Cultural Events

Welcome to the Spring 2018 Cultural Season at Elmhurst College.

This academic year, the spirit of many of our cultural events is captured in the theme Make No Little Plans: Vision and Leadership in a Changing World.

Inspired by the words of legendary Chicago architect and urban planner Daniel Burnham, this year’s theme celebrates Elmhurst College as it embarks on a historic journey to its sesquicentennial anniversary in 2021.

For more information or to check ticket availability, call (630) 617-5186.

Rescheduled: Travel as a Political Act

Rick Steves

Travel expert Rick Steves, host of the acclaimed public television program Rick Steves’ Europe and author of several best-selling guidebooks, talks about the transformational power of international travel. In a slideshow lecture drawing on lessons learned while exploring Europe, Central America, Asia and the Middle East, Steves explains how to travel thoughtfully and gain a broader perspective.

Book signing begins at 3:30 p.m., lecture begins at 4:30 p.m.

The Roland Quest Lecture Series
Friday, March 2, 2018, 3:30 p.m.
Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel
Admission is $10

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Is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 20th Century Voice Relevant in the 21st Century?

Rev. Dr. L. Bernard Jakes ’97

As senior pastor and teacher of the faith family of West Point Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, the Rev. Dr. L. Bernard Jakes serves as a consultant to policymakers on statewide issues such as sensible gun laws, same-gender marriage and education funding reform. The nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show recently honored him with its Biggest Giver Award for community excellence. Dr. Jakes serves on the Elmhurst College Board of Trustees and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Board of International Preachers of Morehouse College.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Intercultural Lecture
Wednesday, February 21, 4:00 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge

Admission is $10

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Spring Art Exhibition

Many Turns and Feats to Bewilder

Michael Barnes

Michael Barnes is a master printmaker with a passion for the medium of lithography. The theme of his work addresses, in part, the absurdities of life and calls into question the historical evolution of so-called civilization. As a social critic, Barnes is part of a long tradition of visual artists whose works provide a critique of society. A professor of printmaking at Northern Illinois University, he has exhibited his work worldwide.

January 29 – March 17
Public Reception: Wednesday, February 14,
4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., with artist’s talk at 5:00 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge

Admission is free

The 51st Annual Elmhurst College Jazz Festival

One of the oldest and most highly regarded events of its kind, the annual Elmhurst College Jazz Festival features some of today’s top jazz artists and some of the best college bands in the country. This year’s lineup includes the Maria Schneider Orchestra, Jiggs Whigham, Matt Wilson, and Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra.

Thursday, February 22 through Sunday, February 25
Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel

Tickets and Information

Mercy-ing: Repaying the Gift of Redemption

Sister Susan Sanders and Daniel Geiter

Featured in a 2017 article in the Chicago Tribune, Daniel Geiter was a struggling college student and a convicted felon when Sister Susan Sanders helped him get the support he needed to stay in school—and eventually earn a doctorate. Today, Geiter is repaying that gift as the founder of the Susan M. Sanders Teaching and Learning Center, a Pilsen-based nonprofit that helps other former inmates pursue a college education.

The Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Lecture
Thursday, March 1, 7:30 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge

Admission is free

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Stay Tuned: A Conversation on Law and Ethics with Preet Bharara

Preet Bharara and Katrina Sifferd

As U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2009 to 2017, Preet Bharara earned a reputation as “the man who terrifies Wall Street” and one of the nation’s most aggressive and outspoken prosecutors. Frequently listed among the nation’s most influential people, he is host of Stay Tuned with Preet, a podcast about justice and fairness. Bharara is a distinguished scholar in residence at NYU School of Law. At Elmhurst, he will delve into some of today’s most pressing issues during a conversation with Elmhurst College Professor of Philosophy Katrina Sifferd.

The Rudolf G. Schade Lectures on History, Ethics and Law
Wednesday, March 7, 7:00 p.m.
Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel

Admission is $10

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Quality lectures for the Rudolf G. Schade Lecture Series are made possible by a generous gift from Robert and Marcia Goltermann and continued sponsorship from BMO Harris Bank.

Elmhurst College Theatre

Life is a Dream

By Pedro Calderón de la Barca; directed by Brian Wakefield

Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s best-known play, La Vida es Sueño (Life is a Dream), tells the story of Segismundo, heir to the throne, who is locked away in a dungeon for fear of a prophecy foretelling that he will be a tyrant who brings disaster to the country and death to the king. Join us at the Mill Theatre for this classic Spanish allegory of fate versus free will, reality versus dreams, and a father’s love versus his child’s ambition.

Thursday–Saturday, March 1-3 and March 15-17
Thursday–Saturday, 8:00 p.m.;
Saturday, March 10 at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Elmhurst College Mill Theatre

For tickets, call (630) 617-3005 or email

A Surprised Queenhood in the New Black Sun: The Life and Legacy of Gwendolyn Brooks

Angela Jackson

In A Surprised Queenhood in the New Black Sun, award-winning author Angela Jackson traces the literary arc of Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks within the context of Brooks’ life and times. At Elmhurst, Jackson will talk about the book and read from her own Pulitzer-nominated volume of poetry, It Seems Like a Mighty Long Time.

The Genevieve Staudt Intercultural Lecture
Wednesday, March 14, 4:00 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge

Admission is $10

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Can Poetry Be Written After Auschwitz?

Jill Peláez Baumgaertner

Jill Peláez Baumgaertner is a poet and emerita professor of English at Wheaton College. She wrote her first poem at age 16 after visiting Dachau, and ever since has immersed herself in the literature of the Holocaust. As a scholar, her interest in religion and literature keeps pushing her back to the Holocaust as “the occasion when all of the central questions about God’s justice and love, and humanity’s capacity for evil, rise to the surface.” Baumgaertner is the author of several books of and about poetry, including What Cannot Be Fixed (2014), Finding Cuba (2001) and Flannery O’Connor: A Proper Scaring (1998, 2013).

The Holocaust Service of Remembrance and Lecture
Sunday, April 8, 7:00 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge

Admission is free

Reserve Your Space

The 11th Annual Elmhurst College Governmental Forum

Leadership in a Changing World: A Conversation with Governor Jeb Bush

Moderator: R. Bruce Dold

The Elmhurst College Governmental Forum brings together some of the country’s foremost governmental and civic leaders, business experts and policy analysts to discuss the most important economic and governance issues facing our state and our nation. This year, the Forum features Jeb Bush, governor of Florida from 1998 to 2007, author of Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution (2013) and a candidate for the U.S. presidency in 2016. The moderator is R. Bruce Dold, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Chicago Tribune.

Wednesday, April 18, 11:30 a.m.
Hilton Chicago Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center

Tickets are $35; includes lunch

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