A major public university, such as CSU, is more than a center for education and research. It most visibly fulfills its public role as a forum where notable figures and experts can consider pertinent issues and current events in an environment of inquiry, free exchange, and civility. This is of significant value to the campus community, the broader public, and the historical record.

The Monfort Lecture Series occupies a truly unique place at CSU. The lecturers are not just individuals who have witnessed the most consequential events of our time – whether it was the collapse of the Soviet Union or the apartheid regime in South Africa, or U.S. foreign policy after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks – they shaped these events. The lectures represent extraordinary opportunities for the community and for the educational experience of our students. Were it not for the generosity of the Monfort Family Foundation, events of the Monfort Lecture Series’ caliber would not occur at CSU.

2013 – George F. Will: Pulitzer Prize winner, Washington Post columnist


George F. Will delivered the most recent Monfort Lecture on January 31, 2013. His lecture on “The Political Argument Today” addressed politics, the economy, immigration. He wove in humor and references to one of America’s favorite pastimes, baseball, to engage an audience of nearly 2,000. George F. Will gave the 2013 Monfort Lecture on Jan. 31 at Moby Arena to an audience of nearly 2,000.

In 1977, Will won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in his newspaper columns, which have been syndicated by The Washington Post since 1974. Eight collections of Will’s Newsweek and Washington Post columns have been published, the most recent being One Man’s America. Will published “Men At Work: The Craft of Baseball” in 1990, which topped The New York Times best-seller list for two months. “Bunts: Curt Flood, Camden Yards, Pete Rose and Other Reflections on Baseball,” a best-selling collection of writings Will wrote about baseball, was also published by Scribner. Will was a member of Major League Baseball’s Blue Ribbon Panel, examining baseball economics.

2011 – Condoleezza Rice, 66th secretary of state of the United States


Condoleezza Rice gave the Monfort Lecture on April 19, 2011 at Moby Arena to an audience of about 6,500. She spoke about her experience as secretary of state as well as her thoughts on current world events, foreign policy and education.

From January 2005 to 2009, Rice served as the 66th secretary of state of the United States. Before serving as America’s chief diplomat, she served as assistant to the president for national security affairs (national security advisor) from January 2001 to 2005.

Rice is a professor of Political Economy in the Graduate School of Business, Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution and professor of Political Science at Stanford University.

She is author of Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family, (October 2010) which shares how her upbringing in segregated Birmingham, Alabama—along with her strong, caring family and parents—helped to shape the course of her life.

2009 – Greg Mortenson, author of ‘Three Cups of Tea’


Greg Mortenson gave the Monfort Lecture – presented by the Bohemian Foundation – at Colorado State University on August 31, 2009.

Mortenson, a humanitarian, international peacemaker, co-founder of the non-profit Central Asia Institute and founder of the Pennies for Peace program, spoke on Promoting Peace through Education. He is co-author of the ‘Three Cups of Tea,’ which has been a New York Times bestseller for more than 130 weeks, more than half of that time at No. 1.

2007 – Jane Goodall Delivers Message of Hope


More than 8,000 people filled Moby Arena the evening of April 25, 2007 to hear world-renowned conservationist and U.N. Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall deliver the Monfort Lecture.

Goodall’s lecture focused on her lifelong journey studying chimpanzees and working as an ambassador for the environment. She also discussed how humans, intelligent and compassionate beings, are living unsustainable lifestyles that are destroying the earth and why she believes “humanity can rise to the challenge and make this world better.”

2006 – Ernesto Zedillo


Ernesto Zedillo, president of Mexico from 1994 to 2000, delivered the Monfort Lecture September 28, 2006 at Moby Arena. Zedillo is the current Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, Professor in the Field of International Economics and Politics and Adjunct Professor of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University.

2005 – Mikhail Gorbachev


More than 9,000 people filled Moby Arena the evening of April 14, 2005 to hear former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev deliver the Monfort Lecture. Gorbachev, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 for his role in ending the Cold War, focused on putting “the priorities of all mankind” above those of individual nations. He also spoke passionately of the global value of cooperation, national responsibility and environmental stewardship.

2004 – Madeleine Albright


The first female secretary of state, Madeleine Albright was the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. As secretary, Albright reinforced America’s alliances, advocated democracy and human rights, and promoted American trade and business, labor and environmental standards abroad.

Secretary Albright has been awarded the first Michael and Virginia Mortara Endowed Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service and first Distinguished Scholar of the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan Business School. She is the Chairman of The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. She also serves on the board of directors of the New York Stock Exchange.

From 1993 to 1997, Albright also served as the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations and as a member of the President’s Cabinet and National Security Council. She was also a member of President’s Carter’s National Security Council and White House Staff.

Albright is the founder of the Albright Group LLC, a global strategy firm and author of Madam Secretary: A Memoir.

2003 – Archbishop Desmond Tutu


Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu, a crusader against apartheid in South Africa and leader in the worldwide peace movement, delivered an impassioned message of reconciliation, interdependence, respect and reverence for life to a sold-out Moby Arena on April 8, 2003. Tutu spoke as part of “Bridges to the Future,” a yearlong program jointly sponsored by Colorado State University and the University of Denver designed to encourage exploration and greater understanding of American history and values.

2002 – Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf


General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, a 1956 graduate of West Point, spoke to a sold out crowd at Moby Arena on November 6, 2002.  He acquired the rank of full general in 1988 and two years later successfully coordinated the efforts of all Allied forces in Operation Desert Storm. He has been awarded five Distinguished Service Medals, three Silver Stars, the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the National Order of the Legion of Honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and decorations from the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In 1992, Schwarzkopf wrote an autobiography, “It Doesn’t Take a Hero.” Since retiring from active duty in 1992, Schwarzkopf volunteers his time to help raise support and awareness for numerous nonprofit organizations, including serving as a spokesman for the Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University.