Upcoming Speaker

Activist, public intellectual, scholar, and author Loretta Ross will speak about how to build a unified and strategic human rights movement that weaves together our strengths—calling people in rather than calling them out. In addition, the speech will focus on our differences as a platform for modeling a positive future built on justice and the politics of compassion as part of Women’s Week. She will discuss “Calling In The Calling Out Culture.”

Join Us

Tuesday, March 26, 2024, at 7:30 pm at Pruis Hall. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Loretta Ross

Speaker Series

The Excellence in Leadership speaker series provides a platform for some of the nation's most recognized leaders to share their experiences, insight, and knowledge with our campus. Learn from their unique experiences about what it means to be a leader.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Our past speakers have included business owners, journalists, philanthropists, activists, politicians, political advisors, athletes, coaches, lawyers, film producers, and even an Oscar nominee.

Each speaker has shared a unique perspective on what it means to lead, and how students can strive to make an impact, now and in the future.

Find out more about previous EIL speakers

  • Emily Ladau- disability rights activist
  • Shiza Shahid – Co-Founder, The Malala Fund 
  • Julissa Arce – author of "The American DREAMer: From Undocumented to Wall Street & Immigration Advocacy"
  • Alex Sheen – Founder of because I said I would
  • Johnny "Cupcakes" Earle – Founder of Johnny Cupcakes
  • Adam Braun – New York Times bestselling author and founder of Pencils for Promise
  • W. Kamau Bell –socio-politcal comedian, author and host of United Shades of America and Totally Unbiased
  • Sheila C. Johnson – Co-founder of Black Entertainment Television, founder/CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts
  • R.J. Mitte – Actor on the Emmy-winning drama series Breaking Bad 
  • Heather Abbott – Survivor of the Boston Marathon bombings
  • Randi Zuckerberg – Founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, from 2005-2011 she created and ran the marketing program for Facebook
  • Rainn Wilson – Actor, author and co-star of the award winning series “The Office”
  • Laverne Cox – Transgender advocate and award winning actress Laverne Cox
  • Joseph "Reverend Run" Simmons – Front man for the hip hop group Run D.M.C.
  • Sheryl WuDunn – Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, business executive, and best selling author
  • Lauren Bush Lauren – Cofounder of FEED Projects
  • Bill Rasmussen – Founder of ESPN
  • Wil Haygood – Author of The Butler – A Witness to History, and associate producer of the film adaptation
  • Soledad O'Brien – Correspondent for Al Jazeera America and formerly for CNN
  • Zach Wahls – GLBT Advocate, author, and YouTube Sensation
  • Jessica Jackley – Cofounder of Kiva.org
  • Billy Beane – General Manager for the Oakland A's and inspiration for the book and film Moneyball
  • Robert Gibbs and Liz Cheney
    • Gibbs is the former White House Press Secretary for President Barack Obama
    • Cheney worked in the Department of State for President George W Bush
  • Kohl Crecelius – Founder of Krotchet Kids
  • Richard Longworth – Author of Caught in the Middle: America's Heartland in the Age of Globalism
  • Laura Ling – Journalist and survivor of North Korean captivity
  • David Axelrod –Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama
  • Karl Rove – Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush
  • Jamie Tworkowski – Founder of To Write Love on Her Arms
  • Tamika Catchings – WNBA Superstar
  • Michael Uslan – Executive Producer of the Batman films
  • Jim Caldwell – Former Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts
  • Arun Gandhi – Grandson of Mohandas K Gandhi
  • Herman Boone – Portrayed by Denzel Washington in Remember the Titans
  • Jerry Greenfield – Co-owner of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream 
  • Lisa Ling – Investigative reporter and Oprah.com contributor
  • Gary Brackett – Former defensive captain for the Indianapolis Colts
  • Kerri Strug – Olympic gold medal gymnast
  • Reverend Jesse Jackson – Civil rights leader
  • Blake Mycoskie – Founder and chief shoe giver for TOMS Shoes
  • Sarah Weddington – First woman to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Bill Rancic – Winner of the first Apprentice, author, and entrepreneur 
  • Edward James Olmos – Acclaimed actor and community activist
  • Gov. Howard Dean – 2004 candidate for presidential nomination, former chair of the DNC
  • Meghan McCain – Blogger, author, and daughter of Senator John McCain