Edmunds Lecture Series

This event has ended. Our thanks to all who participated!

2024 Speaker: George F. Will

George F. Will’s newspaper column has been syndicated by The Washington Post since 1974. Today it appears twice weekly in more than 300 newspapers across 47 states and four countries. 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 in his newspaper columns.

You’re Invited

April 18, 2024
7:00 p.m.
Chapman Cultural Center (Theatre)

Tickets are $25 per person
Students are free


5:00-6:00 p.m.
VIP Reception
George Dean Johnson, Jr. School of Business (Lobby)

5:45-6:45 p.m.
General Reception
Chapman Cultural Center (Theatre Lobby)

7:00-8:15 p.m.
Keynote Address
Chapman Cultural Center (Theatre)


For sponsorship opportunities, please see the sponsorship information below or contact Scott Stephens, Director of Development at 864-503-5233 or deanss@uscupstate.edu

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  • The Dr. John B. Edmunds, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series is dedicated to bringing significant scholars and leaders in history, political science, philosophy, and religion to the University of South Carolina Upstate and the Upstate community. Sponsored by the Department of History, Political Science, Philosophy, and American Studies at USC Upstate, the series has hosted Peggy Noonan, Rick Atkinson, David McCullough, Bob Woodward, Jon Meacham, Retired Four-Star Admiral and 16th Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Jim Stavridis, and N.Y. Times Columnist David Brooks.

    Dr. John B. Edmunds, Jr.

    Dr. John B. Edmunds, Jr. served for 43 years as a professor of American history at the University of South Carolina Upstate. A Spartanburg native, Dr. Edmunds earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of South Carolina, where he specialized in the history of the Palmetto State. In 1967, as the first professor hired by the University of South Carolina Upstate, Dr. Edmunds began a career distinguished by excellence as a teacher, a scholar, and an administrator. For more than four decades, Dr. Edmunds inspired Upstate students with his enthusiastic teaching. 

    Dr. Edmunds was known for his encyclopedic knowledge of South Carolina history, his deep affection for his native state, and his ability to convey his love for South Carolina to his students. He was the author of two books, “Francis W. Pickens and the Politics of Destruction” and “The Episcopal Church of the Advent: History and Records, 1848-1998,” as well as numerous articles on South Carolina.

    About USC Upstate

    The University of South Carolina Upstate is a regional comprehensive university offering more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, business administration, nursing, and education. Located along the I-85 corridor in Spartanburg between Greenville and Charlotte, USC Upstate is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the South’s best college for veterans and South Carolina’s No. 2 public regional college. It serves as a major talent producer for the region, with nearly 5,000 students, approximately 1,300 new graduates a year, and nearly 30,000 alumni, many of whom live and work in the state. The USC Upstate Spartans compete in 15 NCAA Division 1 sports as a member of the Big South Conference.

  • Donors make the difference for the University of South Carolina Upstate’s Dr. John B. Edmunds, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series. Sponsored by the Department of History, Political Science, Philosophy, and American Studies at the University of South Carolina Upstate, the series features an address by a distinguished scholar each spring.

    VIP tickets are included in each sponsorship level and will be mailed to each sponsor to distribute to your guests.

    The deadline to sponsor the Dr. John B. Edmunds Distinguished Lecture Series is March 22, 2024.

    $5,000 – American Happiness and Discontents
    6 Tickets to the VIP Reception and Presentation
    1 Complimentary Autographed Book per Ticket
    Reserved Seating
    Valet Parking
    Company Logo on Website and Program
    Personalized Speaker Photo

    $2,500 – Conservative Sensibility
    4 Tickets to the VIP Reception and Presentation
    Reserved Seating
    Valet Parking
    Company Logo on Website and Program
    Personalized Speaker Photo

    $1,000 – Men at Work
    2 Tickets to the VIP Reception and Presentation
    Reserved Seating
    Valet Parking
    Company Logo on Website and Program
    Personalized Speaker Photo

  • 2023 Speaker: Andrew Roberts

    Presentation Topic: “Winston Churchill: Leadership in Peace and War”

    Professor Andrew Roberts has written eighteen books which have been translated into twenty-eight languages won thirteen literary prizes. These including Salisbury: Victorian Titan, Masters and Commanders, The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War, Napoleon, Churchill: Walking with Destiny (which has sold over half a million copies worldwide) and George III: The Life and Reign of Britain’s Most Misunderstood Monarch.

    2022 Speaker: David Brooks

    An evening with Mr. David Brooks

    Mr. Brooks is a New York Times columnist, an analyst on PBS NewsHour, NPR’s All Things Considered, and NBC’s Meet the Press. He has served as a contributing editor for Newsweek and The Atlantic Monthly as well as senior editor for The Weekly Standard. He is the bestselling author of five books including The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life, The Road to Character, and The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement. David Brooks is a graduate of the University of Chicago and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

    2019 Speaker: James Stavridis

    Presentation topic: “Beyond the Horizon: 21st Century Global Security and Risk”

    James Stavridis is a retired four-star U.S. Navy Admiral who served as the 16th Supreme Allied Commander at NATO from 2009-2013. Following his military career, Stavridis spent five years as the dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He won the Battenberg Cup for commanding the top ship in the Atlantic Fleet and earned the Navy League John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational Leadership, along with more than 50 domestic and international medals and decorations. Stavridis has authored eight books and serves as a columnist for Time Magazine and chief international security analyst for NBC News.

    2018 Speaker: Peggy Noonan

    Presentation topic: “An Evening of Perspective”

    Peggy Noonan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Wall Street Journal and the best-selling author of nine books on American politics, history, and culture. In 2008 the National Journal dubbed Noonan’s political column indispensable to an understanding of  the presidential year, and Forbes Magazine called her column “principled, perceptive, persuasive, and patriotic.” Noonan’s essays have appeared in TIME, Newsweek, The Washington Post and other publications, and she provides frequent political commentary on television.

    2017 Speaker: Rick Atkinson

    Presentation topic: “Ten Things Every American Should Know about World War II”

    Atkinson is among the most celebrated historians of the Second World War, and his Liberation Trilogy — nearly 15 years in the making — has achieved both critical and popular success. It is what every American should know about the greatest epic of the 20th century. In this presentation, Atkinson shares amazing stories and lessons about WWII while discussing its seminal moments and how the war shaped our modern world, created an American heritage, and led to great social change (especially in gender and race relations), medical advancement, and more.

    2016 Speaker: David McCullough

    Presentation topic: “The Wright Brothers”

    David McCullough has been widely acclaimed as a “master of the art of narrative history,” “a matchless writer.” He is twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize, twice winner of the National Book Award, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. A gifted speaker, McCullough has lectured in all parts of the country and abroad, as well as at the White House. He is also one of the few private citizens to speak before a joint session of Congress.

    2015 Speaker: Bob Woodward

    Presentation topic: “Presidential Leadership and the Price of Politics”

    Since 1971, Bob Woodward has worked for The Washington Post where he is currently an associate editor. He and Carl Bernstein were the main reporters on the Watergate scandal for which The Post won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973. Woodward was the lead reporter for The Post’s articles on the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks that won the National Affairs Pulitzer Prize in 2002. In 2004, Bob Schieffer of CBS News said, “Woodward has established himself as the best reporter of our time. He may be the best reporter of all time.”

    2014 Speaker: Jon Meacham

    Presentation Topic: “The Art of Leadership: Lessons from the American Presidency”

    Jon Meacham is the author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning American Lion and an executive editor at Random House, where he also runs The Conversation Online, a site devoted to current affairs and relevant books. Meacham is also an editor-at-large of WNET Public Media, New York’s PBS station, and the former editor of Newsweek. His most recent book, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, was published in November 2012.