Cultural Events

Doing Well, Doing Good, Investing in the Future

Welcome to Elmhurst University’s Spring 2023 speaker series.

As the University celebrates its most ambitious fundraising campaign in institutional history, this year’s Cultural Season theme—The Legacy We Leave: Doing Well, Doing Good, Investing in the Future—highlights philanthropic impact, and building a culture of generosity and hope.

All of our cultural events are open to the public. Tickets will be made available for purchase here, and when demand permits, they will also be available at the door. Events will be in person unless otherwise indicated. For lectures and most other events, admission is free for Elmhurst University students, faculty, staff and alumni.

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Where Do We Go From Here? A Conversation with Adam Kinzinger

Adam Kinzinger

Former Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger standing in front of the American flag.A former six-term GOP Congressman from Illinois, Adam Kinzinger witnessed firsthand the deeply entrenched political divide that he believes is threatening American democracy as never before. After leaving office earlier this year and joining CNN as a senior commentator, Kinzinger is essentially without a political home, yet still a believer in the political system — and a way forward. At Elmhurst, he will explore these ideas in conversation with Shia Kapos, a reporter at POLITICO and author of the daily Illinois Playbook on government and politics.

The Rudolf G. Schade Lectures on History, Ethics and Law
Thursday, April 20, 7:00 p.m.
Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel
Admission is $15; free for Elmhurst University students, faculty, staff and alumni

Purchase Tickets for 4/20

FIRSTS: TEDxElmhurstUniversity 2023

Elmhurst University’s second annual TEDx event will feature speakers representing a cross-section from the University and the greater community. Licensed by the nonprofit TED organization, this year’s event, themed “FIRSTS,” aims to educate and enlighten audiences with new ideas and perspectives.

Saturday, April 1, Mill Theatre
Click below to learn more.

TedX Home

The Boy Who Never Died: The Emmett Till Saga, Then and Now

Devery Anderson

Devery Anderson, author and historianAuthor and historian Devery Anderson will discuss his book Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement (2015), and its continuing impact. The Wall Street Journal describes the book as “masterfully researched, drawing on public archives and public collections to present the most detailed account of this horrific story” of the abduction and murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955.

Tuesday, April 11, 4:30 p.m.
Founders Lounge, Frick Center
Admission is free

Register for 4/11, 4:30 p.m.

Christian Nationalism: A Threat to Both Democracy and Christianity

John C. Dorhauer

The Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer, general minister and president of the United Church of Christ, will discuss the challenge of faithfulness in the face of Christian nationalism, and the need for religious leaders and people of faith to openly discuss and confront it. Dorhauer is the author of Beyond Resistance: The Institutional Church Meets the Postmodern World (2015). Part of the Religious Literacy Project at Elmhurst University.

Tuesday, April 11, 7:30 p.m.
Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel
Admission is free.

Register for 4/11, 7:30 p.m.

Americans and the Holocaust

Daniel Greene

Daniel Greene is president of the Newberry Library and adjunct professor of history at Northwestern University. Before joining the Newberry, Greene curated “Americans and the Holocaust,” an exhibition that opened in 2018 at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. The exhibition inspired the PBS documentary film The U.S. and the Holocaust, directed by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein.

The Holocaust Service of Remembrance and Lecture
Sunday, April 16, 7:30 p.m.
Founders Lounge, Frick Center
A Service of Remembrance at 7:00 p.m. precedes the lecture.
Admission is free

Register for 4/16

Festival of Lights

In the tradition of Elmhurst University’s popular Festival of Lessons and Carols, the inaugural Festival of Lights welcomes the campus and community for an interfaith candlelight gathering that will feature music, song and text from the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith traditions.

Festival of Lights
Monday, May 1, 7:00 p.m.
Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel

Past Events

Now is the Time for Critical Race Theory: Chaos, Community and Radical Propositions for Education

David Stovall

David Stovall, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois at ChicagoDavid Stovall, Ph.D., is a faculty member in the Department of Criminology, Law and Justice at the University of Illinois Chicago. His scholarship investigates critical race theory, the relationship between housing and education, and the intersection of race, place and school. Bringing theory to action, Stovall works with community organizations and schools to address issues of equity, justice and abolishing the school-prison nexus.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Intercultural Lecture
Wednesday, Feb. 15, 4:00 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge

The Voices of Women in Islamic Thought: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

Marcia Hermansen

Marcia Hermansen, Ph.D., is director of the Islamic World Studies program at Loyola University Chicago, where she teaches courses in Islamic Studies and the academic study of religion as a professor in the Department of Theology. She has authored numerous academic books and articles treating classical and contemporary Islam thought, Sufism, women and gender in Islam, Muslims in South Asia and Muslims in America. Part of the Religious Literacy Project of Elmhurst University

The al-Ghazali Lecture
Monday, Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge

TOUGH Like Rudy: Teach. Overcome. Unite. Grow. Heal.

Rudy Ruettiger

Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger has inspired generations with his iconic story of beating the odds to achieve his dream of playing football for the University of Notre Dame. At Elmhurst, Ruettiger will share his compelling story and also will discuss the importance of mental self-care, including the power of reframing thoughts toward positivity, inspiration and encouragement.

The 2023 Niebuhr Center Teach-In
Thursday, Feb. 23, 11:45 a.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge

Catch the Movie

Later that evening, Elmhurst University will host a free screening of Rudy, the 1993 blockbuster film, starring Sean Astin, based on Ruettiger’s journey to Notre Dame.

Thursday, Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m.
R.A. Faganel Hall (221 Walter St., Elmhurst)

The 56th Annual Elmhurst University Jazz Festival

Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, the John Pizzarelli Trio, and guest artists Tamir Hendelman, Dennis Mackrel and Terell Stafford will be among the featured performers at this year’s Elmhurst University Jazz Festival, one of the oldest and best-known collegiate festivals in the country.

Thursday, Feb. 23–Sunday, Feb. 26
Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel

Nuclear Accidents, Disasters and the Future

Gayle E. Woloschak

Gayle WoloschakGayle E. Woloschak, Ph.D., is a professor of radiation oncology and radiology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine whose research is focused on radiobiology and bionanotechnology. She also leads Northwestern’s Radiation Tissue Archives—believed to be the world’s largest collection of irradiated animal tissue samples, the archives aid investigators exploring the effects of radiation.

The Genevieve Staudt Intercultural Lecture for Women’s History Month
Wednesday, March 8, 4:00 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge

In Concert: The Chicago Immigrant Orchestra

Members of the Chicago Immigrant OrchestraUnder the direction of virtuoso guitarist Fareed Haque and composer and multi-instrumentalist Wanees Zarour, the Chicago Immigrant Orchestra explores the relationships and differences among globe-spanning musical traditions, creating a tapestry of cultures that delivers a one-of-a-kind world music experience.

In partnership with the Elmhurst History Museum.

Sunday, March 26, 2:00 p.m. 
Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel
Admission: $15 General, $10 for ages 18 and under. Limited number of tickets free to Elmhurst University students, faculty and staff.

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