Gorbachev to Speak at World Leaders Forum | Judson University Christian College
Nobel Peace Prize Winner to Speak at Judson University’s World Leaders Forum

 (ELGIN, IL January 12, 2012) Judson University will host its second World Leaders Forum on April 21, with former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev as the keynote speaker. The Gorbachev Collage 2World Leaders Forum will feature a VIP Keynote and Reception at 3:30 p.m. in the Betty Lindner Campus Commons of Judson’s Elgin campus (1151 N. State St.). A second speech will follow for Judson’s students, faculty, staff and alumni at 5:30 p.m. in Herrick Chapel.

“We’re very excited to welcome a leader of President Gorbachev’s stature and world impact to Judson University,” said John Shales, a Judson University Trustee and chair of the World Leaders Forum Planning Committee.

President Gorbachev experienced significant social, economic and political changes while he was leader of the former Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991. While in office, he met frequently with then U.S. President Ronald Reagan to discuss global concerns and the impact of the ongoing arms race between the two countries.

Recognizing that the Soviet Union needed political and economic reform, President Gorbachev introduced to the world two new words: perestroika (government restructuring) and glasnost (political openness). His leadership eventually contributed to a treaty that would reduced the number of nuclear weapons throughout Europe. He also ended the Soviet Union’s war in Afghanistan, contributed to ending the Cold War and brought about widespread change in the policies and political structures of Eastern Europe and the world. His achievements were recognized when President Gorbachev was named the 1988 Time magazine person of the year and again in 1990 when he received the Nobel Peace Prize. His work and interest in social change within his own country continues today.

For the VIP event, President Gorbachev’s keynote presentation will address “Leadership Insights: My Time with Ronald Reagan.” A Q&A will follow the presentation. Prior to the keynote address, attendees and sponsors will have an opportunity to network.

All attendees of the VIP event will receive an autographed photo of President Gorbachev and an autographed book written by President Gorbachev. Sponsors of the event will be able to have a photograph with President Gorbachev and enjoy other benefits. Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the World Leaders Forum.

Forum leaders believe that this year’s event will continue to bring community, business and political leaders together through the VIP Keynote and Reception, which has tickets available to the public. Doors open at 2:45 p.m. for this event. For ticketing and sponsorship information, visit www.WorldLeadersForum.info.

In an effort to train and inspire future world leaders, Judson has planned a Leadership Forum in the Herrick Chapel, where President Gorbachev will speak about “Peace in the 21st Century.” This presentation also will be followed by a Q&A. With limited seating available in the Chapel, tickets to this event are only available to Judson students, faculty, staff and alumni. NOTE: This event sold out by March 1 to those within the Judson Community.


“We were very intentional about providing an opportunity for our students to benefit from the World Leaders Forum by being in the presence of and inspired by these global leaders,” says Shales. “We’re excited that this year’s speaker continues to represent the global nature of the Forum as President Gorbachev was a significant leader advocating for needed changes that have benefited the world in terms of reducing the number of nuclear weapons and stopping Cold War tensions.”

Last year, Judson hosted former U.S. President George W. Bush as the keynote speaker for its inaugural World Leaders Forum on April 13. President Bush spoke to more than 1,300 attendees, recounting stories from his time in the Oval Office and visits with other global leaders. He even recalled his visits with Russian Leader Vladimir Putin.

Proceeds from this year’s World Leaders Forum will be donated to the Entrepreneurial Endowment Fund and the Judson Student Scholarship Fund to assist current Judson students.

All information regarding the event will be coordinated through Mary Dulabaum at Judson University; 847-628-2089; mdulabaum@judsonu.edu.

Located in Elgin, Ill., since 1963, Judson University offers a Christian, liberal arts and sciences education through its Bachelor of Arts degrees for more than 60 majors/minors, graduate programs, online, certification and accelerated adult degree programs. A special Overnight Preview will be held February 19-20 and a Preview Day will be held April 13 for students interested in learning more about all of Judson’s academic programs. For more information, visit www.JudsonU.edu.  

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