Parker offers free lectures for the general public, providing a forum for conversation on world perspectives featuring talks on current educational, artistic, social, political, psychological and scientific issues. Through the years, thought leaders from across the nation, as well as members of Parker’s faculty and administration, have delivered public lectures at the school.
Click here to be notified when additional public events are added to our schedule.

Upcoming Events

The Jeanne Harris Hansell Endowed Fund for Poetry

9th Annual Jeanne Harris Hansell 
Endowed Fund for Poetry presents
Julian Randall ’11

Wednesday, April 26 | 7:30 p.m.
Kovler Family Library
More here
The Jeanne Harris Hansell Endowed Fund for Poetry ensures continued success of our “Poetry at Parker” series and allows the school to host renowned guest poets and speakers about poetry in years to come. Former Poet Laureate Billy Collins was Parker’s inaugural visiting poet in the 2012–13 academic year, followed by Nikky Finney, Louise Glück, Kevin Young, Joy Harjo, Naomi Shihab Nye, Natasha Trethewey and Elise Paschen ’77.

Francine C. Rosenberg Memorial Lecturer

25th Annual Francine C. Rosenberg Memorial Lecture with
Dr. Dana Suskind
Pediatric Otolaryngologist
“A Doctor’s Prescription for Thriving Kids:
Supported Parents”
Monday, May 1 | 7 p.m.
Harris Center
The Francine C. Rosenberg Memorial Lecture Series was created to honor the memory of one of Parker’s most dedicated and effective volunteers, Francine C. Rosenberg. In Francine’s memory, the Lecture Series is dedicated to exposing Parker and the extended community to innovative views, philosophies and teachings relevant to the education of our children and how we live our lives. Previous guest lecturers include Judith Viorst; John Gottman, Ph.D.; Beverly Daniel Tatum; Maria Trozzi; Alvin Rosenfeld, M.D.; Edward Hallowell, M.D.; Wendy Mogel, Ph.D.; Robert Evans, Ed.D.; Michael J. Gelb; Ruth J. Simmons, Ph.D.; Sir Ken Robinson, Ph.D.; James P. Steyer; Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot; Michael Thompson, Ph.D.; Kenneth Ginsbugh, M.D., M.S. Ed.; Paul Tough; Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair; Dr. Bruce Perry; Julie Lythcott-Haims; Eric Liu; Dr. Shauna Shapiro, Rami Nashashibi, Michelle Gielan and Brian Levenson.

Past Events

The Stenn Family Civics Education Initiative supports Parker’s mission to educate for citizenship in a diverse democracy by funding guest speakers, student programming and faculty training that provides insight into the development and responsibilities of citizens, elected officials and governmental processes.

Inaugural Stenn Civics Speaker Public Lecture

A Conversation with
Valerie Jarrett
Chief Executive Officer,
Barack Obama Foundation
a virtual event
Read more about when Valerie Jarrett visited Parker on October 3 here.

Robert A. Pritzker Visiting Scientist • Inventor • Engineer in Residence

16th Annual Robert A. Pritzker Visiting
Scientist•Inventor•Engineer in Residence
Dr. Mika Tosca
Climate Scientist and
Associate Professor at the
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
“Imagining a Post-Climate Crisis Future: Art, Design, Climate Science and How We Win the Fight Against Climate Change”
Read more about this event on November 7 here
The Robert A. Pritzker Visiting Scientist•Inventor•Engineer in Residence program was created by a gift to Parker in honor of engineer, industrialist and philanthropist Robert A. Pritzker ’44. This program aims to expand science education opportunities at Parker and foster an ongoing dialogue among students and teachers about current issues in science. Previous recipients include Dr. Leon M. Lederman, Dr. Paul Sereno, Dr. Russell Mittermeier and Christina Mittermeier, Dr. Edward “Rocky” Kolb, Dr. Ka Yee Lee, Dr. Don Hillebrand, Dr. Matthew Tirrell, Dr. Elizabeth Gerber, Dr. Sian Beilock, Dr. Wendy Freedman, Dr. Rick Stevens, Dr. Eve Van Cauter, Dr. Dinee Simpson, Dr. Farah Fahim and Jamal Moss.

Past Events

D’Rita and Robbie Robinson Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Speaker

5th Annual D’Rita and Robbie Robinson Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Speaker
Ijeoma Oluo
Writer, Speaker and Internet Yeller
The D’Rita and Robbie Robinson Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Speaker Series provides opportunities for all to share in insightful perspectives on vital issues facing our democratic society and global world. Prior speakers have included Charles M. Blow, Howard C. Stevenson, Dr. Tricia Rose and Jelani Cobb.

The Joan W. Harris Visiting Music Scholar in Residence

6th Annual Joan W. Harris Visiting
Music Scholar in Residence
Chicago Opera Theater
The Joan W. Harris Visiting Music Scholar in Residence program provides experiences for students find inspiration, learn, appreciate and understand the transformative power of classical music. In the 2017–18 academic year, members of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center worked with the school as our inaugural visiting artists followed by the Chicago Opera Theater and The Westerlies.
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.