Former President of Israel Shimon Peres to Speak on Saturday

Former Prime Minister and President of Israel Shimon Peres is the next leader set to deliver this fall’s lecture in the Kerschner Family Series Global Leaders at Colgate on Saturday, October 25, in the Sanford Field House.

Peres, who retired from the Presidential Palace in July, will speak to students, parents, alumni and friends on his nearly seven decades of service in Israeli politics as well as on today’s issues in the region.

The Kerschner Family Series Global Leaders at Colgate brings notable guests to campus in order to expand the community’s access to 21st century newsmakers. Past speakers have included Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair and the Dalai Lama.

After his speech, Peres will be joined onstage by Bob Woodruff ’83 for an interview. Woodruff is an award-winning journalist, noted for his reporting in Iraq and service to American veterans. After being named co-anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight in 2005, he now works as correspondent for ABC News.

Director of Special Events Ainslie Ellis said there is no laid-out focus for Peres’ lecture. His visit, however, comes at a fitting time to discuss this summer’s turmoil in the Middle East.

Ellis said Peres’ visit has a tightly structured timeline that will not allow audience members the opportunity to ask questions after his speech. A small group of students were selected by faculty to prerecord questions for Peres that will be shown and answered after his speech. There will also be an opportunity for selected students to meet with Woodruff for a question and answer period directly before the event on Saturday evening.

Ellis says the community’s reaction to the announcement of Peres’ visit has been positive.

“With everything going on in that region, people are very pleased to have someone of his notoriety and caliber come to Colgate,” Ellis said.

Peres served two terms as President of Israel and was twice named Interim Prime Minister. In a farewell address delivered in July, he thanked his country for the privilege of serving as President.

“I leave the presidency without parting from my faith,” Peres said. “I will continue to serve my country as a deep believer that Israel is an exemplary state.”

Sophomore Caroline White said her interest in seeing Peres speak stemmed from her work in class.

“I’ve written a few papers on [the subject], and I’d like to meet him,” White said.

Sophomore Grace Western said her class on American politics in the Middle East has focused on Peres and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, making his visit all the more appealing.

“Colgate’s ability to bring such relevant speakers to the community just furthers my interest in the topic,” Western said.