up in poverty, often without enough food, chronically absent from school and most of all, struggling to connect her education to a viable future. By age 15, Murray’s mom had died and she was homeless.

Determined to take charge of her life, Murray finished high school in just two years and was awarded a full scholarship to Harvard University, all while camping out in New York City parks and subway stations. Today, Murray is a passionate advocate for underserved youth. She is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Arthur Project, a mentoring program that works intensively with at-risk youth.

James Comey

James Comey led the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 2013 to 2017, appointed to the post by President Barack Obama. His tenure was tested by new forces within and outside America’s borders. When Donald Trump fired Comey on May 9, 2017, it ignited a political firestorm. In his talk, “The Ethical Leader,” Comey will provide a rare respite from partisan politics. Comey’s story is one of great leadership, misguided leadership, patriotism and the vital importance of shaping a culture that puts the truth first.


Platon is an internationally known photographer whose portraits capture the personalities behind the public faces of the world’s most powerful decision makers. Shooting portraits for a range of international publications including Rolling StoneThe New York Times magazine, Vanity FairEsquire and GQ, Platon developed a special relationship with TIME magazine, producing over 20 covers for them. In 2007, he photographed Russian Premier Vladimir Putin for TIME magazine’s “Person of the Year” cover. This image was awarded 1st prize at the World Press Photo Contest. Platon is a communicator and storyteller. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums both domestically and abroad.

Reshma Saujani

Reshma Saujani is the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology. Through its summer immersion programs and clubs, Girls Who Code is leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. Saujani’s TED talk, “Teach girls bravery, not perfection,” has more than 3 million views and sparked a national conversation about how we’re raising our girls. Saujani is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Yale Law School.

Robert Costa

Robert Costa is a national political reporter for The Washington Post, where he covers the White House, Congress and campaigns. He is also the moderator of PBS’ Washington Week, an award-winning news discussion program, and a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. Costa is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and holds a master’s degree in politics from the University of Cambridge.

Lou Holtz

For many years, Lou Holtz has been considered among the greatest speaking legends in America today. He speaks on overcoming seemingly impossible challenges by setting goals and working to achieve them. Holtz established himself as one of the most successful college football coaches of all time. Twenty-six seasons as a collegiate head coach earned Holtz a sterling reputation for turning pretenders into contenders. He is known for taking football programs and elevating them to the top 20; but nowhere has he done this as impressively than at the University of Notre Dame.

Speakers from 1954 Through 2017


  • Joe Scarborough
  • Jason Riley
  • Dr. Lawrence Krauss
  • Jon Meacham
  • Sheelah Kolhatkar
  • David Epstein


  • Ted Koppel
  • Dr. Kelly A. Turner
  • Jason Amerine
  • Bret Stephens
  • Jerry Ross


  • Jane Pauley
  • David Marquet
  • William B. Taylor
  • Nomi Prins
  • Ernie Pyle- A Drama


  • Jenn Lim
  • George Will
  • Robert Glennon
  • John King
  • The Jazz Masters 101


  • Robert Gibbs
  • Dag Kittlaus
  • Charles Krauthammer
  • Richard A. Baker
  • Garrison Keillor
  • Dr. Margaret Cuomo


  • David Gergen
  • Dr. Bob Arnot
  • Brian Lamb
  • Stephen Hayes
  • Gordon Clapp


  • Torie Clarke
  • Nomi Prins
  • Andy Buchsbach
  • Wayne Messmer


  • Lisa Ling
  • Bill Strickland
  • Robert Schmuhl
  • Gail Marks Jarvis
  • Ejeta Gebisa


  • Martin Chalifour
  • John Stossel
  • Jonathan Rauch
  • Robert Krulwich
  • Twyla Tharp


  • Tucker Carlson
  • Michael Chorost
  • Antonia Novello
  • Dennis Ross
  • Jeffrey Toobin


  • Sam Donaldson
  • Dr. Sherwin Nuland
  • Dr. Steven Beering
  • Bruce Feiler
  • Mary Cheney


  • Bob Woodward
  • Carol Marin
  • Professor Henry Pollack
  • Joel Siegal
  • Vince Papali


  • Soledad O’Brien
  • Rev. Richard McBrien
  • Rick Steves
  • Ishad Manji
  • Dr. Oliver Sacks


  • Danny Glover
  • Torie Clarke
  • Dr. Steve Allen Jr.
  • Richard & Fumico Halloran
  • Martin Chalifour


  • Dr. Ronan Tynan
  • Chris Matthews
  • Robin Roberts
  • Dr. Brian Greene
  • William Dwyer
  • Kerry-Kennedy Cuomo


  • Jeff Greenfield
  • Sylvia Nasar
  • Dr. Ronan Tynan
  • Homer Drew
  • Phil Ponce


  • Chris Matthews
  • Professor Harold Troper
  • Simon & Son
  • Dr. Martin Jiscke
  • Dr. Ruth Westheimer


  • Elie Wiesel
  • Geoffrey Ewing
  • Professor Robert Schmuhl
  • Professor Fred H. Cate
  • Dr. Leon Kass


  • James Carville & Mary Matalin “A Piece of Eden” (world movie premiere)
  • Dr. John Stone
  • Giandomenico Picco
  • Louanne Johnson


  • George Stephanopolous
  • Camelia Anwar Sadat
  • Dr. Thomas H. Murray
  • Shelby Foote
  • Rabbi Emeritus Karl Richter
  • David Halberstam


  • Mario Cuomo
  • Elizabeth Martinez
  • The Singing Hoosiers of IU
  • Jonathan Rauch
  • Nien Cheng


  • Hedrick Smith
  • Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
  • Natalie Douglas
  • Dr. Daniel Pipes
  • Dr. Benjamin Carson, Jr


  • F. Lee Bailey
  • The Capitol Steps
  • Dr. Clifford Stoll
  • Rocky Bleier
  • Judge Abner Mikva


  • Helen Thomas
  • Rev. Dr. Martin E. Marty
  • Dr. Paul M. Ellwood, Jr.
  • Dr. John Brademas
  • Gerry Spence


  • William Raspberry, Jr.
  • Rabbi Karl Richter
  • Dr. Mae Jemison
  • Professor Irwin Weil
  • Detective J.J. Bittenbinder
  • Bob Simon


  • Second City
  • Ed Rollins
  • Jonathan Rauch
  • Sarah Weddington
  • Benjamin Wattenberg


  • The Singing Hoosiers of IU
  • Rev. Andrew M. Greely
  • Jeffrey R. Lyon
  • Michael McQueen
  • Governor Dixie Lee Ray


  • Jack Anderson
  • Wolf Blitzer
  • NEA President Keith Geiger
  • NFL Referee David Parry
  • Nina Totenberg


  • Ed Asner
  • Vladimir Sakharov
  • David Friedman
  • Chaim Potok
  • Clarence Page

1988-1989: A Retrospective

  • Mark Russel
  • Rabbi Carl Richter
  • Liz Carpenter
  • Admiral Elmo Zumwalt
  • Max Lerner
  • Bernard Kalb
  • “The Forum Years” by Eliezer Eliad


  • Mayor William Hudnut III
  • James Humes as Winston Churchill
  • Marvin Zonis
  • Ellen Hume
  • Mike Ditka


  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Jody Powell
  • Milton Rosenberg
  • Douglas Fraser
  • Mary Travers


  • Maureen Reagan
  • Bishop Norbert Gaughan
  • Dr. Arthur Kohrman
  • Harrison Salisbury
  • Mark Russel


  • Morton Kondrackevs. Robert Novak (a debate)
  • Aaron Freeman
  • Elie Wiesel
  • Michele Perrault
  • Senator Dan Quayle


  • Beverly Sills
  • Marvin Zonis
  • Samuel A. Rhine
  • Rev. Dr. Martin E. Marty
  • Senator Richard A. Lugar
  • Nora Ephron


  • Mark Russell
  • Linda Yu
  • Susan & Richard Rosenberg
  • Rabbi Harold S. Kushner
  • Patricia Munsel


  • Pearl Bailey
  • Katherine Zartman & Richard Gardener (Handgun Debate)
  • Ahmed Abushadi & Gideons Amet (Middle East Debate)
  • Rabbi Karl Richter
  • James Watt


  • Ike Pappas
  • Author John Powers
  • George Bankoff
  • Richard Geller
  • Ambassador Malcolm Toon


  • William F. Buckley Jr.
  • Dramatist Muriel Bach
  • Rabbi Maurice Davis
  • Budget Director Alice Rivlin
  • Ambassador William H. Sullivan


  • Orson Bean
  • CIA Director William Colby
  • Bill Kurtis of CBS
  • Michael Selzer
  • Bernard Kalb


  • U.N. Ambassador Joseph Sisco
  • Patrick Buchanan
  • Doris Kearns
  • Dr. J. Allen Hynek (UFOs)
  • Haywood Hale Broun


  • Paul Duke
  • Dr. Benjamin Spock
  • Liz Carpenter
  • Les Whitten
  • Senator Dick Clark

1975-1976: Bicentennial Celebration

  • Henry Steele Commager
  • Philip M. Hauser
  • Senator Edmund Muskie
  • John Brademas
  • Ed Sadlowski & John Sill
  • Admiral Elmo Zumwalt
  • Max Lerner
  • “The Forum Years” by Bob Kaser (a multimedia production)


  • Senator William Proxmire
  • Marvin Kalb
  • Editor Jim Hodge
  • Studs Terkel
  • Lesley Stahl


  • Daniel Schorr
  • Jose Greco & Nana Lorca
  • Buckminster Fuller
  • George Gallop
  • Senator Eugene McCarthy


  • Dr. Otis Bowen vs. Gov. Matt Welch
  • Charles Bartlett
  • Marshall Dodge
  • Susan B. Anthony
  • Max Lerner vs. Reid Buckley


  • Congressman Wilbur D. Mills
  • Bill Veeck
  • Betty Furness
  • Dr. Frank Keegan
  • Harrison Salisbury


  • Itzhak Rabin
  • Harry Petrakis
  • Jackie Robinson
  • Mayor Richard Lugar
  • Edwin Newman


  • Ralph Nader
  • IU President Joseph Sutton
  • Whitney M. Young, Jr.
  • Max Lerner
  • Rabbi Karl Richter


  • R. Barry Farrel
  • David Brinkley
  • John Clark Kimball
  • Dramatist Lilly Lodge
  • Columnist Kenneth Crawford


  • David Schoenbrun
  • Bill Mauldin
  • Dr. Maria W. Piers
  • Beverly Younger
  • Frank Reynolds


  • Eric Sevareid
  • Sidney Harris
  • Dr. Han Suyin
  • Norman Thomas
  • Philip M. Hause


  • Walter Cronkite
  • Norman Ross
  • Don Bruckner
  • Daniel Q. Posin
  • Hal Bruno


  • Andre Phillipe
  • Howard K. Smith
  • Professor James W. Silver
  • Muriel Wolfson
  • Watson S. Sims


  • Charles P. Taft
  • Martin S. Ochs
  • Bramwell Fletcher
  • James Burkhart vs. Fulton Lewis, Jr.
  • Dr. Robert J. Havighurst


  • Senator Paul H. Douglas
  • John Roy Carlson
  • Edith Sampson
  • Ralph Lapp
  • Alan Mowbray


  • Musa Amalemba
  • Dr. Leonard Reiffel
  • John Mason Brown
  • “Dear Liar” – a drama Stewart Alsop


  • Rabbi Karl Richter
  • Justice William O. Douglas
  • Dramatist Muriel Wolfson
  • Captain James Calvert
  • Edward Tomlinson


  • Mme. V.L. Pandit of India
  • Purdue Science Symposium
  • Vance Packard
  • Inspector Walter Thompson
  • Author Robert St. John


  • Prime Minister Clement Attlee
  • Ann Landers
  • Drama Theater
  • Dr. K.C. Wu
  • Martin Caidin


  • Carlos Romulo
  • Rabbi Karl Richter
  • Ogden Nash
  • Arthur C. Clarke
  • Music Critic Deems Taylor


  • Paul Hoffman
  • Leland Stowe
  • Ilka Chase
  • Dr. Charles W. Mayo
  • Dr. Robert M. Hutchins


  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Ruth Chatterton
  • Edward Weeks
  • Ralph Bunche
  • Dr. Ralph E. Lapp


  • Marquis Childs
  • Richard Applegate
  • Harrison Salisbury
  • Margaret Bourke-White

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