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Foundations Center, Lyceum Lecture to Feature Award-Winning Historian

November 8, 2011

Media Contact: Mark Vanderhoek, (478) 301-4037,

MACON — The Center for the Teaching of America’s Western Foundations will sponsor a lecture by award-winning historian and author Dr. Gordon S. Wood on Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. in Willingham Auditorium on the Macon campus. The lecture is part of the Center’s lecture series and the Mercer Lyceum, a University-wide initiative featuring programs under the theme “Rebuilding Democracy.” The lecture is free and open to the public.

“We’re very excited about bringing to campus a scholar of Professor Wood’s caliber.  He is, quite simply, the world’s foremost historian of the American founding,” said Dr. Will R. Jordan, associate professor of political science and co-director of the center.  “We have considered asking Professor Wood to campus for a number of years. This year’s Lyceum theme of ‘Rebuilding Democracy’ gave us the perfect excuse for doing so. Nobody has done more than Professor Wood to illuminate the character of the early republic.”

Dr. Wood is Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University and the recipient of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for History and the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize for his book, The Radicalism of the American Revolution. He has written, co-written or edited 20 books on history over his illustrious career. His book The Creation of the American Republic, 1776–1787 (1969), won a Bancroft Prize and John H. Dunning Prize in 1970. The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin (2004) was awarded the Julia Ward Howe Prize by the Boston Authors Club in 2005. His most recent work, part of the Oxford History of the United States, titled Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2010), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2010, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal.

Dr. Wood writes reviews in The New York Review of Books and The New Republic and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He received his B.A. degree from Tufts University and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He taught at Harvard University and the University of Michigan before joining the faculty at Brown in 1969.

“Our center exists to help students better understand and appreciate the foundations of the American regime,” said Dr. Charlotte Thomas, professor of philosophy and co-director of the center. “What better way to do this than with Professor Wood?  He has dedicated a lifetime of absolutely first-rate scholarship to this task.”

About the Mercer Center for the Teaching of America’s Western Foundations
Mercer’s Center for the Teaching of America’s Western Foundations seeks to provide a new generation of citizens with knowledge of, and appreciation for, the founding principles, values and history of our nation. The Great Books of the West were the education of the American Founders, and America’s freedom and prosperity fundamentally come from the ideas, values, and principles that the Founders’ Great Books explore. To that end, the Center seeks to promote the study and teaching of these foundational works and strengthen the knowledge and understanding of the cultural-intellectual inheritance of America. Mercer is one of a select few colleges or universities in the country and the only one in Georgia that has a Great Books of Western Civilization program as part of its general education curriculum. The Center complements this curriculum with programs including summer workshops for high school teachers and students, lecture series and campus conferences and seeks to reinforce the importance of traditional liberal-arts education.

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,200 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
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