National Endowment for Humanities chairman to lecture at Columbia College

Monday, March 7, 2011 | 1:44 p.m. CST; updated 10:49 p.m. CST, Monday, March 7, 2011

COLUMBIA — Jim Leach, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, will come Thursday to Columbia College to deliver a lecture on civility for the Althea W. and John A. Schiffman Ethics in Society series.

“The Ethics of Civility” will begin with a question and answer session at 3:30 p.m. in Dorsey Gymnasium. The lecture will start at 7:30 p.m. at Launer Auditorium, 1001 Rogers St. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

Civility became a national topic of discourse after the Tuscon, Ariz., shootings in early January pointed to an increasingly angry tone in political debate.

Leach was nominated by President Barack Obama and began his four-year term as National Endowment of the Humanities chairman in 2009.

He graduated from Princeton University and received a master's degree in Soviet politics from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He did additional graduate studies at the London School of Economics. He also holds eight honorary degrees.

He represented southeastern Iowa in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years. He chaired the Banking and Financial Services Committee, the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, and he founded and co-chaired the Congressional Humanities Caucus.

Leach has received numerous awards, including the Sidney R. Yates Award for Distinguished Public Service to the Humanities from the National Humanities Alliance.

Since 2003, the Schiffman Ethics in Society Lecture Series has invited speakers from all over the nation, including Soledad O'Brien and Mike Huckabee.

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