Former Vice President Al Gore Addressed Packed House at 2018 Wilson Lecture

April 26, 2018

Former Vice President Al Gore, in conversation with Wellesley College Trustee Sue Wagner ’82, spoke on campus on April 25 at the 2018 Wilson Lecture. Gore, a global leader in the fight to halt climate change, discussed global ecological responsibility and the impact our choices have on sustainability, and he answered questions from the audience.

Missed the conversation? Watch the recording of the 2018 Wilson Lecture featuring former Vice President Al Gore.


Al Gore and Sue Wagner sit on stage in front of a packed audience.

Wellesley College Trustee Sue Wagner ’82 and former Vice President Al Gore speak about sustainability issues, including global initiatives like the Paris Agreement, environmental justice and the importance of young voices in the fight against climate change. Wagner and Gore, who are friends and colleagues, made the case for hope, activism, and responsible stewardship of our planet.


President Paula A Johnson and Yui Suzuki speak with Al Gore.

Yui Suzuki, chair of the Advisory Committe on Envrionmental Sustainability and associate professor of biological sciences, meets former Vice President Al Gore following the Wilson Lecture on April 25. On April 26, the sustainability committee published a set of guiding principles based on the results of the community survey on sustainability last fall as well as the College’s mission statement and similar initiatives from other institutions. To receive updated information on Wellesley’s Sustainability Year and the Wendy Judge Paulson ’69 Ecology of Place Initiative, sign up for the sustainability newsletter or email with questions.

President Paula A Johnson stands behind a podium, smiling.

President Paula A. Johnson welcomes the former vice president to Wellesley. In her remarks, President Johnson called the conversation the “perfect capstone” event to Wellesley’s Sustainability Year. “It is truly an honor to have these two leaders with us this evening to help deepen our understanding of one of our most critical issues of the day,” she said. “This [discussion] will serve as a powerful reminder that the students on this campus, and young people everywhere, will lead the way.”


A student asks a question from the audience.

At the event, Jessica Ostfeld ’20, EnAct (Environmental Action at Wellesley College) event chair and a biological sciences major, asked the former vice president how colleges can continue to accomplish and expand sustainability goals, combating climate change while also keeping in mind economic realities. Gore said even the many mainstream, worldwide agencies that are the authority on sustainable practices have “consistently underestimated the speed at which the cost of renewable energy has come down.” He encouraged the students in the audience who are passionate about these issues to lead the search to find those smart, alternative options.