'The Importance of Inspiration: Leaders who Made a Difference'

Former U.S. Rep. Jim Leach to present guest lecture May 8

Professor of law and former U.S. Rep. Jim Leach will present the lecture, "The Importance of Inspiration: Leaders who Made a Difference," at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 8, in Room 206 of the Valders Hall of Science at Luther College.

The lecture is open to the public with no charge for admission.

There is a sense among many Americans that relations with each other and the rest of the world have suffered lately. In his lecture, Leach will note weaknesses within modern American politics and contrast models of public conduct between current times and challenging moments in America's history.

Leach will share the stories of five fellow Iowans who made a difference in the world without ever being elected to public office: a teacher who founded three national movements; a farmer who led a genetic revolution that saved the lives of millions; a social worker in debilitating health who assisted a president in making several of the most important strategic decisions in America's history; a physicist who became the most important single combatant in World War II; and an art historian who helped craft the last tactical consideration in the greatest war ever fought.

In sharing the stories of such seemingly average individuals who managed to accomplish great things, Leach hopes to inspire his audience to take action and aim to change the world.

This lecture is sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Public Life.

Leach is currently serving as a visiting professor of law at the University of Iowa. Before this appointment, he served as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, an agency devoted to promoting excellence in humanities.

Leach served 30 years as a representative in Congress where he chaired the Banking and Financial Services Committee, the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs and the Congressional-Executive Commission in China. He has also served as a professor at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and a lecturer at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Leach holds 13 honorary degrees, one of which is from Luther, decorations from two foreign governments and numerous other awards and honors.