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.
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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. Valerie Jarret was our inaugural Stenn Family Civics speaker.
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 Dr. Jamal Moss.
Parker’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging 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, Jelani Cobb and Ijeoma Oluo.
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.
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, Elise Paschen ’77 and Julian Randall ’11.
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.