Past Speakers

Main Content

2020

Sherrod Brown
– U.S. Senator (D-Ohio) – Understanding Our New World series – September 18, 2020
Leon Rockingham, Jr.
– mayor of North Chicago – Meet the Mayor series – September 9, 2020
Michelle Howard
– retired United States Navy four-star admiral – Understanding Our New World series – September 1, 2020
Mary Robinson – former president of Ireland – Understanding Our New World series – August 26, 2020
Donald McHenry
– former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations – Understanding Our New World series – August 19, 2020
Carmen Rojas
– president of the Marguerite Casey Foundation – Understanding Our New World series – August 11, 2020
Jim Durkin 
– Illinois House Republican Leader – Understanding Our New World series – August 4, 2020
Juliana Stratton – Illinois Lieutenant Governor – Understanding Our New World series – July 30, 2020
Charles Ray 
– former U.S. Ambassador  to Cambodia and Zimbabwe– Understanding Our New World series - July 21, 2020
Angelique Power 
– president of The Field Foundation – Understanding Our New World series – July 7, 2020
Leon Panetta
– former U.S. Secretary of Defense and director of the CIA – Understanding Our New World series – July 1, 2020
William Burns 
– president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – Understanding Our New World series – June 18, 2020
Emanuel "Chris" Welch 
– Illinois state representative (D-7th District) – Understanding Our New World series – June 11, 2020
Darin LaHood
– U.S. Congressman (R-IL) – Understanding Our New World series – June 8, 2020
Rahm Emanuel – former mayor of Chicago – Understanding Our New World series – June 4, 2020  
Carl Hulse
– chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times – Understanding Our New World series – June 1, 2020
Dr. Teresa Amott
 president of Knox College - Understanding Our New World series – May 21, 2020
Jan Eliasson – former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations – Understanding Our New World series – May 14, 2020
David Kennedy – Pulitzer Prize-winning historian – Understanding Our New World series – April 29, 2020
Dr. Samuel Wheeler – Illinois state historian – "Lincoln and Kennedy: Two Iconic Presidents" – February 13, 2020
Terri Bryant – Illinois state representative – February 10, 2020

2019
Ray LaHood
– former U.S. Congressman (R-IL) and U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary – October 21, 2019
Dr. Temple Grandin
– animal science professor at Colorado State University and autism self-advocate – October 3, 2019
David M. Kennedy
 Pulitzer Prize-winning historian – September 23, 2019
Betty Koed
– U.S. Senate Historian – September 9, 2019
Tammy Duckworth
– U.S. Senator – July 12, 2019
Dr. Barbara Walter
– The Morton-Kenney Public Affairs Lecture series – April 11, 2019
LaToya Greenwood – Illinois state representative – April 8, 2019
Harriet Elam-Thomas – former United Nations ambassador – March 21, 2019
Emanuel "Chris" Welch – Illinois state representative – January 28, 2019

2018
Tom Desch – SIU alumnus and founder of House Painter Media – November 5, 2018
Jim Nowlan
– former Illinois state representative and author – October 24, 2018
Dr. Samuel Wheeler
– Illinois state historian – October 3, 2018
Ira Shapiro
– former U.S. Ambassador - The Morton-Kenney Public Affairs Lecture series - September 24, 2018
Will Davis
– Illinois state representative – September 17, 2018
Dr. Pam Smoot
– September 10, 2018
Cindi Canary and Forefront 
– U.S. Census 2020 Briefing – May 4, 2018
Carl Hulse
– chief Washington D.C. correspondent for The New York Times – April 23, 2018
Dr. Marie Griffith – John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at Washington University – The Morton-Kenney Public Affairs Lecture series – April 16, 2018

2017
Susana Mendoza
– Illinois comptroller – November 14, 2017
Dave Severin 
– Illinois state representative – November 2, 2017
Dick Durbin
– United States senator – October 10, 2017
Katherine Cramer, Ph.D.
– director of the Morgridge Center for Public Service – The Morton-Kenney Public Affairs Lecture series – September 16, 2017
Jim Edgar
– former Illinois Governor – May 4, 2017
Paul Schimpf and Dale Fowler – Illinois state senators – April 20, 2017
John Sides – associate professor of political science at George Washington University – The Morton-Kenney Public Affairs Lecture series – April 12, 2017
Illinois School Funding Fairness Conference (K-12) – March 10, 2017
Tequia Hicks-Delgado – senior adviser for Congressional Engagement & Legislative Relations in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs – The Jeanne Hurley Simon Lecture – March 3, 2017
Will Guzzardi – Illinois state representative – January 26, 2017

2016
Ban Ki-moon
– United Nations Secretary-General – December 21, 2016
Steven Ellis
– deputy director of the Bureau of Land Management – The Gil and Jean Kroening Lecture series – October 20, 2016
Tim Tagaris and Zach Schneider
– "Two Salukis for Bernie Sanders: A View of Digital Campaign Fundraising" – September 27, 2016
Illinois Campaign for Political Reform
 – September 19, 2016
Carol Marin 
– The Morton-Kenney Public Affairs Lecture series – September 12, 2016
SIU Debate Team Showcase – April 12, 2016
Christopher A. Smith – U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy for Fossil Energy – April 6, 2016
Tom Vilsack – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture – The Morton-Kenney Public Affairs Lecture series – April 23, 2016
Dr. Keona Ervin
 – The State of the American Worker Lecture series – March 22, 2016
Roy Norton – Canadian Consul General – March 3, 2016
Jeff Mays
– director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security – The State of the American Worker Lecture series – February 25, 2016

2015
Professor Richard Falk – The Morton-Kenney Public Affairs Lecture series – November 18, 2015
James Durkin
– Illinois House Republican Leader – November 5, 2015
David Luechtefeld
–  Illinois state senator and Ralph A Dunn Public Service award recipient – November 2, 2015
Jorge Ramirez
– president of the Chicago Federation of Labor – October 20, 2015
Cindi Canary
– "The Independent Map and Redistricting" – September 28, 2015
Wes Moore
 – SIU Distinguished Speakers series – September 23, 2015
Evelyn Sanguinetti
 – Illinois Lieutenant Governor – September 17, 2015
Loretta Swit (Star of M*A*S*H) & Jan Thompson
– "Never the Same: The Prisoner of War Experience" – September 14, 2015
Mike Brown
– founder of The Brainzooming Group – July 21, 2015
Dr. Michio Kaku
– "The Future of the Mind" – April 22, 2015
David Axelrod
– "BELIEVER: My Forty Years in Politics" – The Morton Kenney Public Affairs Lecture series – April 13, 2015
Randall Balmer
– The John and Muriel Hayward Lecture – April 9, 2015
James Clyburn – U.S. congressman and Assistant Democratic Leader – March 30, 2015
Felicia Norwood
– director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services – The Jeanne Hurley Simon Lecture – March 26, 2015
Wendy Davis
– former Texas state senator – March 23, 2015 
Terri Bryant
– Illinois state representative – March 16, 2015
Gloria Campos
– "Path to Politics, Illinois and the GOP: A Republican Latina Perspective" – February 26, 2015
Gary Shafer
– "Chicago in less than 2 hours: An Idea for Direct Commercial Flights from Southern Illinois" – February 24, 2015
Dr. Katherine Scott
– United States Senate assistant historian – February 17, 2015

2014
John Becker
– USAID and SIU alumnus, United State Food Policy – November 18, 2014
Cody Sokolski 
– Champaign Illinois' One Main Development – Building a Creative Economy series – October 21, 2014
Dan Long 
– executive director for the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability – October 16, 2014
Doug Whitley – former president and CEO of Illinois Chamber of Commerce and spokesperson for Transportation for Illinois Coalition – The State of the American Worker series – October 3, 2014
Dr. Ann Markusen 
– director of the Arts Economy Initiative – Building a Creative Economy series – October 1, 2014
Sarita Gupta
 – executive director of Jobs with Justice – The State of the American Worker series – September 25, 2014
Patti Simon and John Oldfield 
– "Tapped Out to The Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act" – September 17, 2014
SIU Debate Team – "The Paul Simon Debate: A Showcase of SIU's National Champion Debaters – April 21, 2014
Dr. David Bositis – vice president of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies – April 14, 2014
Jim Edgar – former Illinois Governor – April 7, 2014
Dr. Karl Kurtz – National Conference of State Legislators – April 7, 2014
Dr. Chris Mooney – Institute of Government and Public Affairs – April 7, 2014
Tony Mayville – 115th State Representative candidate – March 4, 2014
Bill Kilquist – 115th State Representative candidate – February 27, 2014
Jini Roby – professor at Brigham Young University – February 26, 2014
Terri Bryant – 115th State Representative candidate – February 24, 2014
Robert "Bob" White – 115th State Representative candidate – February 20, 2014
Sylvia Puente – executive director of Latino Policy Forum – January 27, 2014

2013
Jerry Costello – October 23, 2013
Dr. Christopher Koch – ISBE Director – October 22, 2013
Julia Rendleman – SIU alumna – October 3, 2013
Jerry Costello – former U.S. senator – September 25, 2013
Alan Dixon – author of A Gentleman from Illinois – September 24, 2013
Janice Jacobs – "Careers in Foreign Service and State Department" – September 23, 2013
David Shribman – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and editor – September 10, 2013
Toni Preckwinkle – president of the Cook County Board – April 24, 2013
Steve Casteel – former director of intelligence for the DEA – April 18, 2013
Ben Campbell – SIU Debate Team's Public Speaking Workshop for Students – April 2, 2013
Cheri Bustos – United States representative (D-IL) – March 29, 2013
Allen LaPointe – vice president of environmental quality, John G. Shedd Aquarium – March 28, 2013
Jerry Costello – former U.S. congressman (D-IL) – March 19, 2013
Dr. Dianne Bystrom – director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center – February 25, 2013
Bill Stanhouse – manager of the Southern Region Office of Regional Economic Development – February 12, 2013
John Tillman – CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute – February 5, 2013
Steve Schnorf – senior budget and policy adviser to Governors Jim Edgar and George Ryan – January 29, 2013

2012
Toi Hutchinson
 – Illinois state senator – November 8, 2012
Ralph Martire – executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability – November 5, 2012
Jim Thompson – former Illinois Governor – October 25, 2012
Carl Bruch – senior attorney and co-director Of International Programs – October 18, 2012
Glen Browder – former U.S. representative (D-AL) –  September 6, 2012
Dr. Artemesia Stanberry – assistant professor of political science at North Carolina Central University – September 6, 2012
Nancy Bocskor – "Go Fish: How to Catch and Keep Contributors" – April 19, 2012
Jonathan Shay – "Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming" – April 18, 2012
Bobbi Steele – first female chairperson of Cook County Board – April 13, 2012
Tom Johnson – "Illinois' Money Problems: Is There an End in Sight?" – April 4, 2012
Sheila Simon – "Civil Unions: What You Get and What You Don't" – April 3, 2012
Charlie Cook – "Forecasting the 2012 Elections" – March 26, 2012
Rupert Borgsmiller – "Assuring Fair Elections in Illinois" – March 6, 2012
Carolyn Smoot – "Perspectives of the First Female Circuit Judge in Williamson County" – February 21, 2012
Ryan Burge – "Religion's Role in the 2012 Election" – February 16, 2012
Nancy Sherman – "The Moral Cost of War: Shame, Guilt, and Self-Empathy" – February 15, 2012
Gloria Campos – "Winning the Women's Vote" – February 8, 2012

2011
Dan Long – director of the Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability – October 13, 2011
Stephen Katsinas – director of the Education Policy Center – October 4, 2011
Dana Jay – reporter for WSYX/WTTE – October 3, 2011
Terri Bryant – Illinois Republican Coalition Leader – September 29, 2011
Stephen Katsinas – director of the Education Policy Center – September 21, 2011
Sheila Simon – Illinois Lieutenant Governor – September 19, 2011
John P. Andrews – director of counterintelligence for U.S. Department of Homeland Security – September 19, 2011
Christine Todd Whitman – former administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – September 13, 2011
Bill Holland – Illinois Auditor General – April 19, 2011
Justin Nichols – mayor of Manitowoc, Wisconsin – April 9, 2011
Jehan Gordon – Illinois state representative – April 9, 2011
Terrance Gainer – U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms – March 28, 2011
Patricia Bellock – Illinois state representative – March 7, 2011
William Atwood – executive director of the Illinois State Board of Investment – February 22, 2011
Ra Joy – executive director at Arts Alliance Illinois – February 7, 2011
Eugene Trani – president emeritus of Virginia Commonwealth University – February 1, 2011

2010
Tom Logan
– founder of Marion Medical Mission – November 30, 2010                
Rick Pearson – Chicago Tribune political reporter – November 17, 2010
Leonard Gross – SIU law professor – November 15, 2010
Kayne Robinson – former president of the National Rifle Association – November 15, 2010
Chris Boyster – representative from the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence – November 15, 2010
Jeffery Sedgwick – former Assistant Attorney General under President Bush and Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst – November 8, 2010
David Luechtefeld – Illinois state senator – November 9, 2010
John Bradley – Illinois state representative – November 9, 2010
Dr. Tobin Grant – associate professor in the SIU Dept. of Political Science – October 28, 2010
Tom Swoick – executive director of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association – October 26, 2010
Thomas Grey – senior advisor to Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation – October 26, 2010
Janice Jacobs – former ambassador and Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Consular Affairs – October 25, 2010
Dr. Sara Imhof – Concord Coalition – October 18, 2010
Dr. Scott Gilbert – SIU economics professor – October 18, 2010
Iris Martinez – first Latina Illinois state senator – October 6, 2010
Judge Phil Gilbert – September 28, 2010
Lilly Ledbetter – fair pay pioneer and inspiration for Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act – September 16, 2010
John Shimkus – U.S. congressman – September 16, 2010
Ethan Watters – author of Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche – April 29, 2010
Tim Feldheim – April 23, 2010
Michael Dannenberg – U.S. Department of Education – April 22, 2010
Mike Boland – Illinois state representative and chair of Illinois House Higher Education Committee – April 22, 2010
Don Sevener – Deputy Director of External Relations, Illinois Board of Higher Education - April 22, 2010
Anne Neal – president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni – April 22, 2010
Sandy Baum – economics professor at Skidmore College and Senior Policy Analyst for The College Board – April 22, 2010
Phil Keene – April 16, 2010      
Richard Durbin – U.S. senator (D-IL) – April 7, 2010
Dr. Barbara Brown – March 21, 2010
Kenneth J. Gray – former U.S representative – February 26, 2010
Fulton Armstrong – Foreign Relations Committee's Western Hemisphere specialist and former adviser to President Clinton – February 22, 2010
Glenn Poshard – SIU President – January 12, 2010

2009
Mary Flowers
– Illinois state representative – November 30, 2009
Christine Radogno – Illinois Senate Minority Leader – November 8, 2009
Richard A. Baker – U.S. Senate Historian – October 23, 2009
Tom Johnson – October 20, 2009        
Thomas Patterson – American political and media scholar – October 14, 2009
Robert E. Hartley – author, former newspaper editor, and Illinois political historian – October 5, 2009
Dejuan Kea – September 6, 2019            
John Cullerton – Illinois State Senate President – April 14, 2009
Howard Buffett – United Nations’ Goodwill Ambassador Against Hunger, philanthropist, environmentalist, and humanitarian – April 9, 2009
Scott Simon – Peabody and Emmy award-winning broadcaster, commentator, and host of National Public Radio’s “Weekend Edition Saturday” – April 4, 2009
Michael Mandelbaum – Christian A. Herter Professor of American Foreign Policy at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies – March 23, 2009
Cornel West – author, professor of Religion at Princeton University, and director of the Afro-American Studies program – February 20, 2009
Joseph A. Saloom III – former ambassador and director of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office – January 29, 2009

2008
Doyle McManus
– Washington bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times – November 17, 2008
Lisa Madigan – Illinois Attorney General – October 21, 2008
Ted Sorensen – special counsel, adviser, and speechwriter, to President John F. Kennedy – October 8, 2008
Harry Miller – former associate vice president, SIU Carbondale – September 29, 2008
Rachel Jones – journalist and media consultant – May 8, 2008
Ray LaHood (R-IL) – U.S. congressman (R-IL) – April 28, 2008
Comptroller Dan Hynes – Illinois state comptroller – April 23, 2008
David E. Sanger – chief Washington, D.C. correspondent of The New York Times – April 16, 2008
Desiree Rodgers – first African-American female president of the Peoples Energy Corp. – April 15, 2008
Alexi Giannoulias – Illinois state treasurer – April 6, 2008
Patrick J. Fitzgerald – U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois – March 27, 2008
Dr. Tieraona Low Dog – director of the Arizona Center of Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona – March 19, 2008
Wole Soyinka – 1986 Nobel Prize Laureate for literature – February 28, 2008
Ray Suarez – senior correspondent of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer – February 26, 2008

2007
Morris Dees
– founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center – November 6, 2007
Anne M. Burke – Illinois Supreme Court Justice – October 17, 2007
Catherine Bertini – former executive director of the United Nation's World Food Program – October 15, 2007
Jack Danforth – former U.S. senator (R-MO) and U.S. ambassador to United Nations – October 10, 2007
Joan E. Higginbotham – NASA astronaut – October 4, 2017
Mike Glenn – former NBA star and SIU alumnus – September 22, 2007
Christopher Gardner – CEO of Christopher Gardner International Holdings – August 23, 2007
Alan J. Dixon – former U.S. senator (D-IL) – May 15, 2007
Bob Hartley – author and historian – May 15, 2007
Maya Angelou – poet, author, and civil rights leader – May 2, 2007
Ellen Soeteber – former St. Louis Post-Dispatch editor – April 24, 2007
Bob Hillman – former Dallas Morning News White House correspondent – April 24, 2007 
Al Balk – author and former editor of the Columbia Journalism Review – April 24, 2007
Rick Kittles – renowned geneticist and cancer researcher – April 12, 2007
Barbara Flynn Currie – Illinois state representative and House Majority Leader – April 2, 2007
Aaron Schock –  Illinois state representative – March 24, 2007
Lisa Madigan – Illinois Attorney General – March 24, 2007
Art Turner – Illinois state representative and House Deputy Majority Leader – February 19, 2007
Christine Todd Whitman – former EPA Administrator and New Jersey Governor – February 6, 2007
Ben Nelson – U.S. senator (D-NE) and former Nebraska Governor – February 6, 2007
Jim Edgar – former Illinois Governor – February 6, 2007

2006
Henry Bayer
– executive director of the Illinois AFSCME Council 31 – November 15, 2006
Gillian M. Sorensen – United Nations Foundation senior adviser – October 24, 2006
Andrew H. Card, Jr. – veteran of three White House Administrations – October 10, 2006
Philip Taubman – Washington D.C., bureau chief of The New York Times – September 24, 2006
Paula Wolff – recipient of the Ralph A. Dunn Public Service Award – September 18, 2006
Martin Luther King III – civil rights leader – August 26-27, 2006
Tom Cross – Illinois House Republican Leader
Tom Daschle – former U.S. senator (D-SD)
Rodney Paige – former U.S. Secretary of Education
Clarence Page – nationally syndicated columnist
Ray LaHood  United States representative (R-IL)
Deanna Demuzio – Illinois state senator
Jackie Spinner – The Washington Post reporter
Earl Caldwell – journalist
Ralph Martire – executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability

2005
Judy Shepard
– mother of Matthew Shepard, who was murdered in a 1998 hate crime
Janice Jacobs – chair of visa services in the United States
Walter Rodgers – former senior international correspondent for CNN and SIU alumnus
Mary Ann McMorrow – first female Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court
John C. Green – director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics University of Akron
Jim Thebaut – director of Running Dry, a documentary based on a book by Paul Simon
Don Cochran – former assistant federal prosecutor
Jerry Mitchell – investigative reporter with the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss.
Thomas Friedman – The New York Times foreign affairs columnist and author
William Recktenwald – 2004 tsunami survivor and SIU professor
Art Simon – founder and president emeritus of Bread for the World

2004
Stephen Lewis
– United Nations Special Envoy to Africa on HIV/AIDS
Dan Balz – national political correspondent of The Washington Post
Mike Huckabee – Arkansas Governor
Stanley Nelson – Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker
Dawn Clark Netsch – first woman elected to statewide office in Illinois
Jody Williams – Nobel Peace Prize Laureate for an anti-landmine campaign
Michael J. Madigan – Illinois state representative and Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives
John Block – former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
Dr. William Close – internationally acclaimed physician and author
Dr. Joe Nye – dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
David YepsenDes Moines Register political columnist

2003
Judy Baar Topinka
– Illinois state treasurer – October 23, 2003
Anthony Zinni – retired U.S. general – October 21, 2003
Richard Goldstone – justice of the South Africa Constitutional Court – October 13, 2003
Walter Cronkite – legendary news anchor – October 9, 2003
Carol Channing – Tony-Award winning entertainer – October 2, 2003
Julie Nixon Eisenhower – chair of the President's Commission on White House Fellowships – September 29, 2003
Howard Baker – U.S. ambassador to Japan and former U.S. Senator (R-TN) – August 29, 2003
Nancy Kassebaum Baker – former U.S. senator (R-KS) – August 29, 2003
Bruce Laingen – former U.S. ambassador and Iranian hostage – April 28, 2003
Autherine Lucy Foster – civil rights pioneer – April 16, 2003
George McGovern – former U.S. senator and 1972 Presidential candidate – April 14, 2003
Ed Asner – actor and social activist – April 1, 2003
William Perry – former U.S. Secretary of Defense – March 31, 2003
Oliver "Buzz" Thomas – Freedom Forum's First Amendment Center – March 3, 2003
Charles Haynes – Freedom Forum's First Amendment Center – March 3, 2003

2002
Martin Marty
– renowned University of Chicago theologian – December 2, 2002
Clayton Yeutter – former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture – October 28, 2002
Richard Carmona – U.S. Surgeon General – October 27, 2002
Ramsey Clark – former U.S. attorney general – September 22, 2002
David Dinkins – former mayor of New York City – September 5, 2002
Mike Farrell – actor and human rights activist – April 28, 2002
David Satcher – former U.S. Surgeon General – April 7, 2002
William Hungate – former U.S. congressman and a retired federal judge – March 17, 2002
Joe Tydings – former U.S. senator (D-MD) – March 17, 2002
Jim Sasser – former U.S. senator (D-TN) – March 17, 2002
David Durenberger – former U.S. Senator (R-MN) – March 17, 2002
Henry Bellmon – former U.S. senator (R-OK) and Okla. Governor – March 17, 2002
Hank Brown – former U.S. senator (R-CO) – March 17, 2002
Richard Brecht – director of the National Foreign Language Center – March 17, 2002

2001
John Anderson
– former U.S. congressman and 1980 Presidential candidate – November 15, 2001
Coretta Scott King – civil rights leader – November 8, 2011
Brian Mulroney – former Canadian Prime Minister – November 1, 2011
Harry Mark Petrakis – Greek author – October 22, 2001
Karen Hasara – former Illinois state senator – September 29, 2001
Kirk Dillard – Illinois state senator – September 29, 2001
Debbie Halvorson – Illinois state senator – September 29, 2001
Clarence Harmon – former St. Louis mayor – September 29, 2001
Corinne Wood – Illinois Lieutenant Governor – September 29, 2001
Pete Seeger – singer, songwriter, and activist – September 6, 2001
Romeo Dallaire – retired Canadian Lieutenant-General – April 30, 2001
James A. Baker III – former U.S. Secretary of State – April 24, 2001
Richard Riley – former U.S. Secretary of Education – April 22, 2001
David Broder – The Washington Post columnist and reporter – March 29, 2001
Dick Gregory – entertainer and activist – January 23, 2001 

2000
Eugene Lang
– founder of the "I Have a Dream" Foundation – December 10, 2000
Judy Baar Topinka – Illinois state treasurer – November 15, 2000
Don McHenry – former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations – November 2, 2000
Richard Durbin – U.S. senator (D-IL) – October 21, 2000
Barack Obama – Illinois state senator – October 21, 2000
Lisa Madigan – Illinois state senator – October 21, 2000
Juan Andrade Jr. – Hispanic leader – September 15, 2000
Gwendolyn Brooks – Illinois Poet Laureate – September 14, 2000
Thomas Patterson – government professor at Harvard University - September 6, 2000
William Gray – president & CEO of The College Fund - April 28, 2000
Heather Booth – founder of Citizen Action – April 25, 2000
Ron and Joan Engel – social advocates – February 25, 2000
Bernard Rapoport – chairman emeritus for the American Income Life Insurance Co. – February 7, 2000

1999
David Rawson
– former U.S. ambassador to Rwanda – November 17, 1999
Studs Terkel – renowned author and historian – November 11, 1999
Carol Moseley Braun – former U.S. senator and ambassador to New Zealand – November 4, 1999
C. Everett Koop – former U.S. Surgeon General – October 20, 1999
Glenn Poshard – former U.S. congressman (D-IL) – October 9, 1999
William Warfield – Grammy award-winning singer – September 29, 1999
Wayne Owens – former U.S. congressman (D-NV) – September 17, 1999
Fred Korematsu – Japanese-American civil rights leader – September 1, 1999
Michael Dukakis – former Massachusetts Governor and 1988 Presidential candidate – April 9, 1999
Tom Sawyer – U.S. congressman (D-OH) – March 26, 1999
Jesse White – Illinois Secretary of State – March 26, 1999
Barbara Bush – former First Lady of the United States – March 26, 1999
Jack Kubik – former Illinois state representative – March 25, 1999

1998
Dick Lugar 
– U.S. senator (R-IN) – December 7, 1998
Sherrod Brown – U.S. congressman (D-OH) – December 7, 1998
Eugene Carroll Jr. – retired U.S. Navy admiral – December 6, 1998
Bette Bao Lord – renowned author on China – December 6, 1998
Winston Lord – former U.S. ambassador to China – December 6, 1998
Barbara Gottschalk – executive vice president, Seeds for Peace – October 23, 1998
Lee Hamilton – U.S. congressman (D-IN) – October 23, 1998
Jim Edgar – Illinois Governor – October 8, 1998
Dan Rostenkowski – former U.S. congressman (D-IL) – September 22, 1998
Joe Hartzler – assistant U.S. attorney in the Oklahoma City Bombing case – September 22, 1998
Webster Hubbell – former U.S. deputy attorney general – September 22, 1998
Ken Hechler – former U.S. congressman (D-WV) and West Virginia Secretary of State – September 9, 1998
Dick DeSchutter – vice-chairman of Monsanto – April 22, 1998
Robert Nye (R-OH) – U.S. congressman (R-OH) – April 15, 1998
Pat Robertson – Christian leader – March 25, 1998
Chief Shoneken – spiritual leader from Lagos, Nigeria – March 25, 1998

1997
Hubert Humphrey III
– Minnesota Attorney General – October 20, 1997
Jim Ryan – Illinois attorney general – October 17, 1997
David Kessler – former director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – October 6, 1997
Alan Simpson – former U.S. senator (R-WY) – May 22, 1997
David Pryor – former U.S. senator (D-AR) – May 22, 1997
Jack Danforth – former U.S. senator (R-MO) – May 22, 1997