The College of Arts and Sciences Dialogues Speaker Series, hosted by Professor Robert Watson, recently continued with Lessons in Leadership and Civility from Washington and Lincoln.
The guest speaker for the event was Richard Norton Smith, an award-winning author and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Smith serves as the founding director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and also the director of six of the nation’s presidential libraries.
After working with U.S. senators Edward Brooke and Bob Dole, Smith now serves as the official historian for C-SPAN and a contributor for The Washington Post.
“This is a great day to get in touch with our inner Washington and inner Lincoln, especially with Presidents Day in the month of February,” said Smith.
Throughout the occasion, Smith discussed the lives of former presidents Washington and Lincoln, highlighting the contemporary work they did for the United States during their time in the office. Emphasizing how the two held the country together during numerous dramatic points, Smith identified their efforts as both public officials and U.S. citizens.
Following his supreme understanding of U.S. history, Smith pressed individuals to take a page out of the two presidents’ book. In his eyes, not only were they quality citizens, but they avoided being overcome with power as well.
“Washington and Lincoln established the character in which America is today,” said Smith. “Both these men were selfless patriots and they made sacrifices for the long-term interests of the country.”
Hoping to educate and encourage individuals on the significance of the two U.S. leaders, Smith stressed the importance of utilizing and visiting presidential libraries. Increased awareness on the long-lasting impact of former commanders-in-chief can often only be achieved through visiting historical sites of relevance, he explained.
The Dialogues Speaker Series will continue with two more events in the spring semester, featuring Professor Mark Luttio and filmmaker Deborah Oppenheimer. For more information, individuals can visit lynn.edu/events.