Besides providing a significant amount of financial support, the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation offers its scholars access to numerous special programs and events.
In conjunction with the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), the Sumners Foundation regularly sponsors the Hatton W. Sumners Distinguished Lecture Series, a line of business-attire luncheons featuring nationally and internationally renowned speakers. Luncheons are held in Dallas and all Hatton Sumners scholars are invited to attend alongside many elite metropolis business owners and leaders. General Tommy Franks, U.S. Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and former White House press secretary Tony Snow have recently addressed the NCPA’s prestigious assembly. Following the luncheons, Sumners scholars are escorted to a private room for private briefings with the speaker. Former-president Gerald Ford, then-governor George W. Bush, former governor Jeb Bush, Queen Noor of Jordan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are among the other prominent public figures with whom the Hatton Sumners scholars have held private meetings.
The Hatton W. Sumners Student Leadership Conference is hosted annually by the Center for Ethical Leadership at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin to inspire, train and further develop student leadership skills. The four-day program involves large sessions with acclaimed speakers, interactive small group sessions led by UT graduate students, a free leadership assessment with a workshop on how to interpret the results, and an opportunity to network with students hailing from universities and colleges all over the U.S. and Mexico as well as representatives from each U.S. military academy.
Key speakers from the recent 2010 conference include:
- Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, "Ethical Leadership in the 21st Century"
- Raj Sisodia, Professor of Marketing at Bentley University, "Leadership in the Age of Conscious Capitalism"
- Melissa Stockwell, first Iraqi War Vetern to qualify for the Paralympics and the first female soldier wounded in the Iraq War, "Bagdad, Beijing and Beyond"
- Dr. Howard Prince, director of the Center for Ethical Leadership in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.
Past conferences have featured guest speakers such as
- Michael Powell, former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.
- Ginger Kerrick, one of NASA’s lead flight directors and the first non-astronaut spacecraft communicator.
- Celia Sandys, granddaughter of Winston Churchill and renowned author.
- Dominque Dawes, 1996 Olympic gymnast and gold medalist who served as national spokesperson for the Girl Power campaign.
- Buzz Aldrin, who made the historic first walk on the moon with Neil Armstrong and, at President George W. Bush's appointment, served on the Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry.