Former Mexican President Felipe Calderón inspired a crowd of more than 400 people at Judson University’s fifth annual World Leaders Forum Thursday afternoon. The event featured a keynote speech by President Calderón on leadership and the new global economy, followed by a Q&A session. Event attendees included Judson students, alumni, faculty and staff, and members of the general public. President Calderón served as president of Mexico from 2006 to 2012.
“More than 43 percent of Elgin residents – and more than 12 percent of Judson students – are Hispanic, which is one of the many reasons why President Calderón is an ideal headliner for the World Leaders Forum,” said Dr. Gene Crume, Judson University President. “Our hope is that by giving Judson students the opportunity to sit face-to-face with international leaders like President Calderón, they will be inspired to help shape the world.”
For the second phase of the World Leaders Forum, Calderón also spoke at a private VIP reception Thursday evening in downtown Chicago. Attendees of the VIP event included sponsors, entrepreneurs, and elected officials including County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen and his wife, Sarah.
In its first four years, the World Leaders Forum was keynoted by George W. Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev, Tony Blair, and Condoleezza Rice. The annual event offers Judson students and area professionals an opportunity to be inspired by significant thought leaders who have a global perspective. Funds raised from the World Leaders Forum go toward scholarships for current Judson University students and an endowment to start an entrepreneurial studies program at Judson.
“As a Hispanic student at Judson, the opportunity to interact with a brilliant world leader who is also Hispanic has been an invaluable and unforgettable moment in my college experience,” said Helen Perez, a senior at Judson University. Lopez was able to attend the event thanks to the generosity of an event sponsor. Approximately 130 Judson students attended the event this year under the sponsored ticket program.
The World Leaders Forum would not be possible without the partnership of Kevin and Linda Noe, Cindy Hoag, W.R. Meadows Seal-Tight, AM 560, Sargent & Lundy, OTTO Engineering, Hilton Chicago, Kent Corporation, Express Environment Professionals, Tim Winters, Dana B. Davidson CPA Company, Hoffer, Anguleris Technologies, Shales McNutt Construction, The Jenzabar Foundation, Spectrum Technologies, Packaging By Design, Francis J. & Patricia A. Houlihan Foundation, Wintrust Wealth Management, Aramark, Kovitz Investment Group, Fona International, Inland Bank, Crystal Clean, City of Elgin, Quarles & Brady, Sage Products, Great Lakes Advisors, Fabric Images, Lundstrom Insurance, and Terri Lynn Quality Foods. A complete list of corporate sponsors for the World Leaders Forum is available at http://www.judsonu.edu/WLF/Sponsors_2015/.
Judson’s Elgin campus is about 40 miles northwest of Chicago, just off Interstate 90 and State Route 31. O’Hare International Airport is an approximate 30-minute drive from campus, and the city of Elgin has three train depots (Big Timber, Chicago Street and National Street) for easy access to Union Station in Chicago. The city also provides an extensive Pace bus system, allowing students convenient access around Elgin and its neighboring cities for both work and play.
SOURCE: Judson University press release