Speakers and Events

We also have a number of upcoming conference events : click here!

Wisconsin Civics Games

February 2, 2019
UW-Madison, Union South
1308 W. Dayton St., Madison WI

In an effort to foster civic engagement in Wisconsin youth, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation has launched the Wisconsin Civics Games, which will take place during the second semester of the 2018-19 school year and will be open to all Wisconsin high schools.  The Thompson Center will be sponsoring the regional Wisconsin Civics Games at UW-Madison’s Union South.

WI Ideas conference

April 12-14, 2019
UW-Madison, Union South
1308 W. Dayton St., Madison WI

The Tommy G. Thompson Center will be sponsoring two scholarships to be awarded to UW-System students.  Competition for these scholarships will involve first signing with the WI Ideas Conference, which can be done here; and then later submitting an essay based on a writing prompt.  Thompson Center scholarships will be awarded to two UW students who submit a well essay relating to leadership and the future of transportation in Wisconsin.  Along with receiving the scholarships, the selected students will be offered the opportunity to discuss their essay and thoughts in a short presentation at the Thompson Center’s “Future of Transportation in Wisconsin” conference.  (April 26, at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee)

Spring Speakers Events at UW Campuses


  • Past Speakers and Events

    A Badger’s Journey: A Talk with Tommy Thompson

    November 15   6:00pm-8:00pm

    Address: One Alumni Place, 650 N. Lake St., Madison WI

    Governor Thompson and his biographer Doug Moe were in Madison to talk about their new book, and to hold a question and answer session with the audience.  The Governor engaged the audience with stories from his childhood, from his early days running for office, and of some of his experiences as both Wisconsin’s Governor and Health and Human Services Secretary. Following this was a reception and book signing.

    Debate and Election Night Viewings

    October 26
    October 29
    November 6

    The Tommy G. Thompson Center sponsored debate and election night viewing events at UW-System campuses around Wisconsin!  These events bring together UW students from across the political spectrum to view the American political process in action.

    Come Fix the Debt Interactive Event

    October 25

    The Tommy G. Thompson Center was pleased to partner with the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) to put on an exciting, fun, and free public event at UW-Madison’s Education Building!  Attendees were asked to solve the federal debt crises.

    Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton  September 25, 2018

    Judge Jeffrey Sutton was on the UW-Madison campus and delivered a talk to students and other attendees on September 25th.

    Thompson Book Event  September 13, 2018

    The Thompson Book Event celebrated Governor Thompson’s legacy of pragmatic policymaking, interest in tackling big issues, and willingness to work across the aisle.  Governor Thompson discussed his new book TOMMY: My Journey of a Lifetime and weighed in on contemporary policy matters. The event was largely sponsored by the Thompson Center, working in conjunction with WisPolitics.com.


    The Center hosted Dr. George Koonce in May of 2018. Koonce is a former linebacker for the Green Bay Packers and shared with us his own story of challenges and finding the strength to overcome them.

    Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech

    Cosponsored with the Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy at UW-Madison. Professor Keith Whittington of Princeton University headline presented, with discussion from Professors Donald Downs, Howard Schweber, and Anuj Desai.

    Introducing High School Principals to the First Amendment

    Cosponsored event which provided information to principals on what the First Amendment allows in the public school setting as well as how the First Amendment will apply to students who go on to colleges and universities.

    Professor Jennifer Doleac

    The Center worked with the La Follette School to have Professor Jennifer Doleac present her research while in Madison for the Center’s criminal justice conference. She came to Madison a day early to teach La Follette’s  students about her discoveries.

    School Choice

    Cosponsored along with the Department of Economics and the Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy, on the particulars and potential outcomes of school choice.  Caroline Hoxby of Stanford University headlined, and the discussion drew in students and faculty across the university.