2014 Recap - The World Leaders Forum | Judson University

WLF 2014 Event Summary

Condoleezza Rice Keynotes 2014 World Leaders Forum

Condoleezza Rice inspired a sold-out crowd of more than 600 people at Judson University’s fourth annual World Leaders Forum Wednesday afternoon. The event featured a 15-minute speech by Dr. Rice on world leadership and human achievement followed by an extensive Q&A session. Event attendees included Judson students, alumni, faculty and staff. Dr. Rice is the first African American woman to have served as U.S. Secretary of State.


“The college experience is like nothing else. It’s an opportunity to know broadly what human beings can achieve,” said Dr. Rice in her address. “When I was in college, I was still planning to be a concert pianist. I encourage college students to embrace the uncertainties of life and love the journey of education.”

“Our hope is that by giving Judson students the opportunity to sit face-to-face with world leaders like Condoleezza Rice, they will be inspired to help shape the world,” said Dr. Gene Crume, Judson University President. “The World Leaders Forum is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many of our students.”

For the second phase of the World Leaders Forum, Dr. Rice spoke at a private VIP reception in downtown Chicago to a group of 130 sponsors, entrepreneurs, and elected officials on Wednesday evening. Attendees of the VIP event were able to have their photo taken with Dr. Rice.

In its first three years, the World Leaders Forum was keynoted by George W. Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Tony Blair. The goal of the annual event is to offer Judson students and area professionals an opportunity to be inspired by significant thought leaders who have a global perspective. Funds raised from the World Leaders Forum go toward scholarships for current Judson University students and an endowment to start an entrepreneurial studies program at Judson.

“As a minority student, the opportunity to interact with a brilliant world leader, who herself is a member of a minority group, has provided encouragement, motivation and invaluable insight regarding attaining a leadership position in any field,” said Kevin Lopez, a senior at Judson University. Lopez was able to attend the event thanks to a sponsored ticket. Approximately 200 Judson students attended the event this year under the sponsored ticket program.

The World Leaders Forum would not be possible without the partnership of Kevin & Linda Noe, OTTO Engineering, Inc., Kent Corporation, Sargent & Lundy, Cindy Hoag, Hoffer Plastics Corporation, FONA International, Inc., Spectrum Technologies, BMO Harris Bank, Cumulus Group, Shales McNutt Construction, Dana B. Davidson CPA, Packaging By Design, Francis J. and Patricia A. Houlihan Foundation, Zimmerman Ford, Hilton Chicago Hotel, City of Elgin, Kovitz Investment Group, The Jenzabar Foundation, Heritage Crystal Clean, Express Employment Professionals, Anguleris Technologies, Sage Products, Aramark, Quarles and Brady, Fabric Images, and EFS Foundation.

Judson University, Shaping Lives that Shape the World