Jefferson Educational Society Global Summit X comes to Gannon


Michael Guido, Staff Writer

The Jefferson Educational Society’s Global Summit X is a three-week lecture series to address issues regarding the Erie community, the country and the world.  

The summit begins Monday and runs until Friday, Nov. 16.  

This year is the 10th year of the Global Summit.  

The summit began as a two-day conference in 2009.  

Over the years, the summit has featured 78 respected leaders, scholars and writers from the nation and around the world.  

The summit continues to grow in the number of attendees and speakers each year.  

The mission of the series is to bring in experts speaking on various national topics and then focusing it and connecting it to the Erie region to discuss what challenges the issues bring to the area.  

In an informational packet about the Global Summit X, the Jefferson Educational Society writes that its summit mission will never change.  

“We try to find special speakers working on cutting edge of their academic disciplines, to bring them to Erie to share their truly global ideas.”  

Most of the lectures will be held at the Jefferson Educational Society, 3207 State St., but some will be located on Gannon’s campus.  

Of those occurring at Gannon, they will feature speakers such as journalist David Ignatius, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and MSNBC host Chris Matthews.   

The events will cover a host of topics including current presidential leadership, history of past presidents and conversations about current events.  

Ben Speggen, a graduate of Gannon and current director of operations at the society, encouraged Gannon students to attend the events. 

“Gannon students will have the opportunity to hear from globally recognized thought-leaders in their own backyard,” Speggen said.  

He continued by mentioning that all the speakers are “all world-class scholars that we’re honored to have share their ideas in Erie and at Gannon.”  

Speggen said people shouldn’t be surprised that speakers of this caliber are willing to come to Erie.  

“Erie is a place where this is possible — not just a far-fetched dream,” Speggen said.  

“The Erie community has an intellectual appetite that rivals any big city.”  

Gannon has increased its participation in this year’s summit. 

“We’re excited that Gannon has chosen to sponsor this Summit and to offer its campus as a location to five events,” Speggen said. 

“It shows that Erie is a place ripe with collaboration and willing to explore awesome ideas together in a partnership towards shaping a better community. 

“The Jefferson Educational Society is proud to be working with Gannon and looks forward to this partnership and to working together in the future.” 

On Monday, David Ignatius, 68, will lead a discussion of national and international issues.  

Ignatius is an associate editor and nationally syndicated columnist for The Washington Post. He frequently offers his analysis of national security issues on national news networks. 

Valet parking will be available at the Gannon arch on West Seventh Street.  

All events hosted on and off campus by the society are free to Gannon students, faculty and staff.  

If you plan to attend, you will have to register in advance by calling 814-459-8000.  

You will then have to provide proof of your relationship to Gannon.  

There will also be seven events hosted off campus by the society that run from Tuesday until Nov. 13.  

A majority of the lectures will be hosted at the society’s headquarters on State Street. However, one event, on Nov. 13, will be held at Penn State Behrend.  

More information can be found at  



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