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Think About It: An Afternoon of Ideas

Friday, October 28, 2011 2:30 p.m. ET

Campaign for Georgetown Banner


During the For Generations to Come: The Campaign for Georgetown kickoff weekend, alumni thought leaders from all fields returned to campus to lead conversations on important issues of our age.


Alonzo Mourning (C’92)
Founder and Chairman of Alonzo Mourning Charities, Inc.,
Seven-Time NBA All-Star

Adversity in life “reveals character” and “introduces you to yourself.” Facing challenges head-on is the most effective way to overcome them. What does it take to be an active force in the world and in one’s own life? What about the struggle of maintaining optimism in the face of adversity and the merits of fighting the odds?


Paul Tagliabue (C’62)
Former NFL Commissioner, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Georgetown University

John Thompson III
Head Coach of the Georgetown University Men’s Basketball Program

Moderator: John J. DeGioia, PhD
President of Georgetown University

In an age of high-definition television and high-priced stadium seats, athletes at every level of competition are expected to become better, faster, more durable “products” manufactured and packaged by the sports industry. Professional sports have certainly been affected by this pressure. Likewise in the pursuit of lucrative media contracts, college athletics have been criticized as disproportionately focused on winning rather than learning. Are these imbalances fixed and sustainable, or does the future hold new models for the success of sports?


Dr. Lucile Adams-Campbell
Associate Director of Minority Health and Disparities,
Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Howard Federoff
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences,
Executive Dean of Georgetown University School of Medicine 

When it comes to healthcare, Americans are living in “a first and third world country.” Access to appropriate medical care is strongly divided along ethnic, socioeconomic and geographic lines. What can we do to ensure that innovations in medical science extend equitably from world class research centers to those who are most in need of care?


The Honorable Madeleine Albright
Former Secretary of State of the United States,
Mortara Distinguished Professor of Diplomacy

His Royal Highness Prince Turki al-Faisal
Chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies,
Former Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States

Moderator: Anthony Arend, PhD (F’80)
Professor of Government and Foreign Service,
Director of the MSFS Program

Unprecedented forces of change around the world are challenging assumptions about sovereignty, governance and power. How do we navigate through differences rooted in religion, culture and the competition for resources? How do we respond to calls for justice? Does the role of technology in the 21st century upend traditional approaches to diplomacy and cooperation?


 Michael Ferguson (MPP’95)
Chairman and CEO of Ferguson Strategies LLC
Former Representative from New Jersey

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (C’93, L’97)
Principal Attorney at OFW Law
Former Representative from South Dakota

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Member of the Board of Directors of the Center for American Progress
Former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland

Moderator: E.J. Dionne
Columnist, The Washington Post,
Professor at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute

Americans are divided on the question of whether capitalism can be trusted. This perspective is shaped by the near collapse of the global economy in 2008 and the subsequent bank bailouts and stimulus legislation that changed the balance between free market forces and government. Are current regulation efforts risking our economic recovery? How far should corporations reach into the federal government through lobbying and other practices, and how far should the government reach into the private sector through regulation?


Ted Leonsis (C’77)
Founder and Chairman of Monumental Sports and Entertainment,
Member of the Board of Directors of Georgetown University

Innovation begins when an entrepreneur asks “What if...?” Stepping away from traditional paths can be daunting, but with great risk comes the potential for great reward. Ted Leonsis – business, sports, and media mogul – shares the story of how a young man fated to be a grocery store produce manager rose to build a successful life with curiosity at its cornerstone.


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