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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.

Lee Ellis

Col. Lee Ellis, Sept. 18, 2014

7:30 pm  Benson Auditorium

Lee's newest book, Leading with Honor, shares his POW experience and the 14 leadership principles that helped him and his compatriots survive. Lee’s previous book, Leading Talents, Leading Teams, was published by Northfield Publishing and shares in-depth team development concepts based on their innate gifts and talents. Additionally, he co-authored three books on career planning. He is a conference and motivational speaker on the subjects of leadership, team building, mentoring, and career planning. In addition, he has been interviewed as a subject matter expert on several nationally syndicated radio programs.

Eric Greitens

Eric Greitens, Nov. 13, 2014

7:30 pm  Benson Auditorium

Former Navy SEAL, Founder of The Mission Continues, and Best-Selling Author

Eric Greitens is a former Navy SEAL, the founder of The Mission Continues, and the award-winning and best-selling author of Strength and Compassion and The Heart and the Fist. He has served as a humanitarian volunteer across the globe and has deployed to Afghanistan, Africa, Asia, and Iraq. His close call with a truck bomb inspired the formation of The Mission Continues, which helps wounded and disabled veterans. Greitens draws from his experience as a humanitarian and a SEAL to address leadership, team building, resilience, overcoming adversity, and the power of service.

Archie Manning

Archie Manning, Feb. 19, 2015

7:30 pm  Benson Auditorium

When people think of Archie Manning, they think football. But Manning’s appeal transcends his athletic achievements. People far and wide have been inspired by his warm personality, his drive and sense of humor. He was recently selected Father of the Year by the National Father’s Day Council. He currently serves in public relations and consulting capacities for several local, regional, and national companies, including Reebok, Gatorade, Direct TV and CBS Sports. For 25 years he hosted four Archie Manning Cystic Fibrosis benefit golf tournaments in Louisiana and Mississippi and is active in a wide variety of charitable and civic causes.


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 

Ben Carson

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