Michael Evan Jurist
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Georgetown University
Michael Jurist Annual Memorial Lecture Fund Event

Programs > Georgetown University > Michael Jurist Annual Memorial Lecture Fund Event

Lecture FundMichael Jurist (F’07) served on Lecture Fund from Freshman through Senior Year and was elected Chair in his Senior Year. His email home said it all … Such joy!

Michael was totally dedicated to working with his Board and members on hosting events that were inspiring, provocative and mind changing. Lecture FundEven the controversy over the 2006 Lecture Fund speaker, Chris Simcox, founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corp. gave Michael the opportunity to display his committment to free speech and his leadership as Chair. Read his letter to The Hoya editor.

In honor of Michael and his service, the Board of The Lecture Fund of Georgetown University undertook to host one major Lecture Fund event in his honor annually. Follow the Lecture Fund on Twitter @GULectureFund or join them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/gulecturefund.

2008: George Stephanopoulos
2010: Karl Rove
2011: Bob Woodward
2012: Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley
2013: James Carville
2014: Stephen A. Smith
2015: Peter Thiel
2016: Ezra Klein
2017: Saroo Brierley
2018: Pete Souza

George Stephanopoulos

2008 Lecture Fund
featured George Stephanopoulos, ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent and news anchor.

Karl Rowe

2010 Lecture Fund
featured Karl Rove, Conservative political strategist and former deputy White House Chief of Staff.

Bob Woodward

2011 Lecture Fund
featured Bob Woodward, considered the 20th century’s most prominent American journalist made famous for uncovering the Watergate scandal

Lecture Fund: Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley Lecture Fund: Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley Lecture Fund: Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley
Lecture Fund: Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley    

Dr. Cornell West and Tavis Smiley

2012 Lecture Fund
featured Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley
Dr.West, a prominent philosopher, writer and intellectual, is a renowned commentator on poverty and race theory. Tavis Smiley, a celebrated television personality, currently hosts “The Tavis Smiley Show” on PBS. Their new book “The Rich & the Rest of Us” challenges all Americans to re- examine their assumptions about poverty in America - what it really is and how to eradicate it.

Lecture Fund: Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley Lecture Fund: Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley Lecture Fund: Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley
Lecture Fund: Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley Lecture Fund: Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley Lecture Fund: Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley

James Carville 2013 Lecture Fund
featured James Carville, one of America's greatest political consultants, leading Democratic strategists, and political commentators. Almost 300 guests packed Georgetown University's ICC Auditorium on Monday, April 21, 2013 to see Mr. Carville.
Lecture Fund: James Carville Lecture Fund: James Carville Lecture Fund: James Carville

James Carville 2014 Lecture Fund
Michael’s Sixth Annual Memorial Lecture was held on April 14, 2014 and featured ESPN radio sports journalist, Stephen A. Smith, and host of the popular ESPN program “First Take”.

To a packed audience of 400+, Smith exuded his usual candor and energy in a thought- provoking and moving talk relating to sports, branding, life expectations and standards. He passionately and genuinely spoke of leadership and holding oneself accountable, relating early-age personal struggles that motivated him throughout life. Generous with his time, he participated in a lengthy and informative Q&A period.
Lecture Fund: Stephen A. Smith Lecture Fund: Stephen A. Smith Lecture Fund: Stephen A. Smith
Lecture Fund: Stephen A. Smith Lecture Fund: Stephen A. Smith Lecture Fund: Stephen A. Smith

Photo credit: Michelle Yaw, Chief of Staff, Lecture Fund

Peter Thiel 2015 Lecture Fund
On Tuesday, March 31st, the Lecture Fund hosted Michael’s 7th annual Memorial Lecture in the ICC Auditorium to a full-capacity audience of 300+. Guest speaker, Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and Palantir Technologies, drew from the themes of his best-selling book “Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future” which focusses on Thiel’s philosophy of technical innovation.

An entrepreneur and investor, Thiel was the first outside investor in Facebook, has funded companies like SpaceX and LinkedIn, as well as establishing the Thiel Fellowship, which ignited a national debate by encouraging young people to put learning before college. He leads the Thiel Foundation which works to advance technological progress and long-term thinking about the future.

A very thought-provoking and inspiring speaker, he participated in a lengthy post- Lecture Q&A period. Each person attending the Lecture was provided a copy of Thiel’s book (complements of the Lecture Fund) which Thiel personally autographed after the event.

Lecture Fund 2015 Lecture Fund 2015 Lecture Fund 2015
Lecture Fund 2015 Lecture Fund 2015

Ezra Klein 2016 Lecture Fund
Michael’s 8th annual Memorial Lecture Fund event was held in Copely Lounge on Thursday, March 17 and featured Ezra Klein, founder and Editor-in-Chief of Vox.com. Vox.com is a news site established in 2014 dedicated to explaining and clarifying news and daily issues and reaches over 23 million visitors per month. Prior to starting Vox.com, Klein oversaw The Washington Post’s “Wonkblog”, was a columnist for Bloomberg News and has earned the reputation of becoming a singular journalist force and being one of the media’s “new disrupters”.

Klein, who is also a policy analyst for MSNBC, was originally going to discuss policymaking in Washington but decided, at the last minute, to focus on the pressing issue of the current state of US politics during this election cycle.

Saying it was a “pretty dark time” in American politics requiring people to think differently, his presentation focussed on the subject of Republican President candidate, Donald Trump’s success in the primaries. He cited Trump’s success was emblamatic of a larger trend and should not be dismissed as a fluke. Further, media bias is not ideological, but rather bias towards sensationalism and ratings -- Trump being a mastermind in using existing media bias to his advantage.

With the current polarization between both parties, he said the stakes were even higher. He called on Americans to play an active role to protect their political system, not be complacent, and to protect freedoms.

Those attending applauded Klein on on his diverse perspective and well-versed analysis and discussion.

Written with credit to: Naaz Modan, The Hoya.

Read a review of the event:
Klein Talks Role of Trump in 2016 Elections, March 22, 2016 by William Zhu, The Hoya

Lecture Fund 2016 Lecture Fund 2016

An excerpt from the introduction to this evening's event printed with the permission of D.J. Angelini, Vice-Chair of Internal Affairs, GU Lecture Fund (2015-2016).

“ Throughout preparations for this event (Ezra Klein), I’ve spent a lot of time thinking how important this annual event is to our organization and the greater Georgetown community ... the esteemed line-up of past speakers we’ve brought to campus who live up to the tremendous legacy set by former Lecture Fund Chair, Michael Jurist. In my three years on Lecture Fund and through conversations with alumni, I’ve gotten an insight into the exemplary person who’s made tremendous impact on our organization. Each year, LF looks to bring a speaker who encapsulates one of Michael’s diverse passions -- politics, athletics, travel, gastronomy. But, even beyond this annual lecture series, Michael is remembered for being an incredible son, family member, friend and Hoya.

For LF, Michael is remembered for his fervent commitment to free speech and dialogue and every Tuesday evening when 30 LF members get together with our advisor, we look to the ideals set by Michael, a Chair remembered for his commitment to free-flowing speech, events measured in impact, not audience size or flare. Michael’s passion for that mission has carried on year after year through the Lecture Fund.”

Quote from an email dated March 17, 2016 with the permission of Erika Cohen Derr, Asst. Dean for Student Engagement/Director, Center for Student Engagement, Georgetown University

“I have been thinking of Michael a lot lately. Every few years, when Lecture Fund finds itself with a controversial event, we go back to past events where things were handled well. One of these was an event Michael planned with the Minutemen. It was highly sensitive, and he handled the controversy so beautifully - with patience and evenness toward all vested groups, a sense of calm that helped set the tone for the event, and a true fearlessness in the face of anger, vitriol and calls for censorship. He really did not shy away from the difficult moments. It’s a quality I think is passed down to current generations of students through this lecture.

There’s a thread of emails between students and GULF alumni going on right now about tonight’s lecture, and the warmth of feeling about Michael as a friend, as a leader, as a fellow Hoya live on in so many people. We all miss him.”

Saroo Brierley 2017 Lecture Fund
On Wednesday, March 29, 2017 Georgetown University hosted Michael’s 9th Annual Lecture Fund event which featured Saroo Brierley, author of “A Long Way Home”. An international bestseller, his book was the inspiration for the major motion picture “Lion”, nominated for six Academy Awards.

Lost on a train, at the age of five, not knowing his family name or where he was from, Saroo survived on the streets of Calcutta for weeks before being taken into an orphanage and adopted by a couple in Australia. His absorbing account of survival and triumph against incredible odds is a moving and poignant true story of his life journey and his search, via Google Earth decades later, to finally find his lost family and home in early 2012.

Speaking to a packed auditorium of over 130 students, Mr. Brierley shared clear recollections, the fear of being lost and the anguish of separation and participated in a lengthy and informative Q&A period. His story celebrates the importance of never letting go of what drives the human spirit: hope.

Lecture Fund 2017 Lecture Fund 2017
Lecture Fund 2017 Lecture Fund 2017

Pete Souza 2018 Lecture Fund

On Thursday, April 19, 2018, Georgetown University Lecture Fund hosted Michael’s 10th Annual Lecture Fund event featuring Pete Souza, Chief Official White House Photographer for President Obama’s two terms. Mr. Souza also served Photographer for former President Ronald Reagan.

The Lecture which honored Michael’s Lecture Fund legacy and addressed a full audience in Gaston Hall, was an extremely memorable and special event given that Michael was a big fan of Obama and was Chair of Lecture Fund in 2006/07 when Lecture Fund hosted, then Senator Obama, pre-election at an event at Georgetown.

Speaker Pete Souza, a very talented, warm and genuine photo specialist who captured Obama’s time in politics in a million-plus photos, provided those in attendance with an in-depth glimpse into all aspects of family, political and presidential dealings and activities during Obama’s 8-year term. His multitude of powerful and frank images are now documented in his bestseller book “Obama: An Intimate Portrait”. Souza shared his captured highs and lows of the job of Commander in Chief, the transformative President at work, as a husband or Dad as well as leader of the United States. When asked how he “did his job”, he responded the majority of the photographs were unplanned, he basically followed the President throughout his two terms and captured everyday moments during the President’s day. Souza, obviously, had an innate talent, eye, and strong respect and dedication for Obama. We are very grateful he shared his insight on behalf of our Michael.

GU Lecture Fund 2018

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