Josiah Bunting III To Deliver Endowment's "Heroes of History" Lecture in Washington, D.C.
Noted author and educator will speak on the legacy of George Marshall
Author, scholar, and former college president Josiah Bunting III will deliver the third annual "Heroes of History Lecture" on Oct. 18 in Washington, D.C., the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced today.
Bunting, whose recent book, Ulysses S. Grant (2004), was written as part of Arthur M. Schlesinger's "The American Presidents Series," will speak on "George Marshall: An American for All Seasons."
"The 'Heroes of History' lecture explores the lives of courageous Americans by providing new insights into their lives, their decisions, and the consequences of their actions," said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole. "Josiah Bunting brings an exemplary career of teaching, writing, and leadership to his research on George C. Marshall, the distinguished World War II U.S. military leader and diplomat who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953."
Bunting became president of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation in 2004 after serving for eight years as superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in Lexington, Va. He serves concurrently as chairman of the National Civic Literacy Board of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. He is a 1963 graduate of VMI and later studied at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and at Columbia University, where he was a John Burgess Fellow. From 1966 until 1972 he served on active duty in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of major. He served in Vietnam and as an assistant professor of history at West Point. Later he served successively as professor of history at the Naval War College and as president of Briarcliff College (1973-1977) and Hampden Sydney College (1977-1987).
His publications include four novels and a new biography to be published by Knopf in 2006 on the life of George C. Marshall. Mr. Bunting's first novel, The Lionheads, was selected as one of the "Ten Best Novels of 1973" by Time magazine; his utopian fantasy about an ideal college, An Education for Our Time, was a main selection of the Conservative Book Club in 1998.
The "Heroes of History" lecture is part of the Endowment's We the People initiative designed to strengthen the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture. The lecture is an annual event and carries an honorarium of $10,000. Previous "Heroes of History" lecturers were Harold Holzer (2004) and Robert Remini (2003).
The Oct. 18 event also will include the awarding of medals to six high school juniors for their essays in the "Idea of America Essay Contest." Entrants in this year's contest were asked to respond to the question, "How were the tenets of . . . totalitarian movements different from the ideals that unite Americans? How did the ideals embodied in the American founding prevail?" The author of the winning essay will receive a grand prize of $5,000; five other finalists each will receive $1,000. Winners will be announced in the coming weeks.