The Mary Elizabeth Babcock Lectureship in the American Conservative Tradition welcomes the former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus presenting a lecture, “A 360-Degree View of Washington.”
Named White House Chief of Staff shortly after the 2016 campaign, Priebus oversaw President Donald Trump’s transition and first 100 days in office. Prior to managing the White House staff, he served as the longest-serving chairman of the Republican National Committee in modern history. He oversaw a dramatic turnaround of the RNC, rescuing its finances, repairing its operations, and rebuilding its ground game by welcoming new voters and harnessing the power of new technologies.
A successful chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, Priebus created the framework for one of the most historic election cycles Wisconsin has ever experienced. During his tenure, the state’s Republicans elected Ron Johnson to the Senate, gained two additional U.S. House seats, won the Governor’s office, and took back both the state Assembly and Senate, defeating the leaders of both of those chambers.
Priebus has a long history in Republican politics as a grassroots volunteer. He worked his way up through the ranks of the Republican Party of Wisconsin as 1st Congressional District Chairman, State Party Treasurer, First Vice Chair, and eventually State Party Chairman. In 2009, he served as General Counsel to the RNC, volunteering his time to help manage the party’s most difficult challenges.
Denison and Harvard alumna Mary Elizabeth Babcock, who died in June 1998, had a lifelong interest in education, government and politics. She engaged in a wide range of charitable, educational and community interests in Johnstown, Ohio, and throughout Licking and Franklin counties for many years.
In 1981, she established the Mary Elizabeth Babcock Lectureship in the American Conservative Tradition at Denison University. Since then, her generosity has enabled students and community members to hear William F. Buckley Jr., James J. Kilpatrick, George F. Will, Zbigniew Brzezinski, David R. Gergen, Robert D. Novak, Richard L. Thornburgh, Jack Kemp, Robert H. Bork, Robert J. Dole, J.C. Watts, Torie Clarke, Dee Dee Myers and Christine Todd Whitman, Norman J. Ornstein, Thomas E. Mann, Bill Bradley, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, and Bobby Jindal.