Wake Forest is pleased to welcome guest speakers who share insights and offer examples for students to emulate. By collaborating with other departments and providing multiple opportunities to engage these exemplars, the Program for Leadership and Character seeks to maximize student access and speaker impact.

Past speakers include:

  • Chris Paul (’07) – NBA All-Star, President of the NBA Players Association and Wake Forest alumnus
  • Katharine Wilkinson — environmental advocate, author and senior writer of “Drawdown”
  • Robbie Bach – former chief Xbox officer and president of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division and author of “XBox Revisited”
  • Margot Lee Shetterly – writer, researcher and entrepreneur, known for her bestselling book, “Hidden Figures”
  • John Bowlin – Robert L. Stuart Professor of Philosophy and Christian Ethics at Princeton Theological Seminary and author of “Tolerance among the Virtues”
  • Larissa Macfarquhar and Deogratias Niyizonkiza – a writer at the New Yorker and author of “Strangers Drowning,” and a medical student in Burundi during the ethnic civil war between the Hutus and the Tutsis who was the subject of Tracy Kidder’s “Strength in What Remains”

Upcoming speakers include:

  • Teju Cole – writer, photographer, Harvard professor and photography critic at the New York Times Magazine
  • Krista Tippett – founder and CEO of The On Being Project, author of “Becoming Wise”
“The most valuable aspect of these discussions was getting to know new people who enjoy and appreciate thinking about the types of topics we discussed. It was encouraging to be part of a setting that encouraged intentional thinking about how we live our lives. It was also encouraging to hear that other people struggle with some of the same things I wrestle with.” Student in the Leadership and Character Discussion Group