Published January 28, 2016

Commencement speaker

Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, to deliver May 15 address
  • Journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Jon Meacham (photo by Gasper Tringale)
Journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Jon Meacham will deliver the address at Monmouth College’s 159th Commencement Exercises, to be held on May 15.
  Meacham’s latest presidential biography, “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush,” debuted at number one on The New York Times bestseller list in November 2015. The Times’ reviewer wrote that “’Destiny and Power’ reflects the qualities of both subject and biographer – judicious, balanced, deliberative, with a deep appreciation of history and the personalities who shape it.”   President Bush spoke at Monmouth College in 2000, a fact that added to Meacham’s eager acceptance of the College’s invitation to speak.   Meacham’s other national bestsellers include “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009, as well as “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power,” “Franklin and Winston” and “American Gospel.”   In announcing Meacham as the 2016 Commencement speaker, Monmouth College President Clarence R. Wyatt said, “We are honored to have a public intellectual of Jon Meacham’s breadth, depth and balance as our Commencement speaker. As an historian of United States politics and culture, I am especially excited to have him with us in this vitally important presidential election year.”   Meacham said, “I am delighted to be coming to Monmouth College for such a special occasion in the life of the College and of its students. Education, always essential, seems ever more so amid contemporary currents, and Monmouth stands as a living example of what we must do to prepare ourselves to win the battles of the future.”   Meacham currently serves as executive vice president and executive editor at the Random House Publishing Group, and is also a contributing editor for Time. He previously served as Newsweek managing editor from 1998 to 2006, and editor-in-chief from 2006 to 2010. Meacham is also a frequent commentator on television programs such as “Meet the Press,” “The Colbert Report” and “Morning Joe.” He also appeared in the Ken Burns documentary “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.” Fox News produced an hour-long special about “Destiny and Power” last November.   Named a “Global Leader for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum, Meacham is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a fellow of the Society of American Historians, and chairs the National Advisory Board of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University.   A native of Chattanooga, Tenn., Meacham is a graduate of Sewanee: The University of the South.
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