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At a Glance

Richard G. Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow's Leaders

Hear past attendees talk about how the Lugar Symposium impacted them.

The Richard G. Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow's Leaders at the University of Indianapolis, hosted by the Lugar Academy, brings together top high school juniors from around the state for a day of expert discussion on pressing public issues and world events.

More than 15,000 promising students have participated over the past 39 years, including nearly 500 students last year, gaining wisdom, insight and access to some of the finest minds available. Principals from every high school in Indiana are asked to select three outstanding student leaders from their junior class to attend the Symposium.

There is no better yardstick to measure the event’s significance than Senator Lugar’s insistence on being present for the annual symposium. Senator Lugar attends the Symposium each year (he has only missed one Lugar Symposium in 39 years), serves as the keynote speaker, and provides students a generous amount of time at the end of his message to ask questions on issues that are important to them. He considers his keynote address at the Symposium to be his most important speech of the year. The day also includes a photo of Senator Lugar with students from each of the Indiana counties represented, and student sessions featuring speakers debating critical current events.

The signature symposium is designed to expose some of the best and brightest young minds in Indiana—our future leaders—to global issues and help them gain an appreciation for the complexities of these issues. For the afternoon sessions, students select two current event topics that most interest them and benefit from the wisdom of thinkers and policymakers in fields that include political science, public policy, medicine and law. In keeping with the Senator's commitment to evaluating issues on their merit, the Symposium ensures that the students are presented with a balanced view of the issues, rather than a partisan viewpoint.

Adults who accompany the high school students also attend Senator Lugar's keynote address and follow a separate schedule with current event sessions. Senator Lugar addresses questions from adults in a separate session.


Students who attend the Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow's Leaders can apply for two awards that recognize outstanding accomplishments as a high school student.

See scholarship details and eligibility criteria ►

See the details for this year's Symposium ►