Pulitzer Prize-Winning Historian to Headline Kent State Presidential Speaker Series and Deliver May 4 Keynote

Update: Jon Meacham delivered his address to a sold-out audience on May 4 at the Kent Student Center.  View Meacham's speech. 


Presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham, whose knowledge of politics, history, religion and current affairs makes him one of America’s most prominent public intellectuals, will appear the evening of May 4 for Kent State University’s Presidential Speaker Series.

Meacham will bring his unique perspective and provide historical context to the issues and events impacting our daily lives when he speaks about civil discourse at the Kent Student Center Ballroom.
Meacham also will serve as the keynote speaker for this year’s May 4 Commemoration, at noon on the Kent State Commons. The commemoration annually remembers the day, May 4, 1970, when Ohio National Guard soldiers opened fire during an anti-war protest, killing four students and wounding nine others.

“At a time of intense partisanship and political polarity, we are fortunate to have a speaker of Meacham’s temperament come to Kent State,” said Kent State President Todd Diacon. “His knowledge of history and his explorations of political crises will further our understanding of the current moment in American politics.”
Meacham’s New York Times bestseller “The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels” examines the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in U.S. history when hope overcame division and fear. He is a co-author of “Impeachment: An American History,” which reveals the complicated motives behind the three impeachments in U.S. history.

Meacham’s other national bestsellers include “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush,” “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power,” “Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship,” “His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope,” “American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers and the Making of a Nation” and “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009.
A contributor to Time magazine and The New York Times Book Review, Meacham appears regularly on MSNBC, CNN and other news outlets. Meacham served as Newsweek’s managing editor from 1998 to 2006 and as editor from 2006 to 2010.

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a fellow of the Society of American Historians, Meacham is a distinguished visiting professor at Vanderbilt University, where he holds the Carolyn T. and Robert M. Rogers Chair in American Presidency. His latest book, “And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Experiment,” will be published in the fall of 2022.
Presidential Speaker Series events are free and open to the public. However, a ticket is required for admission to the 7 p.m. event. Two tickets can be requested per email address.

For more information and to order tickets, visit University Tickets.

The Kent State Presidential Speaker Series seeks to bring high-profile, world-renowned experts to Kent State for serious, thought-provoking discussions and conversations. Previous speakers include Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, journalist Bob Woodward, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, journalist Dan Rather, journalists and human rights advocates Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, photographer Trey Ratcliff and filmmaker Ken Burns.

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Media Contacts:
Eric Mansfield, emansfie@kent.edu, 330-672-2797
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595

POSTED: Thursday, April 7, 2022 10:45 AM
UPDATED: Sunday, June 16, 2024 02:01 PM
Lisa Abraham