NRCCUA Announces Lineup of Luminaries at Eduventures Summit 2020

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Higher Education’s Premier Thought Leadership Event will feature Presidential Historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Jon Meacham, Humanitarian and Chef José Andrés, Social Justice Advocate and Author Bryan Stevenson, President of the University of Massachusetts System Marty Meehan, and Professor Laurie Santos of Yale University

Our esteemed keynote speakers will initiate meaningful conversations and inspire industry-wide action as they explore topics such as leadership, social justice, and the current state of higher education.

NRCCUA®, an educational data science and research organization that is a wholly owned subsidiary of ACT®, announced today the lineup of industry luminaries slated to participate in Eduventures® Summit 2020 in Boston. The annual event is hosted by NRCCUA’s Eduventures research division and presenting partner Strada Education Network. This year’s featured keynotes include social justice leader and advocate Bryan Stevenson, preeminent chef and humanitarian José Andrés, President of the University of Massachusetts System Marty Meehan, and Yale Professor of Psychology Laurie Santos. Presidential historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Jon Meacham will round out the program together with a fireside chat discussing leadership in turbulent times. Eduventures Summit will take place June 3-5, 2020 at the InterContinental Boston Waterfront Hotel.

The mission of Eduventures Summit is to inform, educate, and inspire higher education leaders—from both public and private non-profit institutions—by equipping them with tangible ideas and best practices so they can improve in a wide array of areas spanning recruitment, program innovation, and student success. The evergreen program theme, Higher Ed Remastered, captures both the timeless qualities of higher education and the need for innovative models.

The annual invitation-only event provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for higher education leaders, and the partners who serve them, to come together to network, share best practices, and engage in meaningful discussion about the future of higher education.

Confirmed keynote speakers include:

  • José Andrés, Chef, Restaurateur, Humanitarian – José is a culinary innovator and exemplary business leader who inspires people across the globe with his dynamic vision and diverse projects aimed at making the world a better place through the power of food.
  • Doris Kearns Goodwin, World-renowned Presidential Historian, Public Speaker and Pulitzer Prize-winning Author – Doris is the author of seven critically acclaimed and The New York Times bestselling books, including The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism (November 2013) and Leadership in Turbulent Times (September 2018). Goodwin’s Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln served as the basis for Steven Spielberg’s hit film Lincoln and was awarded the prestigious Lincoln Prize, the inaugural Book Prize for American History, and the Lincoln Leadership Prize. Doris will offer context for our current political climate showing how today’s leaders can learn from the past.
  • Jon Meacham, Presidential Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning Author – Jon is one of America's most prominent public intellectuals. A frequent contributor to TIME and The New York Times Book Review, Meacham is a highly sought-after commentator, regularly appearing on CNN and MSNBC. Known as a skilled orator with a depth of knowledge about politics, religion, and current affairs, Meacham brings historical context to the issues and events impacting our daily lives.
  • Marty Meehan, President of the University of Massachusetts System – The 27th president and the first undergraduate alumnus to lead the five-campus University of Massachusetts system. A former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he was elected to the presidency after eight successful years as chancellor of his alma mater, UMass Lowell, during which he led the university to top-tier national status, improving its performance in every sphere of activity, including enrollment, student success, fundraising and auxiliary revenue generation. Under his leadership as President. UMass has set new records in enrollment, research expenditures, financial aid funding, and economic impact.
  • Laurie Santos, Head of Silliman College and Professor of Psychology, Yale University and Host of The Happiness Lab Podcast – Laurie’s goal is to positively influence the culture of Yale University by teaching happiness and well-being. A psychologist, she is an expert on human cognition, its origins, and the evolutionary biases that influence our all-too imperfect life choices. She is also knowledgeable in how behavioral change through positive psychology can lead to a happy and fulfilling life.
  • Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) – Bryan is a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated, and the condemned. Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults. Just Mercy, the legal drama starring Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan, is based on his life and book of the same name.

In addition to keynote speakers, the Eduventures principal analysts will present new research and proprietary market data on key higher education trends. The Eduventures research team will showcase Annual Innovation Award program winners, honoring higher education institutions, companies and other organizations that share Eduventures’ vision for a responsive and innovative higher education sector.

“Eduventures Summit 2020 promises to deliver the most thought-provoking and compelling content yet, with an impressive array of mainstage headliners, featured speakers, proprietary research, and networking events that make up our exclusive program for higher education leaders," said Patrick Vogt, CEO of NRCCUA. “Additionally, our esteemed keynote speakers will initiate meaningful conversations and inspire industry-wide action as they explore topics such as leadership, social justice, and the current state of higher education. As in the past, our agenda highlights our collective mission to increase equity and access so every student can achieve educational and career success. Our keynote speakers will emphasize the opportunities afforded by a higher education system that is available to all."

To view the preliminary conference program, visit

The National Research Center for College and University Admissions™ (NRCCUA), a wholly owned subsidiary of ACT, is an educational data science and research organization serving over 2,000 member institutions comprised of public and private colleges and universities across the nation. Since 1972, NRCCUA has been a leading provider of data, technology, and programs serving students, high school educators, colleges and universities from its offices in Lee’s Summit, MO, Boston, MA, New York, NY, and Austin, TX. These solutions represent the link between students making important life decisions and those providing the resources and information they need to succeed in their post-secondary educations and careers. With the launch of Encoura™ Data Lab, the company now combines data science, advanced analytics, Eduventures research, predictive modeling and omnichannel enrollment services in one platform to enable institutions to make real-time strategic and operational decisions to meet their unique enrollment goals and create the highest probability of student success. For more information, visit

About Strada Education Network
Strada Education Network is a national social impact organization dedicated to improving lives by forging clearer and more purposeful pathways between education and employment. The Network engages partners across education, nonprofits, business and government to focus relentlessly on students’ success throughout all phases of their working lives. Together, we address critical college to career challenges through strategic philanthropy, research and insights, and mission-aligned affiliates. Learn more at

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