Ben Carson to headline Judson World Leaders Forum in April
Former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson will keynote Judson University's seventh annual World Leaders Forum April 20 in Elgin, officials announced Wednesday.
Carson is the emeritus professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
He garnered global media attention as a top-polling candidate and a leading contender among the Republican nominees for president, but withdrew his candidacy in March after a poor showing on Super Tuesday. Carson later threw his support behind Donald Trump, now the Republican presidential nominee.
Carson is a Seventh Day Adventist and serves as the national chairman of My Faith Votes, a nonpartisan organization focusing on motivating Christian Americans to vote.
"The goal of the World Leaders Forum has always been to inspire our students and community to become the future leaders that our world needs," Judson University President Gene Crume said. "Dr. Carson's life story and unmatched history of accomplishment from medicine to politics is an outstanding example of leadership that we are honored to welcome to Judson University."
Carson was named one of the nation's top 20 physicists and scientists by CNN and TIME magazine in 2001, and holds more than 60 honorary doctorate degrees. He has received numerous prestigious awards for his pioneering work, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008 -- the nation's highest award for civilians.
In 1987 as director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Carson successfully separated Siamese twins who were conjoined at the back of the head -- the first and only successful surgery of its kind to date. His achievements include successfully completing surgery on a fetus still in the womb and developing new methods for the treatment of brain tumors and seizures. Carson has written nine books, of which four focus on providing inspiration and insight for leading a successful life.
"Dr. Carson continues a seven-year tradition of exceptional individuals and diverse viewpoints that Judson University has brought to our community with the World Leaders Forum," Elgin Mayor Dave Kaptain said. "We look forward to his perspective, insight and inspiration."
Judson's World Leaders Forum has been keynoted by former heads of state, including former President George W. Bush, former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and former Mexican President Felipe Calderón; as well as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Queen Noor of Jordan.
Proceeds from the event support entrepreneurial programs and initiatives and student scholarships at Judson.
Carson will appear at a community event at 2 p.m. April 20 at the Judson University Herrick Chapel, 1151 N. State St., and at a VIP reception at 5 p.m. that day. His presentations will be followed by question-and-answer sessions. VIP event sponsors also will be able to take photos with Carson.
Tickets to the VIP event are available to the public. With limited seating available for the community event, Judson students, faculty, staff members and alumni will be given first priority until Nov. 30, when the general public will be able to purchase tickets. For ticketing and sponsorship information, visit WorldLeadersForum.info.