Past Lectures

To watch past Wendt Lectures, click the links below:

Spring 2019 Lecturer: Sarah Thebarge, author of The Invisible Girls and Well, P.A., volunteer, cancer survivor.

View Spring 2019 Lecture - Sarah Thebarge


Spring 2018 Lecturer: Dr. Brian J. Walsh, co-author of Beyond Homelessness: Christian Faith in a Culture of Displacement and The Transforming Vision: Shaping a Christian World View.

View Spring 2018 Lecture - Dr. Brian J. Walsh


Fall 2017 Lecturer: Bill O'Rourke, former President of Alcoa-Russia, Alcoa executive and attorney; veteran; business ethics advisor to boards and universities.

View Fall 2017 Lecture - Bill O'Rourke


Spring 2017 Lecturer: Dr. Quentin Schultze, communication professor, author, speaker, mentor, and master teacher who proclaims the good news that virtuous communication can overcome many of our personal and social problems.

View Spring 2017 Lecture - Dr. Quentin Schultze


Fall 2016 Lecturer: Father Gregory Boyle, S.J., Founder and Executive Director of Homeboy Industries and author of Tattoos on the Heart.

View Fall 2016 Lecture - Father Gregory Boyle, S.J.


Spring 2016 Lecturer: Rais Bhuiyan, victim of a post-911 attack and founder of World Without Hate, presented on The Courage to Forgive.

View a clip of Spring 2016 Lecture - Rais Bhuiyan

Fall 2015 Lecturer: Nontombi Naomi Tutu, race and gender justice activist and daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, presented her lecture Courageous Compassion.

View a clip of Fall 2015 Lecture - Nontombi Naomi Tutu

Spring 2015 Lecturer: Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J., anti-death penalty activist, spiritual adviser to several individuals on death row, and author of Dead Man Walking, presented her lecture, Dead Man Walking: The Journey Continues.

View Spring 2015 Lecture – Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J.


Fall 2014 Lecturer: Captain (ret.) Jason Church, Purple Heart recipient and recipient of the 2014 NCAA Inspiration Award, presented his lecture, The Power of a Positive Attitude and Standing up to Adversity.

View Fall 2014 Lecture – Captain (ret.) Jason Church


Spring 2014 Lecturer: Mr. Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains presents his lecture The Mind in the Net: How Our Gadgets Shape Our Thoughts

View Spring 2014 Lecture – Mr. Nicholas Carr


Fall 2013 Lecturer: Dr. L. Ripley Smith, Professor of International & Media Communication at Bethel University in St. Paul, MN, spoke about how society can have a dramatic impact on refugees and immigrants with his lecture God's Heart and Our Part in the Lives of Displaced Persons. 

View Fall 2013 Lecture – Dr. L. Ripley Smith


Spring 2013 Lecturer: Dr. Susan Emmerich, Founder and CEO of Emmerich Environmental Consulting and author of When Heaven Meets Earth: Creation Care as a Ministry of Justice, Reconciliation, and Community Transformation, presents her lecture on her book.

View Spring 2013 Lecture – Dr. Susan Emmerich


Spring 2013 Lecturer: Dr. Bryan Dik, Associate Professor of Psychology at Colorado State University and co-author of Make Your Job a Calling presents his lecture on Web-Slinging and World-Changing: Career Guidance from Spider Man, Martin Luther, and a Hospital Janitor.

View Spring 2013 Lecture – Bryan Dik


Fall 2012 Lecturer:  Dean Koldenhoven,  former Mayor of Palos Heights, IL and the 2002 winner of the Profiles in Courage award, speaks on Religious Tolerance: The Muslim Controversy in Palos Heights, IL.

View Fall 2012 Lecture – Dean Koldenhoven


2010-2011 Lecturer:  Dr. Noah Pickus, Nannerl O. Keohane Director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University and Associate Research Professor of Public Policy Studies at Duke University, speaks on Integrity Matters.     

View 2011 Lecture – Noah Pickus


2009-2010 Lecturer:  Dr. Parker Palmer, Founder of the Center for Courage & Renewal, speaks on The Future of Democracy and Habits of the Heart: Renewing American Politics from the Bottom Up. 

View 2010 Lecture – Parker Palmer


Previous Lectures

  • Michael Josephson (Director of the Josephson Institute): Does Character Really Count? Going for the Gold - From Sports and Business to Education and Public Service
  • George Will (Pulitzer Prize-winning author and columnist): The Content of Our National Character: Ethics in Public Policy Making
  • Lynn Brewer (former Enron executive and author): Honesty: Shaping Lives of Purpose and Moral Character
  • Russell Gough (philosopher and author): The Good Life: Reflection on Character Formation and the Christian Tradition