December 19, 2016

Authors, investor headline Spring 2017 Presidential Lecture Series

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Three award-winning authors and the country’s most successful investor will comprise Purdue’s Spring 2017 Presidential Lecture series, an ongoing series of conversations on policy, leadership, culture, society and other fields of interest for both academics and the community at large.

J.D. Vance, New York Times contributor and author of “Hillbilly Elegy”; Stan Druckenmiller, renowned philanthropist and hedge fund manager; Doug Brinkley, historian, professor and author of “The Reagan Diaries”; and Bjorn Lomborg, author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist,” will each join Purdue President Mitch Daniels for an hourlong discussion and audience Q&A session this spring. All are free and open to the public.

“From hedge funds to hillbillies, the array of topics and insights these speakers will bring to campus this spring is phenomenal,” Daniels said. “I look forward to the insightful ideas they will share with our campus and the area community.”

Connected with each public presentation, speakers will be integrated into relevant curricular activities on the West Lafayette campus during their visits. Purdue Convocations assists the Office of the President with the series.

J.D. Vance: Jan. 30, 6:30 p.m. Stewart Center's Loeb Playhouse.

Vance is a political commentator, Silicon Valley investment firm principal and New York Times best-selling author of the runaway hit “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis,” which the New York Times called “a compassionate, discerning sociological analysis of the white underclass that has helped drive the politics of rebellion, particularly the ascent of Donald J. Trump.”

He is also a frequent contributor to the New York Times and National Review and has appeared on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and CNBC. Vance grew up in Middletown, Ohio, and Jackson, Kentucky, and served in Iraq with the Marine Corps after high school, before graduating from Ohio State University and Yale Law School.

Stan Druckenmiller: Feb. 1, 6:30 p.m. Stewart Center's Fowler Hall.

Named one of the world’s greatest investors by MoneyWeek in October 2016, Druckenmiller founded Duquesne Capital Management in 1981, which managed more than $12 billion in assets and posted an average annual return of 30 percent without any money-losing year until its closing in 2010. He was also a lead portfolio manager for George Soros’ Quantum Fund from 1988-2000, managing $22 billion in assets.

A graduate of Bowdoin College, Druckenmiller is a renowned philanthropist, named the Most Charitable Man in America in 2009 after donating more than $700 million to charitable causes.

Doug Brinkley: March 1, 6:30 p.m. Stewart Center’s Fowler Hall.

Brinkley is a professor of history and Baker Institute fellow at Rice University, and the author of a number of award-winning and bestselling books on Hurricane Katrina, Ronald Reagan, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodor Roosevelt, John Kerry and Walter Cronkite. He is also a fellow at the James Baker Institute for Public Policy; history commentator for CNN News; a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, American Heritage and others; and an editor of Audubon.

A graduate of Ohio State and Georgetown universities, Brinkley has taught history at Tulane University, the University of New Orleans, the U.S. Naval Academy, Princeton University and Hofstra University.

Bjorn Lomborg: April 11, 6:30 p.m. Stewart Center’s Fowler Hall.

Lomborg is a Danish environmentalist, author, think-tank president, and visiting professor of strategic management and globalization at the Copenhagen Business School. As president of economic think-tank Copenhagen Consensus Center, he leads a team of experts researching potential solutions to global issues via economic principles. He is the author of several books, including “The Skeptical Environmentalist, Measuring the Real State of the World,” which examines the veracity of many of the most publicized claims and predictions on environmental issues.

He is former director of the Danish government’s Environmental Assessment Institute and was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2004.

Sources:  Mitch Daniels,

Abby Eddy, Purdue Convocations director of marketing, 765-494-9712,

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