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Volpe Lecture Series

The Thomas J. Volpe Lecture Series is funded through a generous gift from Thomas J. Volpe, Chairman Emeritus of the St. Francis College Board of Trustees and a former Senior Vice President of Financial Operations for The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc.

Past speakers, including Supreme Court Justice Sonja Sotomayor and Neil deGrasse Tyson, have brought firsthand knowledge and creativity on various global topics, including finance, education, culture, politics, and more to inspire the next generation of global leaders.

Volpe Lecture Series Speakers

Click the links for stories, videos and photos of speakers.

2022 - James Kvaal (U.S. Under Secretary of Education)

2021 - Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.)

2019 - Charles D. Smith, Jr. (Former NBA Player and Business Executive)

2018 - Alvin Irby, M.S., M.P.A. (Founder and a Chief Reading Inspirer at Barbershop Books)

2018 - Dambisa Moyo (Why Economics Matters)

2017 - Sonia Sotomayor (U.S. Supreme Court Justice) / Vince Marmorale and Vince DeGiaimo (My Italian Secret: Forgotten Heroes of the Holocaust)

2016 - Glenn Adamson (Museum of Art & Design) / Jeffery Beers (Jeffrey Beers International)

2015 - Becky Hammon (NBA San Antonio Spurs) / Steve Hindy (Brooklyn Brewery)

2014 - Jerry Greenfield (Ben & Jerry's)

2013 - Neil deGrasse Tyson (Cosmos, Museum of Natural History)

2012 - Frank Bruni (New York Times, Born Round)

2012 - Pete Hamill (Snow in August, A Drinking Life)

2011 - E.L. Doctorow (Ragtime, Billy Bathgate)

2008-09 - Sir Salman Rushdie (Midnight's Children)

2007-08 - Mariane Pearl (A Mighty Heart)

2006 - Andrea Mitchell (NBC News)

2005 - Paul Rusesabagina (The Real Hero of Hotel Rwanda)

2004 - Mary Robinson (Former President of Ireland)

2003 - Felix Rohatyn (Former Ambassador, Chairman of the Municipal Assistance Corporation (MAC) of the State of New York)

2002 - Lech Walesa (Former President of Poland)

2001 - Oscar Arias (Former President of Costa Rica)

2000 - George Mitchell (Former U.S. Senator, Nobel Peace Prize Winner)

1998 - Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. (Historian, Pulitzer Prize Winner, Former Presidential Speech Writer)

1997 - Caspar Weinberger (Former U.S. Secretary of Defense)

About Thomas J. Volpe

Thomas J. Volpe, the former Senior Vice President of Financial Operations for The Interpublic Group of Companies and Chairman Emeritus of the St. Francis College Board of Trustees, is also the founder and benefactor of the prestigious Thomas J. Volpe Lecture Series, which is designed to further expand the horizons of SFC students by introducing them to world-renowned speakers from the arenas of politics, literature, journalism, business and entertainment.

After graduating from Brooklyn College in 1957, Tom earned his M.B.A. in marketing and finance from Baruch College. After working for Deloitte Haskins & Sells, he joined the Colgate Palmolive Company, where he held a series of international positions before becoming Vice President and Treasurer in 1981. In 1986, Tom joined The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. He served as director of several public companies and currently with private equity investments.

Throughout his career, Tom has always found the time to be involved in civic and community affairs. Tom also serves as a board member for Englewood Hospital in New Jersey and Urban Glass in Brooklyn. He is the former president of the New York Chapter of Financial Executives International. St. Francis College presented Tom with an honorary doctorate degree in Commercial Sciences in 1997.

Tom and his wife, Anita, live in New York City and New Jersey. They have three children, seven granddaughters and one grandson.

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Upcoming events in series

Campus News

Volpe Lecture Series: Featuring James Kvaal

The U.S. Under Secretary of Education, James Kvaal, will share his personal story and insights into the future of higher education at the 26th annual Volpe Lecture.
October 12, 20223 P.M. - 5 P.M.179 Livingston Street

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