The James R. Thompson Leadership Lecture Series was established in 1990 following a gift to the IMSA Fund for Advancement of Education. The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, chose to honor Mr.Thompson for his service as governor of Illinois (1977-1991) and his leadership in establishing the Academy. As governor, Mr. Thompson established task forces, evaluated recommendations, proposed legislation and successfully urged passage of the Education Reform Act of 1985 which included creation of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy.

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Lectures from 1997

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Mechanisms of Change: Do Lemons Whistle?, James Burke

Lectures from 1995

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A Successful Failure, James Lovell

Lectures from 1994

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The U.S. Space Program: Pioneering the Future, Sally Ride

Lectures from 1993

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An Afternoon with Maya Angelou, Maya Angelou

Lectures from 1991

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Comets and the Origin of Life, Carl Sagan