*Abbreviations under the "Available" column: A = Available // NA = Not Available // R = Previously Registered // WL = Currently on the Wait List
Leadership at the Turning Point: America and Its Quest for Statesmanship
Americans are tired of politics as usual. They yearn for statesmanship—for leaders concerned about the next generation, not just the next election. We have had such leaders before, and we can have them again, if we know what to seek. This course focuses on five leaders at turning points in America’s history and what they said and did. Central to our exploration will be the leader’s words in a key speech or document and the leader’s demonstration of character. As Calvin Coolidge said, “Character is the only secure foundation of the state.”
Each leader and turning point will be the subject of one of our meetings. September 6: Abraham Lincoln and his second inaugural address, delivered as the Civil War neared its end; September 13: George Washington and his farewell address, issued when he stepped down after his second term as president and shocked the world by relinquishing power; September 20: Susan B. Anthony and her statement at trial, after she was convicted for voting in the election of 1872; September 27: Martin Luther King, Jr., and his letter from the Birmingham jail, developed during the civil rights marches that erupted in violence in 1963; and October 4: Gerald Ford, when he spoke after assuming the presidency when Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 and then issued a pardon of the disgraced president. Each class will be a facilitated conversation in which participants will jointly explore the leader, the leader’s turning point, and the leader’s words and deeds as we look for lessons for leadership and statesmanship in our times as well.
Terry Newell currently teaches leadership, ethics, and decision-making courses for a variety of organizations. He is the former dean of the Federal Executive Institute and was also director of the Horace Mann Learning Center, the training arm of the U.S. Department of Education. The course will be based in large part on his book, Statesmanship, Character, and Leadership in America.
A bibliography of readings will be provided during the course, but no reading prior to the course is necessary.