September 09, 2005

Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Fall speakers will address variety of issues

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A noted national political observer, an Illinois Supreme Court justice and a well-known international news correspondent with ties to Southern Illinois University Carbondale highlight the fall schedule of speakers for the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

"The institute has assembled what I believe is an exceptional lineup of speakers that reflects our commitment to address regional, state, national and international issues," said Mike Lawrence, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

The events are free and open to the public.

Here's the schedule:

  • Monday, Sept. 19 – 8 p.m., Student Center Auditorium. John C. Green, "The Twelve Tribes: Religion and Politics in the 2004 Campaign." Green is director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 28 – 7 p.m., Student Center, Ballroom D. Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Ann G. McMorrow is presenting the Jeanne Hurley Simon Lecture Series.
  • Thursday, Oct. 6 – 7 p.m., Student Center, Ballroom D. SIUC alumnus Walter C. Rodgers, senior international news correspondent for CNN.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 19 – 7 p.m., Student Center, Ballroom D. Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, and executive director of the non-profit Matthew Shepherd Foundation, created after the 1998 gay hate-crime murder of her son.
  • Monday, Nov. 14 – 7 p.m., Student Center, Ballroom D. SIUC alumnus Janice L. Jacobs, deputy assistant secretary of state for visa services.

Green is delivering the Morton-Kenney Public Affairs Lecture Series, co-sponsored by SIUC's political science department. Green will examine the role of religion in American politics.

McMorrow is the first female Supreme Court justice in Illinois, and was the state's first female Supreme Court chief justice. The Jeanne Hurley Simon Lecture Series honors Public Policy Institute founder Paul Simon's first wife, Jeanne, who died in February 2000. The series brings in prestigious speakers in the field of politics, government and other vital issues.

Rodgers holds bachelors and masters degrees in history from SIUC. He has been with CNN since 1993, and before that worked for ABC News for 12 years.

Shepard's appearance is part of Gay/Lesbian/Bi-sexual/Transgender History Month, which is in October. Proceeds from her appearance go to the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which supports educational projects and activities raising awareness of issues involving discrimination and diversity. Student Development Multi-Cultural Programs and the Saluki Rainbow Network are co-sponsoring her appearance.

Jacobs is providing the keynote speech for the International Exchanges in a Post 9/11 World Symposium being held at SIUC. She became deputy assistant secretary for visa services in October 2002. She received a bachelor's degree in French and Education from SIUC in 1968.

Developing citizen-leaders with global perspectives is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.

For more information, contact the institute at 618/453-4009 or visit