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Pulitzer Prize winner Dr. Edward Larson launches 2016-2017 Sebelius Lecture Series
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The lecture series named for one of Fort Hays State University’s most notable alumni, former representative Keith Sebelius, will feature a November appearance by Dr. Edward Larson, who holds the Hugh and Hazel Darling Chair in Law and is University Professor of History at Pepperdine University.
He is a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in history and numerous other awards for writing and teaching.
Larson will discuss “The Origins of Presidential Politics” at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center in FHSU’s Sheridan Hall. This is the first lecture of the 2016-2017 academic year.
The lecture will begin with the Electoral College. The Framers of the Constitution, who created the Electoral College system, envisioned a presidential selection system without national political parties. Larson will explore how the United States moved from a non-partisan system to the highly partisan system we have now in just 12 short years. For better or for worse, by 1800, presidential politics had become much as we experience it today.
“We’re honored to have Dr. Larson at Fort Hays State University,” said Jacob Ternes, chair of the Special Events Committee and assistant director of the Memorial Union. “As the author of 10 books and over a hundred published articles, he brings a wealth of knowledge in a variety of topics. It will be fascinating to hear his perspective on how presidential politics have been shaped over the course of American history.”
Larson’s books, which have been translated into over twenty languages, include “An Empire of Ice: Scott, Shackleton, and the Heroic Age of Antarctic Science”; “A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America’s First Presidential Campaign”; “Evolution’s Workshop: God and Science in the Galapagos Islands”; and the Pulitzer Prize winning “Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion.” His latest book, “The Return of George Washington,” was on The New York Times bestseller list in 2015.
Larson has taught short courses at universities in China, Europe, and South America; been a featured speaker at book festivals and the Chautauqua Institute; and given addresses at more than 80 American universities. He is interviewed frequently for broadcast, print, cable, and internet media, including “The Daily Show,” “The Today Show” and multiple appearances on PBS, BBC, the History Channel, C-SPAN, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and NPR.
Larson earned a B.A. from Williams College (1974), a law degree from Harvard (1979), and a Ph.D. in the history of science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1984), and received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Ohio State University in 2004.
Tickets are available now for pre-order online at, will go on sale at the Student Service Center in the Memorial Union beginning Monday, Oct. 24, and can be purchased at the Beach/Schmidt box office the evening of the lecture. Tickets are free for Fort Hays State University students and $10 for the public.
Numerous patrons, who donate $150 per person, help sponsor the Sebelius Lecture Series each year. These donations are tax deductible, less benefits received. Patrons will receive an exclusive invitation to a reception with the speaker on the day of the lecture and exclusive tickets to sit in rows A-C for the lecture. To become a patron, visit and complete a ticket order form as a patron.
For more information about the Sebelius Lecture Series, call Jacob Ternes at 785-628-4664 or send email to