Best-selling author Jon Meacham to give 2018 Commencement address
Carthage has selected Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Jon Meacham to deliver the 2018 Commencement address Sunday, May 27.
He will speak to graduates and their families during the graduation ceremony, which begins at 11 a.m. in the N. E. Tarble Athletic and Recreation Center Field House.
Mr. Meacham will also offer a public presentation for graduates, families, faculty, staff, and the general public at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 26, in A. F. Siebert Chapel.
A regular guest on the MSNBC news show “Morning Joe,” Mr. 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 latest 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. Fox News produced an hourlong special about the book.
One of Mr. Meacham’s previous presidential works, “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House,” won a Pulitzer for biography in 2009.
He is a distinguished visiting professor at Vanderbilt University and his alma mater, The University of the South, where Carthage president John Swallow served as a board member from 2007 to 2011 and a faculty member and senior administrator from 2011 to 2017.
“Jon is especially perceptive in understanding leaders as people — as individual human beings with strengths and weaknesses that may, depending on historical circumstances, help or hinder them in achieving what they set out to accomplish,” President Swallow said.
Mr. Meacham’s 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. For 12 years, he was managing editor or editor at Newsweek, where The New York Times called him “one of the most influential editors in the news magazine business.”
Mr. Meacham has appeared on ”Meet The Press,” “The Colbert Report,” and Ken Burns’ documentary series “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.” 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.
His next book, “The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels,” is scheduled for release Oct. 30. It tells of the slow, painful, and often tragic story of progress in America. Mr. Meacham also continues to work on a biography of James and Dolley Madison.
Carthage’s Office of Institutional Advancement distributes five tickets to each graduating student for the Commencement ceremony, and they may not be sold. A live stream will be available at live.carthage.edu for those who cannot attend.