Rev. Thomas J. Furphy Lecture Series


“National and International Problems” discussed by some of the world's most distinguished minds

The Rev. Thomas J. Furphy Lecture Series was established in 1983, in honor of Fr. Thomas J. Furphy, OSFS, 1912 – 1982. A native of Philadelphia, Fr. Furphy began his 38-year career in education in 1939, when he joined the faculty of Northeast Catholic High School where he distinguished himself as a teacher of “National Problems.” 

He also served as director of athletics from 1941 to 1960. After teaching political science for three years at the Salesianum School in Wilmington, Del., he joined the Villanova University faculty in 1964, before joining the DeSales University faculty in 1967. Fr. Furphy retired in 1977 and lived at Wills Hall at DeSales until his death in 1982. The lecture series was funded through the generosity of a group of Fr. Furphy’s closest friends whose lives he touched profoundly and most positively.

Furphy Lectures 1984-2015

year speaker title
2015  Timothy Cardinal Dolan Archbishop of New York
2013  Jon Huntsman Jr. Former Ambassador to China and Former Governor of Utah
2011  J.C. Watts Chairman of the J.C. Watts Companies and Former Congressman


The Hon. Tom Ridge Former Secretary of Homeland Security, and former Governor of Pennsylvania


Dr. William Poole
Introducer: Dr. David Gilfoil
Economist and Financial Scholar
2008 Trent Lott
Introducer: Albert Sproule
US House of Representatives/US Senate, 1973-2007

John Ashcroft
Introducer: Chris Cocozza

Attorney General of the US 2001-2005
2006 Richard L. Armitage
Introducer: Dr. Galen Godbey
Former Deputy US Secretary of State
2005 Archbishop Celestino Miglione, D.D.
Rev. Thomas F. Dailey, OSFS
The Holy See Mission Office in NY
2004 The Hon. William S. Cohen
Rev. Mark Plaushin, OSFS
Former Secertary of Defense
2003 General Barry McCaffrey
Introducer: Dr. Andrew Essig
International Affairs Expert & Former National Drug Policy Director
2002 Benazir Bhutto
Introducer: Dr. Mohamed Latib
Former Prime Minister of Pakistan
2001 Louis Freech Former Director of the FBI
2000 George Mitchell Former US Senator, Senate Majority Leader, Chairman of Inter-party negotiations with Northern Ireland
1999 Zbigniew Brzezinski
Rev. Thomas Ferguson '87
Analyst of US Foreign Policy and Consultant on International Affairs, Former National Security Advisor for President Jimmy Carter
1998 Shimon Peres
Introducer: Dr. Kenneth Fifer
Winner of 1994 Noble Peace Prize
1997 Robert H. Bork
The Hon. William E. Ford
Legal Scholar, Author, Conservative Advocate, Supreme Court Nominee
1996 Mary Ann Glendon
Rev. Thomas Dailey, OSFS
Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Univ.
1995 His Eminence Pio Cardinal Laghi
Most Rev. Thomas J. Welsh, D.D., J.C.D.
Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education
1994 Dr. William J. Bennett
Introducer: Edward A. McCabe Esq.
Co-director of Empower America
1993 Jack Kemp
Introducer: The Hon. Curt Weldon
Co-founder and Director of Empower America 
1992 Terry Waite
Introducer: Dennis Campbell
Hostage Negotiator and Former Envoy for the Archbishop of Canterbury
1991 Vladimir Posner  Top Soviet Journalist 
1990 George Will  Pulitzer Prize Winning Syndicated Columnist 
1989 Antonin Scalia
Rev. Alexander Pocetto, OSFS
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court  
1988 Lee A. Iacocca
Rev. Daniel Gambet, OSFS
Chairman and CEO of Chrysler Corporation 
1987 Abba Eban
Introducer: Dr. Kenneth Fifer
Well-known Statesman and former Israeli Ambassador to the US 

William Kolby

Former Dir. of Centeral Intelligence Agency 
1985 Jeane Kirkpatrick
Rev. Bernard F. Donahue, OSFS
Former US Rep. to the United Nations 
1984 Cardinal John O'Connor
Most Rev. Thomas D.Welsh