Honors Guest Lecture 2000-2001
Mr. John Podesta - White House Chief of Staff
During the 2000-2001 academic year, Mr. John Podesta, President Bill Clinton's former Chief of Staff, spent a day on campus. He shared his experience as advisor to one of the world's most powerful people.
Honors students and faculty thought he would be an excellent and "accessible" role model. Like many Saint Xavier students, Mr. Podesta is a first generation college graduate, having grown up in a modest immigrant neighborhood on Chicago's northwest side.
From his teenage years in the 1960's he has dedicated substantial energy and his entire professional life to civic affairs and public service. We knew he would have compelling insights into our annual Honors theme of "The Idea of America."
During his visit, Mr. Podesta was a dynamic, gracious and generous guest speaker. He spent the entire afternoon touring our campus with Honors students, and meeting with them in the Bishop Quarter Room in our library. He answered questions they had about his White House experience and shared provocative West Wing war stories.
He delivered the annual Honors Guest Lecture in McGuire Hall, fielding questions from the audience for nearly an hour, and meeting informally with the over 200 people at a reception following the lecture.
He provided the entire University community with an inspiring example of the impact one person can have when he or she truly believes that their civic commitment and public service makes a difference.