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Alberto Gonzales eventEstablished by former Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan and the university's Department of Political Science, the Center for Civic Leadership helps to prepare students for leadership roles in public service and as world citizens. The Center sponsors seminars and symposia led by prominent public figures and provides scholarships for students who demonstrate leadership potential.

Past speakers hosted by the Center have included then-U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama, former Vermont governor and 2008 presidential candidate Howard Dean, U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, Children's Defense Fund Director Marian Wright Edelman, and human rights advocate Paul Rusesabagina. The Center has also sponsored talks by Washington Post columnists Bob Woodward and David Broder, CNN's Peter Bergen, redstate.com founder and Fox News contributor Erick-Woods Erickson, University of Chicago legal scholar Cass R. Sunstein, and Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke.

We invite you to explore The Center's website to learn more about our programs, as well as about the special opportunities we can offer students interested in politics and public service.


"In each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation."


–John Fitzgerald Kennedy