The Jefferson Educational Society’s Global Summit speaker series will once again be returning to Gannon this fall.
The three-week long lecture series will be bringing some well-known faces to campus.
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will be speaking in the Yehl Ballroom at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
In addition, former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer will also be speaking in the Yehl Ballroom at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6.
Finally, renowned Washington Post columnist George Will will be speaking from the Hammermill Center at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7.
The Global Summit speaker series, which is entering its 11th year, was formed as a way to foster conversation and the development of ideas to address issues facing the Erie community, the United States and the world.
The Jefferson Educational Society was formed as a “nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank modeled after the Brookings Institution,” according to Ben Speggen, vice president of the JES.
Speggen said the organization decided to partner with Gannon because “it’s wonderful to be able to host these programs in downtown Erie and to bring our attendees – some for the first time – to the forward-thinking campus of Gannon.”
“For Gannon, I think, it’s a great opportunity for the students to have the exposure to some of the great minds working on cutting-edge issues,” Speggen said. “For faculty and staff, they have the opportunity to attend these events free thanks to Gannon’s sponsorship, or by registering a class or organization to attend collectively.”
Speggen stressed the important takeaways students could have by attending at least one of the events.
“The No. 1 thing is that through the Global Summit, Gannon students have the chance to become better informed participants in their own democracy,” Speggen said.
“They’ll have a greater awareness of pertinent issues of the day and things relevant at a global level. At the very least, attending one or all of the events certainly won’t hurt you and you’ll find something of relevance at each – and that’s my personal guarantee.”
Students who major in a humanities-related program all were eager to hear that the Global Summit was returning — and couldn’t wait to participate.
Nathan Manion, a sophomore political science major, said he was really excited to hear that such recognizable public figures would be speaking on campus
“Everyone recognizes people like Sean Spicer and George Will, so I think having them come and speak at Gannon not only makes it more intriguing, but also serves as a better education tool for both students and faculty that want to learn more about their respective fields — in Spicer’s case, communications and the media, in the case of Will, journalism and the means to foster ideology,” Manion said.
Randall Sutter, a sophomore public service and global affairs major, thinks this will serve as a tremendous networking opportunity for those associated with Gannon.
“For students and faculty, this is a great chance to network and gain a broader understanding of the paths these individuals have taken to get where they are in their careers and fields, and that’s an appeal to these events,” Sutter said.
Cluadia Herrero, a public service and global affairs major, said she’s looking forward to it as a learning experience.
“I truly think this is a great way to learn more about current events affecting the world and you learn about it from the people that have directly influenced it to some degree or another,” Herrero said.
“Even if you’re not a humanities major, for zero charge, these are wonderful events that students should take total advantage of.”
For students interested in a career in journalism, or for a chance to hone their writing skills, the Global Summit speaker series has opened a new door.
Matt Schlessman, a sophomore chemistry and pre-dental major, as well as chief of staff for Student Government Association (SGA), said this is a mutually beneficial partnership.
“The Global Summit is an excellent opportunity to have the Erie community and the Gannon family connect with one another to enjoy the evenings at which the keynote speakers will speak,” Schlessman said.
“The relationship between Gannon and the Jefferson Educational Society is one we should seek to build and promote at all events; most importantly it allows students to learn about the world outside of Erie without having to leave Erie.”
Nick Frisina, a junior English major, is excited by who there is to listen to.
“It’s a great chance to learn and hear from the influential minds of our time,” he said
All events hosted on Gannon’s campus are free to Gannon students, faculty, and staff. For more information regarding these events, call 814-459-8000.