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.

The Jeanne Harris Hansell Endowed Fund for Poetry

Hosts its 6th Annual Presentation with
Acclaimed Poet and Author 
Naomi Shihab Nye
Wednesday, October 24
7 p.m. | Heller Auditorium
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 and Joy Harjo.

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

Charles M. Blow
Tuesday, December 4
7 p.m. | Heller Auditorium
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.

Joan W. Harris Visiting Music Scholar in Residence

Public Performance featuring
Music of the Baroque
Wednesday, January 30
7 p.m. | Heller Auditorium
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.

12th Annual Robert A. Pritzker Visiting Scientist • Inventor • Engineer in Residence

Eve Van Cauter, Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago
Director of the Sleep, Metabolism and Health Center
“Sleep as a Pillar of Health and Wellness”
Monday, February 4
7 p.m. | Heller Auditorium
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 and Dr. Rick Stevens.

21st Annual Francine C. Rosenberg Memorial Lecture

Dr. Shauna Shapiro
Professor, Author and Internationally Recognized Mindfulness Expert
Monday, May 6
7 p.m. | Heller Auditorium
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 Michael Thompson, Ph.D.; Robert Evans, Ed.D.; Michael J. Gelb; John Gottman, Ph.D.; Edward Hallowell, M.D.; Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot; Wendy Mogel, Ph.D.; Sir Ken Robinson; Alvin Rosenfeld, M.D.; Ruth J. Simmons; James P. Steyer; Beverly Daniel Tatum; Maria Trozzi; Judith Viorst; Paul Tough, Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, Bruce Perry and Eric Liu.
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.