Judson's 8th World Leaders Forum to feature U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy Oct. 8

  • American author, attorney and diplomat Caroline Kennedy will keynote Judson University's 8th World Leaders Forum on Tuesday, Oct. 8, in Schaumburg.

    American author, attorney and diplomat Caroline Kennedy will keynote Judson University's 8th World Leaders Forum on Tuesday, Oct. 8, in Schaumburg. Courtesy of Sue Kuncio

Submitted by Natalia Dagenhart
Updated 9/27/2019 9:53 PM

"I know how important it is to, you know, to be my own person," said Caroline Kennedy. This short statement describes her broad personality, which shines through her hard work, high achievements and endless creativity. Bestselling author, successful attorney and diplomat, a prominent member and founder of numerous nonprofits, boards and foundations -- the list of Caroline's responsibilities and roles can go on and on. The World Leaders Forum, which is the signature fundraising event for Judson University, couldn't avoid inviting this outstanding woman to its event.

The program featuring Caroline Kennedy will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, at Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center, 1551 N. Thoreau Drive in Schaumburg.


Judson University is committed to hosting thoughtful conversations with globally recognized leaders and organizes this forum with the intent to inspire and ignite a flame of leadership for all who attend. The university is honored that such an important, influential and talented individual as Caroline Kennedy will keynote the upcoming 8th World Leaders Forum. The discussion will be led by bestselling author and radio host Eric Metaxas as part of Socrates in the City, his acclaimed series of conversations on "life, God and other small topics."

Being a prominent member of the Kennedy family and the eldest child of President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, Caroline carries the legacy of her family and follows high ethical and moral standards in her life, work and service. Nominated by President Barack Obama, Caroline Kennedy was the first female Ambassador to Japan and served in this position from 2013 to 2017. Her role in international diplomacy is impossible to underestimate.

As a talented and dedicated writer, Kennedy has authored, co-authored, or edited more than a dozen books on American history, politics, constitutional law and poetry. Her deep analytical thinking, knowledge and wisdom are reflected in every book, article and poem. "Well, I think, you know, the arts are really what -- one of the things that make this country strong. We always think it's our economy or our military power, but in fact, I think it's our culture, our civilization, our ideas, our creativity," Caroline said once.

In anticipation of Ms. Kennedy's keynote presentation at the 8th World Leaders Forum, I asked Dr. Gene Crume Jr., president of Judson University, to answer a few questions about this event.

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Dr. Crume, thank you for your time. How does the university choose keynote speakers? What was your decision to invite Caroline Kennedy to the 8th World Leaders Forum based on?


Famous author and radio host, Eric Metaxas, was in Judson last fall. We confirmed with him his participation in this fall's World Leaders Forum event and discussed all possible candidates for being guests at this event. Both Judson University and Mr. Metaxas demonstrated mutual interest in inviting Ms. Kennedy because of her outgoing personality, numerous achievements, contributions and the great roles that she plays in shaping this country, this world, and its future.


She is an author, a diplomat, an attorney, and even a poet! What sides of her life and activities are going to be highlighted in the interview with Ms. Kennedy?


We want to give a small glimpse into the life of a very interesting person, because she has so many interests and achievements. We want to understand her life, her actions and her response to the events in her life from her perspective.



One of Ambassador Kennedy's greatest achievements during her tenure was her pivotal role in President Obama's historic visit to Hiroshima in 2016. President Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the site of the U.S. atomic bomb attack in Hiroshima, Japan, based on the information from the White House. Such a great achievement!


That is a good example of her dedication to service and her being the first female Ambassador to Japan. It just emphasizes what she did in this role.


From law and politics to education reform and charitable work, Ambassador Kennedy has committed her life to public works, serving as a member and founder of numerous nonprofits, boards, and foundations. It would be interesting to hear about her contributions to nonprofit organizations and charities.


Yes, the interview will definitely touch this important side of Caroline's life as she is a dedicated public servant.


This person went through a lot of challenges and difficulties in her life, but they only helped to shape her into a more strong, confident and goal-oriented person. Do you think that these characteristics make her a perfect role model for everyone, and particularly, for the Judson University students?


We can all learn from influential individuals like Ms. Kennedy. How and why Ms. Kennedy has responded to challenges and difficulties in her life and what she did is a great lesson for all of us!


The World Leaders Forum also made a great choice by inviting famous author and radio host, Eric Metaxas, to host this event. I am sure it will be an exciting interview! Metaxas is also the founder and host of "Socrates in the City," the acclaimed series of conversations on "life, God, and other small topics." Will he touch on these topics during this interview as well -- life, God, purpose of life?


He will touch on these topics, but the main goal of the interview will be to learn more about Ms. Kennedy, her unique and outgoing personality, and her perspective on things that have happened in her life, in this country, and in the world.

"The amazing thing about the winners is that none of them really felt that they were doing anything special. They just felt like it was the right thing to do," said Caroline Kennedy once. Well, her life proves that following one's feelings and doing the right thing helps to overcome obstacles and leads to great success. A globally recognized leader starts with a warm soul and kind heart, and Caroline Kennedy is a great example of it.

A VIP reception with Kennedy and Metaxas will precede the program at 5 p.m., and the event will begin at 7 p.m.

The prices are $75 for general admission tickets and $1,000 for the VIP Meet & Greet Reception. For tickets and sponsorship information, please visit www.WorldLeadersForum.info.

Proceeds from the event will continually fund the Judson Leadership Scholars program, innovative entrepreneurial activities and ongoing operations of the World Leaders Forum, as well as benefit the higher education of youth in foster care by providing programs and educational opportunities at Judson University.


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