April 20, 2017
Noted historian and author Fergus M. Bordewich is the keynote speaker at the inauguration of Hampden-Sydney College's 25th president, Dr. Lawrence J. Stimpert.
He is the author of seven non-fiction books: The First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington, and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented the Government; America's Great Debate: Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and the Compromise that Preserved the Union; Washington: The Making of the American Capital; Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America; My Mother's Ghost, a memoir; Killing the White Man's Indian: Reinventing Native Americans at the End of the Twentieth Century; and Cathay: A Journey in Search of Old China.
The Los Angeles Times named America's Great Debate the Best History Book of 2012, celebrating its "page-turning detail" and its "vivid prose." The book was also named one of the Best Books of 2012 by The Washington Post and it was highlighted at the National Festival of the Book in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Bordewich is no stranger to Virginia, having researched many events of 18th and 19th-Century American history and having written, among his books, the script for the PBS documentary about Thomas Jefferson, Mr. Jefferson's University.
As a boy, Mr. Bordewich often traveled to Indian reservations around the United States with his mother, LaVerne Madigan Bordewich, the executive director of the Association on American Indian Affairs. He says, "this early experience helped to shape his lifelong preoccupation with American history, the settlement of the continent, and issues of race, and political power."
President Stimpert says of Bordewich: "His understanding of the complexity of major events in United States history will provide a valuable perspective as Hampden-Sydney College celebrates its storied past and sets a course to thrive for another 242 years. We are honored to have him with us as we celebrate this important moment in the life of the College."
The inauguration will occur on the lawn of Venable Hall at Hampden-Sydney College on April 28, 2017.