Legendary ND coach among Sinai Forum speakers

August 9, 2018

WESTVILLE — Legendary Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz will be among the speakers at Purdue University Northwest’s 65th Sinai Forum series. The other speakers include a former FBI director, a non-profit leader, an acclaimed photographer and a political reporter.

“This year’s series will be exciting, compelling and engaging,” Sinai Forum executive director Leslie Plesac said.

The series is designed to give audiences an opportunity to hear a “wonderfully diverse and dynamic lineup of speakers” and pose questions in a town-hall style format, she said.

And who better than one of the greatest coaches ever, who went on to a career in broadcasting and motivational speaking.

For years, Holtz has been considered among American’s modern speaking legends, Plesac said. He speaks on overcoming seemingly impossible challenges by setting goals and working to achieve them.

He established himself as one of the most successful college football coaches of all time. Over his 26 seasons, he earned a reputation for turning pretenders into contenders, with his most impressive feat at Notre Dame, where he led the Fighting Irish to the national title in 1988.

“An Afternoon with Legendary Coach Lou Holtz: Game Plan for Success” will be presented Dec. 2, the final program in the series.

Kicking off the series is former FBI Director James Comey in a program called “The Ethical Leader” on Sept. 9. Comey led the FBI from 2013-17, appointed by President Barack Obama.

His talk will offer a “rare respite from partisan politics,” Plesac said. “His story is one of great leadership, misguided leadership, patriotism and the vital importance of shaping a culture that puts the truth first.

On Oct. 4, internationally acclaimed artist Platon will be speak in “Powerful Portraits: An Intimate Look at Humanity and Leadership.”

Platon’s portraits capture the personalities behind the public faces of the world’s most powerful decision makers. He has shot for international publications including Rolling Stone, The New York Times magazine, Vanity Fair, Esquire and GQ; and he produced more than 20 covers for TIME magazine. He founded a non-profit foundation, The People’s Portfolio, which aspires to create a visual language that breaks barriers, expands dignity, fights discrimination, and supports human rights around the world.

Reshma Saujani will be the Oct. 28 speaker, discussing “Women, Technology and Leadership.”

She is founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national non-profit working to close the gender gap in technology. Started in 2012, GWC has grown to reach 40,000 girls, running 80 summer immersion programs and 1,500 clubs to inspire, educate and equip young women with computing skills.

Saujani’s TED Talk, “Teach girls bravery, not perfection,” has more than 3 million views and sparked a national conversation about how we raise daughters.

Robert Costa will speak Nov. 11 on “Inside 2018: Understanding the Midterm Elections.” He’s a national political reporter for The Washington Post, where he covers the White House, Congress and political campaigns. He is also moderator of PBS’ Washington Week, and a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC.

Costa’s in-depth reporting on President Donald Trump has included dozens of interviews and features, and he previously was National Review’s Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst.

— From staff reports

Sinai Forum 2018

Logistics: The season runs September through December, leading off with James Comey on Sept. 9 at Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa in Michigan City. The other programs are in the Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex on the PNW campus on U.S. 421 in Westville. All programs begin at 4 p.m., with doors opening at 3 p.m.

Tickets: Sold as a season series, with a limited number of single program tickets offered only for Comey. Season tickets with general seating are $150. Patron series tickets, including reserved seating and receptions with speakers, are $275. Single tickets for Comey are $100. Admission is free for high school and college students with valid IDs. Tickets can be purchased at pnw.edu/sinai-forum or at the Bursars’ Office on PNW campuses in Westville or Hammond.

More: For additional information, visit pnw.edu/sinai-forum.

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