Distinguished author, journalist and historian Evan Thomas will be the featured speaker at the Gov. Jim Blanchard Public Service Forum on Oct. 31 at Michigan State University.
The event, to be held at the Kellogg Center on MSU’s campus, is free but advance registration is required.
The forum, announced last year, was established through a $1 million gift to MSU from Jim and Janet Blanchard. The Blanchard program honors distinguished leaders in public service, diplomacy, politics and journalism, and gives MSU students and others an opportunity to learn from their inspiring careers.
“The goal of this lecture series is to provide generations of students, faculty and people in the MSU community with the opportunity to hear and learn from national and international leaders,” said Blanchard, former Michigan governor, U.S. congressman and ambassador to Canada.
“For 20 years, Evan Thomas was a panelist on the public affairs television show ‘Inside Washington,’ and anyone who may have seen him on that program quickly realized that his is an intelligent, thoughtful voice in the world of politics and history,” Blanchard said. “He has authored or co-authored 11 books, and each one is engaging and insightful. I’m very excited to hear him speak at MSU.”
As with previous lectures featuring Bill Clinton and Ken Burns, the event will support the Blanchard Forum program administered by the Department of Political Science in MSU’s College of Social Science.
“Jim and Janet Blanchard have made it possible for the Department of Political Science to bring prominent leaders to campus to talk with our faculty and students as well as the larger MSU Community,” said Charles Ostrom, department chairperson.
“The Blanchard Forum has quickly grown into a signature event for our college,” said Rachel Croson, dean of the College of Social Science. “Evan Thomas is an accomplished author and historian, and we are proud to bring him to the MSU community and to our students who benefit greatly when they are able to hear directly from someone who has achieved so much.”
Evan Thomas’ books include New York Times bestsellers “Being Nixon: A Man Divided” and “John Paul Jones: Sailor, Hero, Father of the American Navy” as well as “Robert Kennedy: His Life” and “Ike's Bluff: President Eisenhower's Secret Battle to Save the World.” A seasoned reporter first with Time magazine and then with Newsweek for 24 years, Thomas has won numerous journalism awards, including a National Magazine Award in 1998. He is a graduate of Phillips Academy, Harvard University and the University of Virginia School of Law and taught writing and journalism at Harvard and Princeton.
“During his long career as a public affairs reporter, Evan set the bar very high. He’s one of the best,” Blanchard said. “He has continued that excellence through his books, always creating exciting yet fair and accurate portrayals of his subjects. I’m thrilled to bring him to the MSU community through the Blanchard Forum.”