Famed Historian Analyzes Founding Father in Annual Lecture

Published: March 10, 2015 | Author: Jessica Young | Read Time: 2 minutes

Joseph Ellis, American history historianSouthern Utah University is proud to announce Joseph J. Ellis, renowned historian and leading scholar of American history, as this year’s Howard R. Driggs Memorial Lecture as part of the annual Founders Celebration on Tuesday, March 17 in the Gilbert Great Hall within SUU’s Hunter Conference Center at 11:30 a.m.

Pulitzer Prize winning author, Ellis is one of the most widely read scholars of the Revolutionary period and a sought-after speaker for his unparalleled expertise on the lives of our nation’s early presidents.

During his address, titled “Why Washington Was the Greatest President,” Ellis will fascinate the crowd with detailed stories of one of the nation’s founding fathers and how George Washington’s politics and characteristics shaped the United States, instilling in the audience a new appreciation for Washington’s presidential achievements.

 SUU President Scott L Wyatt firmly lauds Ellis and the intellectual contributions he has made to American history.

“Ellis believes that George Washington was our greatest president. We celebrate his birthday every year but most people don't know him. If you visit the Lincoln Memorial or the Jefferson Memorial you can read their inspiring words. But the Washington Memorial all you see is an impressive monument, no words,” explained Wyatt. “Most Americans know very little about Washington. It is unfortunate.”

Ellis is the author of eight books, which feature a deep analysis of the lives of early U.S. presidents. Ellis’ essays and book reviews appear regularly in national publications, such as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune and The New Yorker.

He also makes regular appearances on CBS, CSPAN, and CNN. He has also been featured in several PBS and History Channel documentaries. This American historian currently teaches at Williams College’s leadership studies program.

He received his bachelor’s from the College of William and Mary and earned both his master’s and doctorate from Yale University. Ellis currently lectures at Williams College’s leadership studies program.

The Howard W. Driggs Memorial Lecture focuses on the American West in homage to Dr. Howard W. Driggs, one of the SUU’s first professors who endeavored to preserve the trails and memories of America’s pioneers and Pony Express messengers in the West.

Keeping with tradition, this year’s Driggs lecture is one of many events surrounding the University’s Founders Celebration, which will run from March 24-28. This Driggs Lecture is an integral part of SUU's Convocation, the University's distinguished lecture series.

To see a complete listing of events surrounding the University’s Founders Celebration, visit SUU Events.

Principal funding is provided by Camille Bradford and Allen and Kathleen Christensen, SUU Convocations, and the Howard R. Driggs Memorial Lecture Fund. 

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