Over the past decade, the Institute on the Common Good has welcomed a multitude of speakers to the Regis University campus. Some are famous around the world, such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, our first guest. Others are less well known, such as Dot Maver, an activist in the push for creation of a Cabinet-level U.S. Department of Peace. What they all have in common, however, is a desire to make the world a better place, the drive to do something about it and a willingness to engage in dialogue.

You can find additional details about some of our speakers below:

Videos from the 2007-2008 speaker series on conflict analysis and dialogue are available on our YouTube Channel:

  • John Paul Lederach
  • Francisco de Roux
  • Ken Cloke

We believe that inviting people of diverse viewpoints to a neutral environment at Regis University allows them to freely discuss issues of great social import, hopefully inspiring their listeners to make a difference as well. From welfare reform to land mines, the death penalty to discrimination, we have welcomed speakers who have spoken on a variety of topics that relate to the common good.

The first official guest of the Institute was Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who we welcomed to campus in November 1998 in conjunction with PeaceJam. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his peaceful efforts in the fight against apartheid and told the students gathered: “Your dreams are really God’s dreams. Do what you can now.”

Since his visit, we have welcomed nine other Nobel Peace Laureates to campus, continuing a tradition that began at Regis University in 1996. Altogether, 13 Nobel Laureates have shared their messages of peace of hope.

  • Adolfo Perez Esquivel, March 2014, "Breaking the Cycle of Violence"
  • Rigoberta Menchú Tum, March 2013, "Transformation Not Incarceration"
  • David Trimble, October 2006, “Transforming Religious Conflict Into Lasting Peace”
  • Lech Walesa, March 2006, “Democracy: The Never-Ending Battle”
  • John Hume, January 2003, “The Philosophy of Conflict Resolution”
  • Jody Williams, February 2002
  • Elie Wiesel, April 2001
  • Adolfo Perez Esquivel, February 2001
  • Oscar Arias Sanchez, February 2000, “The Economy and the Common Good - Debt Relief for Developing Countries”
  • Jose Ramos-Horta, April 1999
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu, November 1998, “Making a Friend out of an Enemy”
  • Mairead Corrigan Maguire, March 1998
  • His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibt, June 1997
  • Rigoberta Menchu Tum, September 1996
  • Betty Williams, March 1996

We have welcomed other notable speakers, most recently Temple Grandin, autism activist and renowned animal scientist, in April 2014. She's probably best known to many people as the subject of the Emmy-Award-winning HBO movie bearing her name and starring Claire Danes.

Additional speakers include Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J., author of “Dead Man Walking", who spoke in March 2005 about her work as an activist against the death penalty and her experiences with men on death row, and Elizabeth Dole, former president of the American Red Cross, first female Secretary of Transportation and former presidential candidate, who spoke in February 1999 on “An America We Can Be.”

Many times, we collaborate with our colleagues at Regis University and beyond to invite guests while others we are the primary sponsor. Over the years, additional speakers have included:

Eboo Patel, January 14, 2014, "Interfaith Leadership on Sacred Ground"

Christian Sigala, November 21,2013, "Native American Spirituality"

Margaret Benefiel, February 21, 2013, "The Soul of Leadership"

Nicholas P. Cafardi, October 25, 2012, "Catholic Social Teaching: The Intersection of Faith and Politics"

Helen Thorpe, April 7, 2010, "Just Like Us"

Gail Collins, March 22, 2010, "When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present"

Dr. Dorothy Maver, former executive director of Peace Partnership International; April 16, 2009; “Forging Alliances with Government, Business and Civil Society”

Ron Hansen, March 26, 2009, “Catholic Literary Imagination”

Simon Harak, S.J.; March 12, 2009, “Gospel Spirituality of Resistance”

Imam Yahya Abdullah, The Islamic Association of Desoto, Texas; February 12, 2009

Deirdre Mullan, R.S.M.; February 5, 2009, “In A World Pregnant with Threat: Who Has the Courage?”

Wellington Webb, former mayor of Denver; February 3, 2009; “Bridging the Gaps”

Father Juan Molina, O.Ss.T., Advocacy Program coordinator for Southwest Region of Catholic Relief Services; January 29, 2009

Robert L. Millett and Greg Johnson, October 29, 2008, "Morman and Evangelical Dialogue"

Ken Cloke, founder of Mediators Without Borders; April 17, 2008

Francisco de Roux, April 3, 2008

John Paul Lederach, October 4, 2007

Richard Heinzl, co-founder of Doctors without Boarders, Canada; March 2007, “Living in a World Without Borders”

Margaret Benefiel, CEO of ExecutiveSoul.com; February 2006, “Spirituality in the Workplace"

Rabbi Michael Lerner, October 26, 2000, “Spirit Matters: The Globalization of Spirit as an Alternative to the Globalization of Capital”

Father William Byron, S.J.; April10, 2000, “Trends in Inter-religious Dialogue for the New Millennium”

Father Tom Michel, S.J.; April 9, 2000, “Initiating and Strengthening Inter-religious Dialogue and Relationships”

Bud Welch, November 18, 1999, “Forgiveness, Reconciliation and the Death Penalty”.

Father James E. Hug, S.J.; October 18, 1999, “Global Economic Justice and the Common Good”

Dr. Robert N. Bellah, professor of sociology at University of California-Berkley; April 6, 1999, “Protestants, Catholics and the Common Good”

Rev. David Hollenbach, S.J.; October 13, 1998, “The Choices America Faces Today: The Common Good and the Recovery of Public Life”



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