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Hendrickson Forum

Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership Forum


Once a year, an internationally recognized speaker comes to the Twin Cities to engage Saint Mary’s faculty, staff, and students, and the local business community in conversation.

From global migration to microfinance, world-altering events to the new world order, Saint Mary’s University’s annual Hendrickson Forum is a venue for thought-provoking information and discussion. Also at the forum, a local leader receives the Hendrickson Institute Medal for Ethical Leadership and speaks briefly about their professional experiences.

2023 Keynote: David Brooks

Navigating the Road to Character


Date: April 18 – 11 a.m., Registration and Networking; noon to 1:30 p.m., lunch with keynote speaker
Location: Saint Mary’s Event Center, 2540 Park Ave.
Parking: Complimentary valet parking is available, and free nearby parking is available off of Oakland Avenue.
Registration: Registration for this event has closed.


David Brooks has a gift for bringing audiences face to face with the spirit of our times with humor, insight and quiet passion. He is a keen observer of the American way of life and a savvy analyst of present-day politics and foreign affairs. He holds several prestigious positions as a commentator: Bi-weekly Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times Regular analyst on PBS NewsHour and NPR’s All Things Considered David’s New York Times bestseller, The Road to Character, “explains why selflessness leads to greater success. He tells the story of ten great lives that illustrate how character is developed, and how we can all strive to build rich inner lives, marked by humility and moral depth. In a society that emphasizes success and external achievement, The Road to Character is a book about inner worth.” 

In his most recent book, The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life (Random House), David explores the four commitments that define a life of meaning and purpose: to a spouse and family, to a vocation, to a philosophy or faith, and to a community. His previous books, The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement, uses the story of a fictional American couple to explain the importance of neuroscience and sociology in understanding America’s politics, culture, and future. His other books, Bobos in Paradise and On Paradise Drive are in a style he calls “comic sociology”—descriptions of how we live and “the water we swim in” that are as witty and entertaining as they are revealing and insightful. Bobos in Paradise was a New York Times bestseller. David is currently teaching a course at Yale University. He holds honorary degrees from Williams College, New York University, Brandeis University, Occidental College, among others. In 2010, Brooks became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. David Brooks has worked at The Weekly Standard, joining the magazine at its inception and serving as senior editor. He has been a contributing editor at Newsweek and the Atlantic Monthly. He worked at The Wall Street Journal for nine years in a range of positions, including op-ed editor.



David Brooks

Credentials:  Jackson Senior Fellow, Yale University  Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times  Weekly political commentator, PBS NewsHour  Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences  Regular commentator on NPR  Former writer, editor or columnist for Wall Street Journal, Atlantic Monthly, Newsweek, The Weekly Standard, and other major print media

Past Keynote Speakers and Videos

  • Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist widely considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on the psychology of morality, specifically addressed the ethics of capitalism, which requires that we first understand why the left and the right disagree so sharply about what it is and what its effects are.

    No Video Available

  • Nicholas A. Christakis, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., director of Yale University’s Human Nature Lab and co-director of the Yale Institute for Network Science, addressed how certain kinds of social artificial intelligence (AI) might best be used to enhance our society.

  • Renowned journalist, Cokie Roberts, named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress (2008), is one of the most esteemed and brilliant broadcast journalists of our time.

  • International best-selling author and global consultant Jackie Freiberg is dedicated to helping companies and organizations foster work environments where innovation is a product of risk taking, facing failures and seizing opportunities, all while empowering employees to do their best work.

  • As The Economist’s editor-in-chief and former Washington editor, economics editor, and business affairs editor, Zanny Minton Beddoes delivers unmatched insights and global perspective on the various economic elements at work in presentations that are constantly evolving along with global economic conditions and circumstances.


  • Jon Huntsman, Jr., former Governor of Utah (2005–2009) and former United States Ambassador to China (2009–2011) presented “Global Leadership: Our Future with China.” Huntsman shared his keen insights behind modern news headlines—from China and the economy to business abroad, as well as intellectual property protection.

  • James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and Retired U.S. Navy Admiral,  presented “The Ethics of Cyber Security.” He brought to light how in our increasingly connected world, we digitally share more and more of our personal information, the security risks that brings, and what can be done at the business, national, and international levels to ensure our data security.

  • Sheila Bair, former chair of the FDIC, presented “Main Street vs. Wall Street and the New Financial Paradigm.” Named second most powerful woman in the world by Forbes, Bair challenged “too big to fail” institutions on behalf of “Main Street.” Bair addressed turning short-term gratification into long-term economic stability, producing value to generate meaningful economic gains, and looking toward global challenges.

  • Dr. Ian Bremmer, president, of Eurasia Group, presented “Rocking the World Order: How Changing Politics, Economics, and Geography Impact Us.” He addressed the seismic shifts taking place in the world order that affect the global economy and rise (and fall) of nations. He shared what experts track and also precautions people can take.

  • Sue Gardner, executive director of Wikimedia Foundation, presented “Why Wikipedia Matters.” With nearly half a billion readers at the time, Wikipedia’s regarded as the most popular encyclopedia in human history. Gardner discussed how Wikipedia has changed access to information and what the future might hold.

  • Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of Acumen Fund, presented “Social Capitalism: An ‘App’ to Fight Poverty.” Novogratz reported on Acumen’s progress in addressing practical health, food, and business issues based on her extensive international experience. Her empowering approach brought about change in global aid and development in the U.S. and abroad.

  • Dr. Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, professor of globalization and education at New York University, presented “Global Migration: Best Practices for Business and Society in a Changing World.” At the time, one in every 35 people traveling via plane were working, living, or moving across national borders. Suarez-Orozco discussed modern migration and the profound implications for individuals, businesses, and society.

  • John Howard, former Prime Minister of Australia, presented “Leadership in a Global Economy.” Howard discussed the role of world leaders in a new century, events addressing the growing concerns of globalization and global economics, the environment, and threats to international security. He explained ways and the degrees to which China, India, and the Pacific Rim may participate.

  • John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief of The Economist, presented “Globalization and the Economy of the Future.” He provided a briefing on the world’s economy with commentary on globalization, where it’s headed, and opportunities for positive impact.

Former Viking, Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page
to receive Saint Mary’s University’s Hendrickson Medal for Ethical Leadership

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Former Minnesota Viking and State Supreme Court Justice Alan Page (retired) has been named this year’s recipient of Saint Mary’s University’s Hendrickson Medal for Ethical Leadership; he will receive the award Tuesday, April 18, at the university’s annual Hendrickson Forum.Page, a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, started his football career at Notre Dame University and went on to play for the Minnesota Vikings for 11 years from 1967 to 1978. While still playing for the Vikings, he attended the University of Minnesota Law School and received his Juris Doctor. Page officially retired from football in 1981, after three years with the Chicago Bears. 

After practicing law for a number of years, Page was elected to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1992, becoming the first African American man to serve on the state’s highest court. Page served on the court until his retirement in 2015. 

Dedicated to education, Page has been a proponent of the Page Amendment initiative in Minnesota, which would amend the state’s constitution and mandate “that quality public education is offered to all people.” The amendment is named in Page’s namesake. 

In 1988, Page and his wife, Diane Sims Page, founded the Page Education Foundation. It provides financial and mentoring assistance to students of color in exchange for those students’ commitment to further volunteer service in the community, an idea suggested by their daughter Georgi.The Page Education Foundation has awarded grants to more than 7,500 students, who in turn have given more than 475,000 hours of their time to young children.

Recipients of the Hendrickson Medal for Ethical Leadership have made significant contributions to the Twin Cities community and exhibit ethical leadership that is globally oriented, innovative, and creative. Further, recipients advocate for engaged  citizenship that significantly improves the lives of others’ appreciation for diverse ideas and perspectives. Past medal recipients include Tony Sanneh of the Sanneh Foundation; Mary Jane Melendez of General Mills; Brad Hewitt of Thrivent Financial; Rhoda Olsen of Great Clips; Inge Thulin of 3M; and Mary Brainerd of HealthPartners.

Hendrickson Medal for Ethical Leadership

  • 2022

    Tony Sanneh, decorated professional soccer player and local nonprofit founder


    Mary Jane Melendez, Chief sustainability and social impact officer for General Mills President of the General Mills Foundation.


    Brad Hewitt, former CEO of Thrivent Financial


    Rhoda Olsen, Vice chair of the Great Clips, Inc. Board of Directors


    Inge Thulin, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of 3M


    Mary Brainerd, president and CEO, HealthPartners


    Chris Policinski, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes


    Doug Baker, Jr., chair and CEO of Ecolab, Inc.


    Yvonne Cheung Ho, CEO of MEDA (retired)


    Richard Davis, president of U.S. Bancorp


    Dr. Eric J. Jolly, president of the Science Museum of Minnesota


    Charles Denny, president and CEO of ADC Telecommunications (retired)


    Warren and Mary Lynn Staley, CEO of Cargill (retired) and philanthropists


    Nominees for the award will be ethical leaders that reflect and have demonstrated the following principles noted in Doing Right in a Shrinking World by Brother Louis DeThomasis and Neal St. Anthony:

    • An attitude that embraces diversity, differences, and ambiguity;
    • An appreciation for the gift of globally diverse cultures including our own;
    • A creative imagination that leads not to change, but to transformation;
    • The language of stewardship and abundance that transcends ideology;
    • An acceptance of and enthusiasm for the positive integration of faith and finance;
    • An unwavering commitment to do good and to give more; and
    • Faith that the outcome of giving more is that we receive more for ourselves, and for all of humankind.

    Nominees should demonstrate one or more of the following:

    • Makes a significant contribution to the community
    • Employs ethical approaches that are innovative or creative, whether for a business or the community
    • Provides an example of an ethical decision that was in some way transformational for others (employees, customers, volunteers, the community) and the resources and influence used to accomplish this
    • Serves as a role model for young and emerging ethical leaders

    The medal may be presented to any individual who is an ethical business leader and lives in the 11-county Twin Cities metropolitan area (Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Washington, or Wright counties) or the three-county Winona area (Olmsted, Wabasha, or Winona counties).

    Those not eligible for this award include employees, current students, and those involved in governance, on a paid or volunteer basis, of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

About the Hendrickson Institute

The Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership is a center for excellence at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota for the formation of ethical leadership skills in our students and our community. By providing a forum for the exploration of ethical issues, the institute supports the university’s mission to “awaken, nurture, and empower learners to ethical lives of service and leadership.”

Through intense inquiry on issues of ethical leadership and by fostering personal relationships, the institute is a resource for our students and our communities to explore, examine, and discover the truths in the world around us and the character within each of us.

Hendrickson Forum Sponsors:

For information on sponsorship opportunities for the 2022 Hendrickson Forum, please contact Kevin Ebben, director for strategic partnerships, at 612-238-4573 or kebben@smumn.edu.