Harding University announces fall 2015 ASI Distinguished Lecture Series speakers

Harding University’s American Studies Institute has announced its fall lineup of Distinguished Lecture Series speakers. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson will speak Sept. 22, and author Wes Moore will present Nov. 3.

Hutchinson was sworn in as the 46th governor of Arkansas Jan. 13, focusing on bringing more jobs and economic growth to Arkansas. He has worked to lower taxes and to create a more business-friendly climate, and he has forged a consensus on the funding for the private option health care initiative through 2016 and created a task force to recommend future changes.

Hutchinson has worked to require computer science in every high school, crafted a solution to prison overcrowding, refunded our parole system, and increased support for alternative sentencing for non-violent offenders. Before being elected governor, he served in a variety of posts in the private and public sectors. He served as director of the Drug Enforcement Administration and as the first undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Voters in Arkansas’ Third District also elected him to Congress three times. A graduate of the University of Arkansas law school, Hutchinson, at age 31, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the nation’s youngest U.S. attorney.

Wes Moore is a decorated Army combat veteran, youth advocate and CEO of BridgeEdU, a national initiative focusing on addressing the college completion and career placement crisis by reinventing the freshman year of college. He is also the author of two New York Times best-selling books, “The Other Wes Moore” and “The Work.”

Moore graduated Phi Theta Kappa from Valley Forge Military College in 1998 and Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University in 2001. He completed a Master of Letters degree in International Relations from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar in 2004. Upon graduation, he served as a paratrooper and captain in the United States Army, participating in a combat tour of duty in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Division.

Wes has been featured by USA Today, People magazine, “Meet the Press,” “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” “The View,” MSNBC and NPR, among many others. He is also the host of “Beyond Belief” on the Oprah Winfrey Network and executive producer and host of “Coming Back” with Wes Moore on PBS.

Both presentations will be at 7:30 p.m. in Benson Auditorium and are free and open to the public. The program director is working to secure speakers for spring 2016. Those names will be released later in the semester. For more information, contact the American Studies Institute at 501-279-4497.