Future Students Parents & Family Alumni & Friends Students & Employees
Admissions & Aid Academics Spiritual Life International Athletics Quick Links

Lecture Series

Bringing lectures to the Harding campus, this program serves as an integral part of the American Studies Institute. A unique approach to citizenship education in contemporary national and international affairs, the Lecture Series offers insight into current trends in political and economical development affecting the American way of life. Speakers in the Lecture Series have included President George H.W. Bush, President Gerald Ford, Margaret Thatcher, Mikhail Gorbachev,  Lech Walesa, Barbara Bush, Dick Cheney, Linda Chavez, Henry Kissinger, Bobby Bowden, Gene Stallings, William Bennett, William F. Buckley Jr., Benazir Bhutto, Ben Stein, Laura Ingraham, Karl Rove, Condoleezza Rice, and President George W. Bush.

If you need accommodations due to a disability, please contact the American Studies Office by calling 501-279-4497. Please make your request at least one week prior to the scheduled presentation.


George Will

Monday, September 16, 2013--Inauguration Week

7:30 pm  Benson Auditorium

 "Religion and Politics in the First Modern Nation"

George F. Will’s newspaper column has been syndicated by The Washington Post since 1974. Today, it appears twice weekly in approximately 400 newspapers in the United States and Europe. In 1976, he became a regular contributing editor of Newsweek magazine, for which he provided a bimonthly essay until 2011. In 1977, he won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary for his newspaper columns. In 1981, Will became a founding panel member on ABC television’s “This Week.” Will was born in Champaign, Ill., educated at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., Oxford University, and Princeton University where he earned his Ph.D. He has taught political philosophy at Michigan State University, University of Toronto and Harvard University. Will served as a staff member in the United States Senate from 1970 to 1972. From 1973 through 1976, he was the Washington editor of National Review magazine. Today, Will lives and works in Washington.


Carl Camden

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

7:30 pm  Benson Auditorium

The New World of Work”

As president and chief executive officer of Kelly Services, Carl Camden is a recognized thought leader on talent management and how companies can adapt to succeed in the changing economic landscape. In his role at Kelly Services – which serves 98 percent of the Fortune 100 companies – Camden regularly consults with leaders of many of the largest, best-known corporations in the world, providing insight into labor trends and advising on flexible workforce strategies. With three degrees by the age of 25, he has been a marketing executive for a bank holding company, co-president of an advertising agency, co-founder of a behavioral research group, and a tenured university professor. Camden has been featured in Business Week, The New York Times, Huffington Post, Bloomberg, and numerous other media on topics ranging from labor force dynamics to health care reform to leadership in an increasingly global business climate. He also appears regularly on CNBC to provide insight into the changing labor market.




Col. Dave Grossman

Thursday, February 13, 2014

7:30 pm  Benson Auditorium

On Killing

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman is an internationally recognized scholar, author, soldier and speaker who is an expert in the field of human aggression, the roots of violence and violent crime. Grossman was a West Point psychology professor, a professor of military science, and an Army ranger who has combined his experiences to become the founder of a new field of scientific endeavor, which has been termed “killology.”  In this new field, Grossman has made revolutionary new contributions to our understanding of killing in war, the psychological costs of war, the root causes of the current “virus” of violent crime that is raging around the world, and the process of healing the victims of violence in war and peace. He is the author of “On Killing,” which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. 


Dr. Ben Carson

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

7:30 pm Benson Auditorium

"America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great"  

As a professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Benjamin Carson directed pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center for more than a quarter of a century. In 1987, he completed the first and only successful separation of Siamese twins conjoined at the back of the head, an accomplishment documented in the award-winning movie “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story.”  In 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the president, which is the highest civilian honor. In addition, Carson is president and co-founder of the Carson Scholars Fund and has written five best-selling books, including “America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Makes this Nation Great,” which was No. 1 on the New York Times best-sellers list in March 2013. In June, 2013, after 40 years of medical endeavors, Carson retired and today serves as Professor Emeritus of Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University.  


The Distinguished Lecture Series Roots

The American Studies Institute traces its roots to a program that started at Harding in 1953 called the School of American Studies. Expanded and renamed in 1988, the Institute is designed to supplement the academic training of students by promoting a complete understanding of the institutions, values and ideas of liberty and democracy. It does so by providing up-to-date reflections from national and international leaders in business, government and education.

The benefits of the American Studies Institute have been visibly significant. Unequaled educational opportunities have been provided to students in many disciplines. The program has a long-standing tradition of recognition from the Freedoms Foundation in Valley Forge, Pa., receiving numerous awards in the area of community service. In fact, either the program itself or Harding faculty and administrators have won a Freedoms Foundation award every year for the past 45 years.

Also see ASI Historical Synopsis.


Noteworthy Past Speakers 

David Barton 

Bob Beckel

William J. Bennett

        Benazir Bhuto

Barbara Bush

George H.W. Bush

George W. Bush 

S. Truett Cathy

Dick Cheney 

Dinesh D'Souza

Tommy R. Franks

Sean Hannity

Colin Powell

Dan Quayle  

Don Soderquist

Kenneth W. Starr

Ben Stein

Cal Thomas

Lech Walesa

Walter E. Williams

American Studies Institute

"....one of the most prestigious lecture series in the south." WSJ Senior Editorial Board Member Stephen Moore, speaking to Arkansas Business