Annual Thanksgiving Celebration Speakers

A full list of speakers (since the beginning) can be found on this page.

2020 Najeeba Sayeed Chicago Theological Seminary Angelic Troublemakers: Interfaith Collaboration in Human Rights
2019 Rev. Maurice Charles Rockefeller Chapel Grateful Service
2018 Elizabeth Davenport Rockefeller Chapel Listen to them Grow
2017 Eboo Patel  Interfaith Youth Core Sacred Ground: Prejudice, Pluralism and the Promise of America 
2016 Dr. Robert Henderson Baha’i Community  
2015 Rabbi Frederick Reeves KAM Isaiah Israel Authentic Voices in Respectful Multicultural Settings
2014 Dr. JoAnne Marie Terrell Chicago Theological Seminary The Gift of Each Other
2013 Taigen Dan Leighton Ancient Dragon Zen Gate The Synergy of Thanksgiving
2012 Rev. Freddy Washington St. Ambrose Catholic Church  
2011 Rev. Shanta Premawardana Urban Pastoral Education  
2010 Rev. Celeste A. Frazier Power of Oneness Spiritual Ctr More than Meets the Eye
2009 Rabbi Batsheva Appel KAM Isaiah Israel Serving God with Gladness
2008 Rev. Deborah Derylak Spiritual Care, U of C Hospitals Seeds of Hope and Change
2007 Ken Dunn Resource Center  
2006 Rev. Calvin Morris Community Renewal Society  
2005 Rev. Leroy Sanders Kenwood UCC  
2004 Eboo Patel Interfaith Youth Core Saving Others, Saving Ourselves
2003 Rev. Daphne Burt Rockefeller Chapel Love One Another
2002 Rev. Nina Grey First Unitarian Universalist Our World is One World
2001 Rabbi Elliot Gertel Rodfei Zedek  
2000 Swami Varadananda Vivekananda Vedanta Society  
1999 Rabbi Capers C. Funnye, Jr. Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken  
1998 Rev. Susan Thistlethwaite President, CTS  
1997 Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf KAM Isaiah Israel  
1995 Father Jack Ferry St. Thomas the Apostle  
1994 Dean Bernard O. Brown Rockefeller Chapel Always having before our eyes our… Community
1993 Rabbi Daniel I. Leifer Hillel Jewish Center Giving Thanks: Keeping Company with Jacob on the road to Israel 
1992 Rev. David Ramage Cn. Parl. of the World’s Religions Looking for a Rainbow!
1991 Father John Boyle Archdiocese of Chicago Living Thanks
1990 Thomas Chulak Unitarian Universalist Assn. Thanks Giving
1989 Rev. Susan B.W. Johnson Hyde Park Union Church Yet Shall We Tread Upon High Places
1986 Susan Lockwood Wright Cornell Baptist Church Remembering Where We Came From
1985 Dean W. Clark Gilpin U of C Divinity School Quiet Revolutions
1984 Vernon Kurtz N. Suburban Synagogue Beth El  
1983 Dean Bernard O. Brown Rockefeller Chapel Connections
1982 C. Harvey Lord Villa Park Christian Church Our American Experience of Grace
1981 Joseph Stitler U of C Divinity School Reflections on Being Thankful 
1977 Rev. Charles Shelby Rooks President, CTS  
1976 Rev. Gordon A. Humphrey Shiloh Missionary Baptist Ch.  
1975 Rev. Emery A. Percell United Methodist Church  
1974 Jack Mendelsohn First Unitarian Church  
1973 Rabbi Philip N. Kranz Temple Sinai  
1971 Rev. James V. Lyles United Methodist Church  
1969 Rev. Thomas J. Fitzgerald St. Thomas the Apostle  
1968 Rev. Edgar H.S. Chandler Church Federation of Gtr. Chicago The Lord’s Song in a Strange Land
1967 Rabbi Hayim Goren Perelmuter KAM Isaiah Israel  
1966 Rev. Jack A. Kent First Unitarian Church  
1965 Rev. Joseph  A. Buckles Hyde Park Methodist Church  
1964 Rabbi Ralph Simon Rodfei Zedek What is an Authentic Thanksgiving?
1963 Rev. Samuel L. Gandy Kenwood Ellis United Ch. Of Chr. Covenant and Renewal
1962 Rabbi Samuel E. Karff Sinai Temple The Grounds for Gratitude
1961 Rev. Keith L. Pearson Augustana Lutheran Church Thanksgiving: Symptom or Symbol
1960 Rabbi Bernard Martin Sinai Temple The Grateful Heart
1959 Dean E. Spencer Parsons Dean of Rockefeller Chapel The Grace of Gratitude
1958 Rev. David Bryan   Lest We Forget
1957 Rabbi Hayim Goren Perelmuter KAM Isaiah Israel  Thanksgiving Formula: Gratitude Plus Attitude
1956 Rev. W. Douglas Larson Augustana Lutheran Church In Community We Thank
1955 Rev. William D. McLean Jr. St. Michael’s Episcopal Church The Grace of Gratitude
1954 Rabbi Jacob Weinstein Kehilath Anshe Maariv Thanksgiving: For What and To Whom?
1953 Rev. E. Jerry Walker   For This, We Are Thankful
1952 Rev. Paul L. Higgins    
1951 Rabbi Ralph Simon Rodfei Zedek  
1949 Rev. Wallace W. Robbins   The Liberty to be Thankful
1948 Rabbi Louis L. Mann   When Other Virtues Cease
1947 Rev. Jitsuo Morikawa   A Dangerous Trust
1946 Rabbi Jacob Weinstein Kehilath Anshe Maariv  
1945 Rev. F. R. Steiger First Baptist Church  
1944 Rev. Leslie T. Pennington First Unitarian Church  
1943 Lieutenant Julius Mark USNR Great Lakes Naval Tr.  
1942 Rev. Irvin E. Lunger Univ. Ch. Disciples of Christ  
1941 Rabbi Morton M. Berman   Values that Cannot Fall
1940 Rev. J. Richard Drees Hyde Park Methodist Church A Thanksgiving Pastorale
1939 Rev. Thomas W. Pender St. James Methodist Episcopal Thank God and Take Courage
1938 Rev. George M. Gibson United Church of Hyde Park The Ancient Faith and the Modern Mood
1937 Rabbi Joshua Loth Liebman   A Threefold Faith for a Confused World
1936 Rev. F.C. Benson Bells   Trust in God
1935 Rev. Thomas W. Pender St. James Methodist Episcopal The Guidance of God
1934 Rabbi Gerson B. Levi   The Thanksgiving of the Spirit
1932 Rev. Norris L. Tibbits   In God We Trust
1931 Rev. Douglas Horton United Church The Dimensions of Thanksgiving
1930 Rev. Albert W. Palmer President, CTS How Far Right Were the Puritans?
1928 Rev. Alfred Lee Wilson Kenwood Church