FULTON, Mo. — Presidencies current and future is a topic currently gripping American conversations, and William Woods officials have noticed.
The history department at the university is about to offer a three-part lecture series, "Hail to the Chief: The Presidency and American Character."
Beginning on Inauguration Day and leading into Presidents' Day, these three lectures are designed to investigate the historical relationship between the American President and the American character, according to Tiffany Smith, director of Content and Publicity for WWU. Featuring iconic presidents from the past three centuries, this speaker series gives a snapshot into diverse personalities, leadership styles and influences that have shaped the United States.
"A knowledge of history is necessary to properly engage in a democracy," said event organizer Craig Bruce Smith, assistant professor of history and director of the history and history education programs at William Woods. "If you want to understand the presidency today, you need to understand what it has been in the past. Each of the figures highlighted in this series has faced national turmoil and left an indelible legacy on the office of the presidency."
The events in this lecture series include:
Friday at noon: Craig Bruce Smith, William Woods University, "'My Country's Honor': George Washington and Ethical Leadership."
Drawn from his forthcoming book, "Rightly to Be Great: Honor, Virtue, Ethics, and the American Revolution," the author will share how Washington's ethics changed during the chaos of the American Revolution and how his values influenced the founding of a new nation.
Jan. 30 at 4 p.m.: Jay Sexton, University of Missouri, "Abraham Lincoln in the World."
Jay Sexton is the inaugural Kinder Institute Chair in Constitutional Democracy and professor of history at the University of Missouri. His talk is based on his co-edited book, The Global Lincoln, and examines Lincoln as a figure not only for Americans, but for the world.
Feb. 13 at noon; Steven Watts, University of Missouri, "JFK and the Masculine Mystique: The Case of James Bond."
What is the relationship between John F. Kennedy, manhood, and James Bond? Fresh from the pages of his recently released book, "JFK and the Masculine Mystique: Sex and Power on the New Frontier," University of Missouri history professor Steven Watts will investigate these crucial connections.
All three lectures are free and open to the public. They will take place in the Library Auditorium on the William Woods campus, and refreshments will be served.
WWU is an independent, professions-oriented, liberal arts-based institution serving the educational needs of both men and women. William Woods has an enrollment of about 3,500 students, and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of disciplines in campus and outreach settings and online.
The 225-acre main campus is located in the mid-Missouri community of Fulton. Since its founding in 1870, the mission of William Woods has been to provide a quality education while ensuring the development of the individual.