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Speakers & Honorees

2018 Commencement Speaker

Jon Meacham

Presidential historian Jon Meacham addresses the Carthage College Class of 2018 on Sunday, May 27, 2018.Presidential historian Jon Meacham addresses the Carthage College Class of 2018 on Sunday, May 27, 2018.Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Jon Meacham possesses a deep knowledge of politics and religion, as well as a keen understanding of how historical and current affairs affect people’s lives.

His newly published book, “The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels,” grew out of his reaction to last year’s racial conflict in Charlottesville, Virginia, and today’s inflammatory political climate. Distilling past lessons with an aptitude the Washington Independent Review of Books called “bordering on the supernatural,” Mr. Meacham points to other moments in U.S. history when hope triumphed over divisiveness.

His most recent presidential biography, “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush,” debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times bestsellers list in 2015. Mr. Meacham gave a eulogy for Barbara Bush at the former first lady’s funeral in April.

One of Mr. Meacham’s previous presidential works, “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House,” won a Pulitzer for biography in 2009. His other national bestsellers have centered on Thomas Jefferson, the friendship between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, and the faith of the Founding Fathers.

A contributing editor at Time magazine, Mr. Meacham also pens “The Long View” column in The New York Times Book Review. During the 12 years he previously worked at Newsweek, The New York Times called him “one of the most influential editors in the news magazine business.”

He chairs the national advisory board of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis, and the Anti-Defamation League awarded him its Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Prize.

Mr. Meacham is a distinguished visiting professor at Vanderbilt University and his alma mater, The University of the South, where Carthage president John R. Swallow earned his undergraduate degree and served as a board member, faculty member, and senior administrator.

2018 Distinguished Senior Award

Andrew Seymour ’18

Distinguished Senior Award winner Andrew Seymour '18 addresses his fellow graduates at the 2018 Commencement ceremony.Distinguished Senior Award winner Andrew Seymour '18 addresses his fellow graduates at the 2018 Commencement ceremony.As the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Senior Award, Andrew Seymour ’18 delivered the senior class address.

Nominators referred to Andrew as driven, highly intelligent, and “relentlessly positive.” An accounting and finance major from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, he has made the dean’s list each semester at Carthage while maintaining a 3.98 GPA.

Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, Andrew helped elderly taxpayers and those with low incomes, disabilities, and limited English language skills. This spring, he became VITA co-chair and trained the next group of volunteers.

Over the past year, Andrew competed for Carthage in both the CFA Challenge and the College Fed Challenge. During J-Term 2018, he took a faculty-led study tour to London to learn about “Brexit,” the United Kingdom’s impending withdrawal from the European Union.

His senior thesis, a case study of Tesla Inc. and CEO Elon Musk, impressed professors enough that they’ve designated it required reading — both in business senior seminar courses and in the master’s program (business design and innovation).

Andrew worked as a resident assistant at Madrigrano Family Residence Hall during his sophomore year. In addition, he was a two-sport athlete for the Red Men, competing in baseball for two seasons and in golf for one. Through the Great Lakes Career Ready grant program, Andrew spent three semesters as an intern with Beaugrand Tax & Accounting in nearby South Milwaukee.

He has secured a job as a junior financial analyst at Abbott Laboratories and plans to take the Certified Public Accountant exam after graduation.