UCO to Host Pulitzer Prize Winner Meacham

To commemorate the presidency of UCO President Don Betz, the University of Central Oklahoma will host Jon Meacham, presidential historian, Pulitzer Prize-winner and contributor to TIME and The New York Times Book Review at 2 p.m. Feb. 27 in the Nigh University Center’s Constitution Hall.

The event is hosted by the College of Liberal Art’s  Leadership Minor Program, College of Liberal Arts and Office of Academic Affairs.

“I suggested ‘Soul of America’ for the book club due to its near-perfect fit in response to the myriad, persistent challenges of our times,” Betz said in a press release.

Rozilyn Miller, associate dean of UCO’s College of Liberal Arts, said it seemed appropriate to honor Betz by bringing Meacham to campus as part of the UCO Distinguished Speaker Series since he chose the book for the book club.

Meacham authored the 2018 book “The Soul of America: The Battle for our Better Angels,” which examines the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in U.S. history when hope overcame division and fear.

“Also, with President Betz’s commitment to transformative learning, Jon Meacham is an excellent choice to bring to campus for students,” Miller said.

The planning for this event started in October 2018 and the budget for it is around $44,000.

Meacham will begin the event by discussing his book. After Meacham’s talk, there will be a 15-minute discussion with Betz. The discussion will be focused on questions generated by students that read and discussed the book in a Contemporary Leadership course taught by Betz and Jarrett Jobe.

Following the discussion there will be a book signing, with books available for purchase outside Constitution Hall and the NUC Heritage Room.

Meacham is a regular guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and is known as a skilled commentator with a depth of knowledge about politics, religion and current affairs. He served as Newsweek’s managing editor from 1998 to 2006 and editor from 2006 to 2010. The New York Times called him, “one of the most influential editors in the news magazine business.”

Miller said tickets are already sold out, but books for the signing are still available.  For more information or questions about the event, please contact ladean@uco.edu or 405-974-5540.

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