WESTVILLE — Five prominent leaders will be speaking during the Purdue University Northwest Sinai Forum series’ 66th season this fall, starting with former White House Chief of Staff Gen. John F. Kelly, U.S. Marine Corps (RET).

“This year’s series features leaders in their respective fields. From those in government and law to those who inspire movements and change,” Sinai Forum executive director Leslie Plesac said. “We are grateful for the generosity of our sponsors to help us bring a wonderfully diverse and dynamic lineup of speakers to Northwest Indiana.”

The Sinai Forum has brought world-renowned scholars, leaders, dignitaries, artists and personalities to Northwest Indiana since 1953. Founded by Sylvia and Dr. Milton Bankoff with a mission to enlighten, inspire and entertain, the revered speakers’ series came under the stewardship of Purdue University Northwest in 2006, Plesac said.

Along with Kelly, the 66th season will include talks by Capt. “Sully” Sullenburger, Gloria Steinem, Alan Dershowitz and Liz Murray.

Hosting such prominent speakers has been the cornerstone of the Sinai Forum’s renowned history, Plesac said.

“The Forum is designed to give audiences a unique opportunity to hear noted speakers and pose questions in a town-hall style format.”

The season runs from September through December, leading off with Gen. Kelly at the Stardust Event Center at Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa in Michigan City on Sept. 8. The remaining programs are hosted at the Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex on PNW’s Westville Campus on U.S. 421.

The 2019 Sinai Forum speakers are:

n “Geopolitics: Risk, Reward and Balance” with Gen. John F. Kelly on Sunday, Sept. 8. A 4-Star General, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and former White House Chief of Staff, Kelly will provide firsthand insight into the evolving geopolitical landscape around the world. From the U.N. to the Pentagon, from the South China Sea to Washington, he will discuss the trends, risks and potential rewards of hotspots around the globe.

n  “From Homeless to Harvard” with Liz Murray on Sunday, Oct. 6. Murray’s life is a triumph over adversity and an example of the importance of dreaming big. Raised in the Bronx by loving but drug-addicted parents, she grew up in poverty, often without food, and chronically absent from school. By age 15, her mother had died and she was homeless. But she finished high school in two years and was awarded a full scholarship to Harvard, all while camping out in New York parks and subway stations. A passionate advocate for underserved youth, Murray is co-founder and executive director of The Arthur Project, a mentoring program that works with at-risk youth.

n “Perspectives on Justice and Civil Liberties” with Alan Dershowitz on Sunday, Oct. 27. Prof. Dershowitz is a Brooklyn native who’s been called “one of its “most distinguished defenders of individual rights.” A prominent scholar on U.S. Constitutional and criminal law, Dershowitz has also been called the “winningest” criminal lawyer in modern history and has argued hundreds of appeals throughout the nation. As a speaker, he offers thought-provoking perspectives on today’s foremost social, legal and ethical issues. He joined the Harvard Law School faculty at age 25 – the youngest in school history – and became an emeritus professor after 50 years of teaching.

n “208 Seconds: A Lifetime of Lessons” with Capt. “Sully” Sullenberger on Sunday, Nov. 10. One of the most captivating American heroes of this time, and an ardent advocate for airline safety, Sullenberger’s preparation enabled him to safely guide U.S. Airways Flight 1549 to an emergency landing in New York’s frigid Hudson River – an inspirational and iconic moment in history. He will share his lifetime of experience, which prepared him to handle the “Miracle on the Hudson.”

n “An Afternoon with Gloria Steinem” on Sunday, Dec. 1. Steinem remains an iconic and inspiring voice, one of the most visible symbols of the women’s movement. A writer, lecturer, political activist and feminist organizer, she travels the U.S. and other countries as an organizer and lecturer, and is a frequent media spokeswoman on issues of equality. Steinem produces and hosts the “Woman with Gloria Steinem” TV series; and her next book, “The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off,” is scheduled for release on Oct. 29.

All programs begin at 4 p.m., with doors opening at 3 p.m. Tickets for the general public can be purchased by credit card online starting Monday at pnw.edu/sinai-forum or by cash or check starting June 19 at the Bursar’s Office on either PNW campus, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Tickets are sold as a season series for all programs, and a limited number of single-program tickets will be offered only for Kelly’s talk. Season series tickets with general seating for all five programs are $150. Patron season series tickets, including reserved seating and exclusive receptions with speakers before each program, are $275 each. Single program tickets for Kelly are $100.

Admission for all programs is free for high school and college students with a valid student ID card. Advanced student reservation is required for the Kelly program.

Season sponsors are Urschel Laboratories, The Times Media Company, Blue Chip and The Bankoff Family. Additional sponsors are the John W. Anderson Foundation, Horizon Bank, Healthcare Foundation of La Porte, The News-Dispatch and the La Porte County Herald-Argus.

Pre-program speaker receptions are sponsored by Blue Chip, the Leonard J. and Irene Brown Foundation, Harbour Trust Investment Management Company, La Porte Hospital and HealthLinc.

—From staff reports 

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