The President's Distinguished Lecture Series brings notable figures to Connecticut College each year for a public presentation and informal meetings with students, faculty, and staff.


Thursday, April 25, 2019

Jill Lepore

The fourth annual lecture will be given by Jill Lepore, an award-winning historian and writer. Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University. She has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 2005, and her essays and books on American history, politics, law, and literature hold broad appeal for the general public. 

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Jill Lepore, photo credit Dari Michele

In addition to her New Yorker essays, her articles and interviews have appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The Journal of American History, The Yale Law Journal, The Chronicle of Higher Education, National Public Radio, The Colbert Report, Smithsonian magazine, and more. She is the author or editor of 11 scholarly books and one novel. Among her most widely admired work, “The Secret History of Wonder Woman,” published by Knopf in 2014, won the 2015 American History Book Prize from the New York Historical Society. “The Name of War,” from 1998, won the Bancroft Prize, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award from the Phi Beta Kappa Society, and the annual Book Prize from the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians. She was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize in History and the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2006 and 2013.

For the President’s Distinguished Lecture, she will be discussing her most recent project, “These Truths: A History of the United States,” an epic study that examines the history of the American experiment—and the jagged course of democracy in the U.S.—from its infancy to our present contentious moment. 

The event will begin with a reception on Thursday, April 25, at 5:30 p.m. in Cummings Arts Center, Evans Hall, followed by the lecture and a book signing at 7 p.m. 


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

David Grann '89

The third annual lecture will be given by David Grann '89, award-winning journalist and author of two best-selling books, "The Lost City of Z," and "Killers of the Flower Moon," as well as a highly regarded collection of essays, "The Devil and Sherlock Holmes." His time on campus will include attending a class, a public lecture and a reception with students, faculty, and staff.

David Grann '89
David Grann '89

After graduating from Connecticut College, Grann took a Watson Fellowship to Mexico, which launched his career in journalism. He holds master's degrees in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and in creative writing from Boston University, and the connections between these studies have informed much of his creative work. Grann had been lauded for his meticulous reporting and long-form nonfiction.

A staff writer at The New Yorker since 2003, he has served as senior editor at The New Republic and executive editor of the newspaper The Hill. His work has appeared in the The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as in many anthologies. In 2017, "The Lost City of Z" was released as a major motion picture, and "Killers of the Flower Moon" was chosen as a finalist for the National Book Award.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Eboo Patel

The second annual lecture was given by Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core. His visit included a public lecture as well as meetings, classes, and a reception with students, faculty, and staff. He was joined by Noah Silverman '04, senior director of faculty initiatives at IFYC.

Eboo Patel at Connecticut College
Eboo Patel

In 2009, Patel was appointed to the first Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, whose mission is to improve the way government partners with community organizations to serve people in need. He has written and spoken extensively about the importance of interfaith cooperation in government, the social sector and on college campuses. He holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He is the author of four books, "Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation;" "Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America;" "Hearing the Call Across Traditions;" and "Interfaith Leadership: A Primer." "Acts of Faith," which won the 2010 Grawemeyer Award in Religion, was featured as the College's second winter break reading. Read more about Patel's talk: Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core, visits campus.