Past Speakers and Lecture Topics
2012 – Robert Putnam, the Malkin Professor to Political Science at Harvard University and author of “American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us.” Lecture title: American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us
2011 – Eric Foner, professor of history at Columbia University and author of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize-winning book “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.” Lecture title: “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.”
2010 – Christine Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey and administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush. Lecture title: “Staying Ahead While Going Green.
2009 – Matt Miller, Fortune magazine columnist and best-selling author of “The Tyranny of Dead Ideas: Letting Go of the Old Ways of Thinking to Unleash a New Prosperity.” Lecture title: “The Tyranny of Dead Ideas.”
2008 – David Gergen, political commentator, director of communications for President Ronald Reagan, advisor to presidents Nixon and Ford and counselor to President Clinton. Lecture title: “Eyewitness to Power: Leadership in America.”
2007 – Michael Beschloss, one of America’s leading presidential historians, with studies of presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson. Lecture title: “Great Presidents Past and Present.”
2006 – Azar Nafisi, professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and best-selling author of “Reading Lolita In Tehran: A Memoir in Books.” Lecture title: “Reading Lolita in Tehran.”
2005 – Juan Williams, senior correspondent for National Public Radio and political analyst for Fox Television. Lecture title: “Eyes on the Prize.”
2004 – David Halberstam, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author and historian. Lecture title: “War and the Modern American Presidency.”
2003 – William Safire, author and New York Times columnist and winner of the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary. Lecture title: “What’s Going to Happen in Washington.
2002 – Thomas Friedman, three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist. Lecture title: “The Middle East and American Foreign Policy.”
2001 – David McCullough, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the best-selling historical biography “John Adams” and host of public TV’s “The American Experience.” Lecture title: “First Principles.”
2000 – Nell Irvin Painter, professor of American history at Princeton University and author of the definitive biography “Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol.” Lecture title: “Historical Biography and the Privilege of Unknowing.”
1999 – David S. Broder, a Pulitzer Prize winner, political correspondent and columnist for The Washington Post: Lecture title: “The Press, Politics and Citizenship.”
1998 – Stephen Ambrose, historian, teacher, and best-selling author of “Undaunted Courage.” Lecture title: “Courageous Leadership: The Story of Lewis & Clark and the Opening of the American West.
1997 – Martin E. Marty, church historian at the University of Chicago and author. Lecture title: “The Description of a Place: The Plains, the Prairies and the Humanities.”
1996 – Ted Sorensen, policy advisor and speechwriter to President John F. Kennedy. Lecture title: “Poetry and Politics.”