Previous Symposia

Since 2006, the Hancock Symposium annually brings two engaging days of lectures, panel discussions and presentations by noted experts on one particular subject of global interest. The dynamic sessions challenge students through intellectual discourse, and the entire campus community participates in the events and learn together. Notable past speakers have included General David Petraeus, Robert Kennedy, Eugene Washington, among others.


Previous Hancock Symposium topics have covered a wide range of subjects, including:


Prospects for Peace in the Middle East (2006)

Featuring General David Petraeus, who was the first commander of the Multi-national Security Transition Command Iraq.

The Environment: Prospects for Sustainability (2007)

Featuring Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Author and Environmental Activist who spoke on the importance of environmental policy for business, economics, and prosperity in the U.S.

Citizenship in the Age of Globalization (2008)

Featuring Eugene Robinson, a columnist for the Washington Post who spoke on the impact of immigration in the U.S.

Global Health: Who Cares? (2009)

Featuring both Dr. Syad Arshad Hussain and Nathan Wolfe, who spoke on health concerns around the world such as viruses, epidemic diseases, and children's welfare.

Global Conflict (2010)

Featuring James Baker, the 61st United States Secretary of State. During this Symposium, Westminster drafted a campus resolution declaring its commitment to "human rights and social justice in its governments, documents, and policies."

My Digital Life (2011)

Featuring William Roedy, an executive from MTV Networks, who spoke about global leadership in a changing age.

Religious Experience in Global Society (2012)

Featuring Dr. Eugenie Scott, the Director of the National Center for Science education, who spoke on how religion and science interact.

Global Sport: A Common Language in a Diverse World? (2013)

Featuring Roberto Clemento, Jr., who spoke about his father's legacy as the first Latin American player to enter the MLB Hall of Fame and the importance of humanitarianism through sports.

So, You Say You Want a Revolution? The Arts and Culture in Action (2014)

Featuring Sir Bob Geldof, entrepreneurial businessman, global leader, activist, musician and Nobel Man of Peace award winner, who connects musicians, artists and concert-goers to alleviate human suffering in multiple global environments.

Security vs. Liberty: Balancing the Scales of Freedom (2015)

Featuring U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, who spoke about the immensity of the responsibilities placed upon the Department of Homeland Security and the importance of guarding against overreaction in the name of security.

Audacious Ingenuity: Pushing the Boundaries of Science (2016)

Featuring neuropathologist Bennet Omalu, MD, subject of the film Concussion, who spoke about his discovery of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a condition afflicting professional football players, and his ensuing battle with the National Football League.

Advocacy and Activism: Leading from Where You Are (2017)

Featuring U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, a 2016 candidate for president, who spoke of the need for a dramatic shift from force to diplomacy in American foreign policy.

Breakthrough (2019)

Featuring The Hon. Madeleine K. Albright, the former and first female U.S. Secretary of State. Albright’s lecture titled “For All Who Cherish Freedom: The Future of Democracy” generated more than 750 headlines and reached more than 150 million readers, viewers and listeners of traditional media throughout North America and as far away as Eastern Europe. She declared that democracy worldwide “appears to be in retreat.” She also issued a stern warning against the United States and other countries from becoming isolationistic while subsequently unraveling special relationships formed after World War II.