Past Speakers

Main Content

2020
Secretary Leon Panetta
– Understanding Our New World series – July 1, 2020
Ambassador William Burns 
– Understanding Our New World series – June 18, 2020
Illinois State Rep. Emanuel "Chris" Welch (D-7th District)
– Understanding Our New World series – June 11, 2020
U.S. Congressman Darin LaHood (R-Illinois)
– Understanding Our New World series – June 8, 2020
Rahm Emanuel – former mayor of the City 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
 Knox College President - Understanding Our New World series – May 21, 2020
Ambassador Jan Eliasson – 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
Illinois State Rep. Terri Bryant – Pizza & Politics – 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
U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth
– Town Hall Meeting – July 12, 2019
Dr. Barbara Walter
– The Morton-Kenney Public Affairs Lecture series – April 11, 2019
Illinois Rep. LaToya Greenwood – Pizza & Politics – April 8, 2019
Harriet Elam-Thomas – former UN Ambassador – March 21, 2019
Illinois State Rep. Emanuel "Chris" Welch – Pizza & Politics – January 28, 2019

2018
Tom Desch – SIU alumnus and founder of House Painter Media – Pizza & Politics – 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
Illinois State Rep. Will Davis
– Pizza & Politics – September 17, 2018
Dr. Pam Smoot
– Pizza & Politics – 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
Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza
– Pizza and Politics – November 14, 2017
Illinois State Rep. Dave Severin 
– Pizza & Politics – November 2, 2017
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin
– Paul Simon Institute's 20th Anniversary lecture – 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 – "Reflecting on 20 Years of PSPPI" – May 4, 2017
Illinois State Senators Paul Schimpf and Dale Fowler – 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
Illinois State Rep. Will Guzzardi – January 26, 2017

2016
Ban Ki-moon
– UN Secretary-General – December 21, 2016
Steven Ellis
– Deputy Director of the Bureau of Land Management – The Gil and Jean Kroening Lecture – 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
– "Following the Campaign Cash: Looking Online at ICPR's Sunshine Database" – September 19, 2016
Carol Marin 
– "Confessions of a Diehard Political Reporter in an Apocalyptic Year" – The Morton-Kenney Public Affairs Lecture series – September 12, 2016
SIU Debate Team Showcase – "Who Would be the Best President for Southern Illinoisans?" – April 12, 2016
Christopher A. Smith – U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy for Fossil Energy – SIU Energy Day – April 6, 2016
Tom Vilsack – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture – The Morton-Kenney Public Affairs Lecture series – April 23, 2016
Dr. Keona Ervin
– "Black Woman Organizing for Worker Justice" – The State of the American Worker Lecture Series – March 22, 2016
Roy Norton – Canadian Consul General – Pizza & Politics – 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
State Rep. James Durkin
– Illinois House Minority Leader – November 5, 2015
Illinois State Senator David Luechtefeld
– Ralph A Dunn Public Service Award – 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 (co-sponsored event with SIU) – September 23, 2015
Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti
 – 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 – "Envisioning the Gigabit City" – July 21, 2015
Dr. Michio Kaku
– "The Future of the Mind"(co-sponsored event with SIU) – 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
Congressman James Clyburn – Assistant Democratic Leader – "Reflecting on the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act" – 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 (co-sponsored event with SIU) – March 23, 2015 
Illinois State Rep. Terri Bryant
– 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
– Assistant Historian United States Senate – 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 
– Building a Creative Economy series – Director of the Arts Economy Initiative – 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 – "Raging Against the Dying Light" – April 14, 2014
Jim Edgar – former Illinois Governor and  Institute of Government and Public Affairs – "Term Limits Symposium" – April 7, 2014
Dr. Karl Kurtz – National Conference of State Legislators – "Term Limits Symposium" – April 7, 2014
Dr. Chris Mooney – Institute of Government and Public Affairs – "Term Limits Symposium" – 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 – "Issues in Child Welfare – Here and Around the Globe" – 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 – "If I Were President" – Pizza & Politics – October 23, 2013
Dr. Christopher Koch – ISBE Director – Pizza & Politics – October 22, 2013
Julia Rendleman – SIU alumna – October 3, 2013
Jerry Costello – former U.S. Senator – "Our Nation's Infrastructure: Nearing Crisis?" – 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, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – September 10, 2013
Toni Preckwinkle – Cook County Board President – 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
U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos – 17th District (D-IL) – March 29, 2013
Allen LaPointe – Vice President of Environmental Quality, John G. Shedd Aquarium – "The Future of Water: Should We Be Worried?" – 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, Illinois Policy Institute – February 5, 2013
Steve Schnorf – senior budget and policy adviser to Governors Edgar and Ryan – "Illinois' Finances: Budget and Pension Options" –January 29, 2013

2012
Illinois State Sen. Toi Hutchinson
 – November 8, 2012
Ralph Martire – executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability – "Illinois' Money Woes: Where Are We Headed?" – November 5, 2012
Jim Thompson – former Illinois Governor – "Perspectives on Illinois Government: Past, Present, and Future" – October 25, 2012
Carl Bruch – senior attorney and co-director Of International Programs – October 18, 2012
Glen Browder – former U.S. Representative (D-AL) – "Race, Politics and the 2012 Elections" – 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 chair 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 – "Delyte W. Morris: An Educational Visionary" – 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, "Higher Education Access and Funding in Illinois" – September 21, 2011
Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon – 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
Illinois State Rep. Jehan Gordon – April 9, 2011
Terrance Gainer – U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms – March 28, 2011
Illinois State Rep. Patricia Bellock – 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, "Town-Gown Relations" – 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
Illinois State Sen. David Luechtefeld – November 9, 2010
Illinois State Rep. John Bradley – 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 – 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
Illinois State Sen. 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
U.S. Congressman John Shimkus – September 16, 2010
Ethan Watters – author, 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
Illinois State Rep. Mike Boland – 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      
U.S. Senator Richard Durbin (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
Illinois State Rep. Mary Flowers
– November 30, 2009
Illinois State Sen. Christine Radogno – State 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            
Illinois State Senate President John Cullerton – 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, and chair of the Department of American Foreign Policy – 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
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan – 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
U.S. Congressman Ray LaHood (R-IL) – April 28, 2008
Illinois State Comptroller Dan Hynes – April 23, 2008
David E. Sanger – chief Washington correspondent of The New York Times – April 16, 2008
Desiree Rodgers – first African-American female president of the Peoples Energy Corp. – April 15, 2008
Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias – 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
Illinois State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie – House Majority Leader – April 2, 2007
Illinois State Rep. Aaron Schock – March 24, 2007
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan – March 24, 2007
Illinois State Rep. Representative Art Turner – 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 – UN 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
U.S. Representative Ray LaHood (R-IL) 
Illinois State Sen. Deanna Demuzio
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
– UN 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
Illinois State Rep. Michael J. Madigan – 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
Illinois State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka
– 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-Kansas) – 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
U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona – 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 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
Illinois State Senator Kirk Dillard – September 29, 2001
Illinois State Senator Debbie Halvorson – September 29, 2001
Clarence Harmon – former St. Louis mayor – September 29, 2001
Illinois Lt. Governor Corinne Wood – September 29, 2001
Pete Seeger – singer, songwriter, and activist – September 6, 2001
Romeo Dallaire – retired Canadian Lt. 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
Illinois State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka – November 15, 2000
Don McHenry – former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations – November 2, 2000
U.S. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) – October 21, 2000
Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama – October 21, 2000
Illinois State Sen. Lisa Madigan – 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
U.S. Congressman Tom Sawyer (D-OH) – March 26, 1999
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White – 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
U.S. Senator Dick Lugar (R-IN)
 – December 7, 1998
U.S. Congressman Sherrod Brown (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
U.S. Congressman Lee Hamilton (D-IN) – October 23, 1998
Illinois Governor Jim Edgar – 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
U.S. Congressman Robert Nye (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
Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan – 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