Pulitzer Prize-Winning Historian Jon Meacham to Speak at Monmouth College’s 2016 Commencement Exercises

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Journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Jon Meacham will deliver the address at Monmouth College's 159th Commencement Exercises, to be held on May 15, 2016.

John Meacham

Meacham’s latest presidential biography, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, debuted at number one in The New York Times bestseller list in November 2015. The Time's reviewer said that, “Destiny and Power reflects the qualities of both subject and biographer—judicious, balanced, deliberative, with a deep appreciation of history and the personalities who shape it.” President Bush spoke at Monmouth College in 2000, a fact that added to Meacham’s eager acceptance of the College’s invitation to speak.

Meacham’s other national bestsellers include Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, Franklin and Winston, American Gospel, and American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009.

In announcing Meacham as the 2016 Commencement speaker, Monmouth College President Clarence R. Wyatt said, “Monmouth College is honored to have a public intellectual of Jon Meacham’s breadth, depth, and balance as our Commencement speaker. As an historian of United States politics and culture, I am especially excited to have him with us in this vitally important presidential election year.”

Meacham said, "I am delighted to be coming to Monmouth College for such a special occasion in the life of the College and of its students. Education, always essential, seems ever more so amid contemporary currents, and Monmouth stands as a living example of what we must do to prepare ourselves to win the battles of the future."

Meacham currently serves as executive vice president and executive editor at the Random House Publishing Group, and is also a contributing editor for Time. He previously served as Newsweek managing editor from 1998 to 2006, and editor-in-chief from 2006-2010. Meacham is also a frequent commentator on television programs such as Meet the Press, The Colbert Report, and Morning Joe. He also appeared in the Ken Burns documentary The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. Fox News produced an hour-long special about Destiny and Power in November 2015.

Named a “Global Leader for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum, Meacham is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a fellow of the Society of American Historians, and chairs the National Advisory Board of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University.

A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Meacham is a graduate of Sewanee: The University of the South.

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