Global Leaders Series

The Kerschner Family Series Global Leaders

The Series

The Kerschner Family Series Global Leaders at Colgate, launched in 2007 and sponsored by Colgate's Parents' and Grandparents' Fund, has brought to campus notable individuals whose work has had a global impact. Encounters with these world leaders help students themselves to prepare for lives of leadership — to contribute to the advance of local community and global society alike.

Support the Series

Support this remarkable initiative, and ensure that Colgate students continue to engage with pivotal figures from the world stage. Make your gift today, and indicate Other – Global Leaders Series on your giving form.

Make a Gift

Upcoming and Past Leaders

Since its inception in 2007, the series has brought world leaders to the Colgate University campus for lectures, conversations, and performances.

Amanda Gorman

April 5, 2024
Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history. She is a committed advocate for the environment, racial equality, and gender justice.

Seating is limited and will be first come, first served. Reserve your tickets.

About Amanda Gorman's Visit


Portrait of Amanda Gorman

Maria Ressa

Nobel Peace Prize-winning journalist, free press advocate, CEO of, and author of How to Stand Up to a Dictator, Colgate’s 2023 Summer Reading selection

October 28, 2023


Portrait of Maria Ressa

Misty Copeland

Principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre

April 15, 2023


Portrait of Misty Copeland

Amal Clooney

Award-winning lawyer specializing in international law and human rights, and Visiting Professor, Columbia Law School

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Portrait of Amal Clooney

Jesmyn Ward

Acclaimed author and National Book Award winner

Friday, March 4, 2022


Portrait of Jesmyn Ward

Leon Panetta

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense and co-founder of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy

April 5, 2019

About Panetta's visit

Leon Panetta speaks in Colgate Memorial Chapel

Earth, Wind & Fire

Legendary funk band

September 22, 2018

About the band's visit

Earth, Wind & Fire perform in Colgate's Sanford Field House

Joe Biden

Former vice president of the United States

March 24, 2017

About Biden's visit

Watch the Biden event

Joe Biden speaks in Colgate's Sanford Field House

Aretha Franklin

Legendary singer and "Queen of Soul"

March 5, 2016

About Franklin's performance

Aretha Franklin performs in Sanford Field House

Shimon Peres

Former president and prime minister of Israel

October 25, 2014

About Peres's visit

Watch the Peres event

Shimon Peres speaks on stage with alumnus Bob Woodruff

Hillary Clinton

Former secretary of state

October 25, 2013

About Clinton's visit

Watch the Clinton event

Hillary Clinton speaks in Sanford Field House

Felipe Calderón

Former Mexico president

April 13, 2013

About Calderón's visit

Felipe Calderón in Colgate Memorial Chapel

Richard Branson

Entrepreneur and Virgin Group founder

April 13, 2012

About Branson's visit

Richard Branson in conversation on stage in Stanford Field House

Bill Clinton

Former president of the United States

October 29, 2010

About Clinton's visit

Video recap of Clinton's visit

Bill Clinton speaks in Sanford Field House

Garry Kasparov

Chess champion and political activist

April 9, 2010

About Kasparov's visit

Video recap of Kasparov's visit

Garry Kasparov has a discussion while seated with a class of students

Tony Blair

Former prime minister of the United Kingdom

October 31, 2009

About Blair's visit

Video recap of Blair's visit

Tony Blair speaks in Sanford Field House

Colin Powell

Retired general and former secretary of state

April 3, 2009

About Powell's visit

Video recap of Powell's visit

Colin Powell speaks in Sanford Field House

Dalai Lama

The 14th Dalai Lama of tibet

April 22, 2008

About the Dalai Lama's visit

The Dalai Lama wears a Colgate hat while speaking in Sanford Field House

Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt

Authors of Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

April 13, 2007

About the authors' visit

White Colgate C logo on a maroon background