Presidential historian to speak about democracy

February 11, 2013  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Richard Norton Smith, who has helped create and run six presidential libraries, will present "Our Divided Democracy: How Did We Become So Polarized?" at Purdue University on Feb. 26.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is 5:30 p.m. in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall. It is part of the Project Impact series, and it is an audience-interactive forum. Audience members will be able to participate in an instant poll using their cell phones, and audience members can ask questions at microphones or via Twitter (@Project_Impact). A reception under the Mural at Stewart Center will immediately follow Smith's talk.

Smith is a distinguished historian and author who has helped lead six presidential libraries, from Abraham Lincoln to George W. Bush. Smith was a featured speaker at the Congressional Bicameral Celebration of Lincoln's 200th birthday held at the U.S. Capitol. He is a frequent commentator on C-SPAN and PBS NewsHour.

Other Project Impact series events are:

* April 4. 6-7 p.m. Stewart Center's Fowler Hall. Anne-Marie O'Connor, best-selling author and journalist. Co-sponsored by the Tippecanoe Arts Federation and Jewish Studies program.

* April 11. 9-10:15 a.m. Lawson Computer Science Building, Room 1142. Brian Lamb Master Class. The event is open to the public on a first-come basis.

Project Impact, which launched its lecture series in 2010, is an experiential learning initiative in which students produce forums with historians, government officials, journalists, media executives and successful practitioners in their fields of interest. Ambassador Carolyn Curiel, a clinical professor in the Brian Lamb School of Communication and former White House senior aide, is the founder and director of Project Impact.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723,

Source: Elizabeth Dorrance Hall, Project Impact graduate assistant,

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