Center for Civic Leadership

Speakers and Events

Center for Civic Leadership Spring 2016 Keynote Address

"Energy and Climate Change: How Can Justice be Achieved for Young People?"

James Hansen

Director, Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions Program of Columbia University's Earth Institute

Former Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

with special guest

WGN Chief Meteorologist Tom Skilling


Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:30)
Goodwin Hall Auditorium

Event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited.
The keynote address will be followed by a Q&A session.

Dr. James Hansen
Tom Skilling

Dr. James Hansen is an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Earth Institute where he directs the Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions program and is a former director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He is widely known for his work and testimony to Congress on climate change in the 1980s that helped raise awareness of global warming. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Hansen has received numerous awards including the Sophie and Blue Planet prizes and is recognized for outlining actions needed to protect the future of young people and all species on the planet.

Tom Skilling is a nationally recognized meteorologist who has been called "a weatherman's weatherman" and has more than 30 years of experience at WGN-TV in Chicago. He is known for his in-depth reports, enthusiasm and use of state-of-the-art technology, and has written about the need for meteorologists to acknowledge and educate the public about the threat of climate change.

Dr. Hansen's keynote address will conclude the Center for Civic Leadership's 2016 Youth Government Day, which will focus on the criminal justice system and feature a number of presenters and panelists. An annual event, Youth Government Day gives as many as 500 high school students the opportunity to spend the day at Benedictine University, hearing from and interacting with experts in group break-out activities, simulations, and question-and-answer sessions.

For additional information contact Ms. Jen Zingg at or 630-829-6460.


Past Speakers

Every year, the Center for Civic Leadership organizes a wide variety of events for the Benedictine community, bringing speakers of local, national, and even international renown to campus. The following photos show just a few of the many intellectually provocative speakers who have visited Benedictine University through the Center's sponsorship.