Ten Years of Success: The Hancock Symposium at Westminster College

Pictured above: Sir Bob Geldoff speaking at Westminster’s 2014 Green Lecture.

The 2015 Hancock Symposium at Westminster College will celebrate the tenth anniversary of this remarkable event. The Symposium carries the name of 1967 Westminster graduate David and Linda Hancock (of Kansas City) whose gift made it possible for current and future generations of Westminster students to experience one of the most unique and enjoyable academic events one a college campus in the United States.

The Symposium is a two-day event that allows the entire student body of 1000 students to come together with faculty and staff to enjoy an intimate conversation (with speakers from all across the nation) on a global topic of importance. This year’s theme is “Security vs. Liberty.” Some past themes included “Citizenship in a Global Age” (2008), the environment (2007), the arts (2014), technology (2011), “Global Sport” (2013), “Global Conflicts” (2010).

Some of the notable speakers at the Hancock Symposium in years past included General David Petraeus (former Iraq war general and Director of Central Intelligence), Jehane Noujaim (award-winning documentary film maker of “Control Room” about Al-Jazeera), Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (noted environmentalist), former United States Secretary of Treasury and State James A. Baker III, rock humanitarian and entrepreneur Sir Bob Geldof, professional baseball player and businessman Roberto Clemente, Jr., noted neuroscientist Dr. David Eagleman, actor and playwright Andy Paris, Soviet arms negotiator and Mikhail Gorbachev’s interpreter Dr. Alexandre Melnik, and CEO of MTV International, Bill Roedy.

The Symposium has been a great event that has brought Missouri and the nation’s attention to Fulton. In 2015, the spotlight will again shine on our campus as the United States Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh C. Johnson will be the 56th John Findley Green Lecturer. Serving since 2013 on President Barack Obama’s cabinet, Secretary Johnson has left his mark as a Defense Department attorney and a leader in helping the country respect, understand, and appreciate the fine line between security and liberty.

With a decade of success, the Hancock Symposium has become an example of the value-added intellectual investment in quality liberal arts, sciences, and professions on our campus. This year, Westminster’s new president, Dr. Benjamin Akande, will experience his first Symposium and will undoubtedly leave his mark on the important event as it enters its second decade. His leadership will enhance the prestigious gathering and the Hancock Symposium at Westminster College will continue to help our students think, learn, and grow as they prepare for leadership in the global community.

Kurt Jefferson Westminster College Fulton MOWritten by Kurt Jefferson
Assistant Dean for Global Initiatives & Director
Churchill Institute for Global Engagement
Professor & Chair, Transnational & International Studies
Coordinator, Hancock Symposium



Visit the Symposium website for more information on this year’s Hancock Symposium.

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