Doris Kearns Goodwin To Kick Off 2009 George T. Hunter Lecture Series

  • Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Benwood Foundation, in partnership with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies, and CreateHere, has announced that the 2009 George T. Hunter Lecture Series will kick off on January 13th with world-renowned historian and author, Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Ms. Goodwin, an expert on presidential politics, is the author of several books including the Pulitzer Prize-winning No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The American Homefront During World War II. Her most recent book is entitled Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, which won the Lincoln Prize and the Book Prize for American History.

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a commentator for NBC, and a consultant and on-air person for PBS documentaries on Lyndon B. Johnson, the Kennedy Family, Franklin Roosevelt, and Ken Burns’ The History of Baseball.

Speaking just one week prior to the presidential inauguration, Ms. Goodwin’s lecture will focus on leadership lessons learned from Abraham Lincoln.

New York Times Columnist David Brooks, Environmental Justice Advocate Van Jones, and Education Expert John Merrow round out series.

Corinne Allen, Executive Director of the Benwood Foundation, said, “We hope to build on the success of last year’s lecture series by continuing to encourage a public dialogue on issues that affect our community and our nation. We plan to create more opportunities for the speakers to engage with the community. We hope that the George T. Hunter Lecture Series will continue to promote civic engagement and education for all Chattanoogans.”

Named after the Benwood Foundation’s founder, the lecture series will bring four of the nation’s leading experts to Chattanooga to speak on leadership, education, environmental justice and community development.

Last year’s speakers included former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright and Pulitzer Prize winner, Frank McCourt.

UTC Chancellor Roger Brown said, “UTC is proud to continue its partnership with the Benwood Foundation, in order to bring some of the nation’s most respected thinkers to our city and our campus. By bringing together community leaders, residents, practitioners and scholars, we hope that the George T. Hunter Lecture Series can serve an important role in our collective, community learning process.”

The lectures will begin at 7 p.m. in the Roland Hayes Concert Hall located inside the Fine Arts Center on the UTC campus. All lectures are free and open to the public. Seating is limited and is on a first-come first-serve basis. More information on the George T. Hunter Lecture Series is available at

Speakers in the 2009 George T. Hunter Lecture Series will also include:

John Merrow, March 3, 2009: Mr. Merrow is the Education Correspondent for the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. He is the author of Choosing Excellence and has been a frequent contributor to NPR and national op-ed pages on education issues. Mr. Merrow will speak about his observations regarding the progress of public education in the United States.

Van Jones, September 15, 2009: Mr. Jones is the founder and president of Green For All, a nonprofit based in Oakland, California, dedicated to building an inclusive, green economy. Mr. Jones will be speaking on the power of new “green collar jobs” to address both social inequality and environmental destruction.

David Brooks, November 17, 2009: Mr. Brooks is a columnist for the New York Times and author of two social commentaries including the best-seller Bobos in Paradise. Mr. Brooks will speak on community development.

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