The Mary Elizabeth Babcock Lectureship in the American Conservative Tradition welcomes the former former Senator Bill Bradley and former Speaker Newt Gingrich presenting a program, “Leadership in a Changing World.”
William (Bill) Warren Bradley and Newton (Newt) Leroy Gingrich were both born in 1943 and arrived newly elected in Washington, D.C., in 1979, a Democratic senator and Republican congressman, respectively. During their service in the capitol, both earned reputations as opinion shapers who focused on large-scale reform.
Born in Crystal City, Mo., Bradley graduated from Princeton in 1965 and earned an advanced degree in philosophy, politics and economics as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in 1968. A gold medal winner in basketball in the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, he played professionally with the New York Knicks from 1967 to 1977, winning two NBA Championships. In 1982, e was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. During his 18 years as a senator from New Jersey, Bradley was the driving force behind the Tax Reform Act of 1986, and he worked on international trade, pension reform, and community building. During the 1990s, he was an essayist for CBS Evening News and a visiting professor at Stanford University, Notre Dame University, and the University of Maryland. Bradley was a candidate for U.S. president in 2000. Currently, he is a managing director of Allen & Company LLC, an investment bank, and a member of the Board of Directors of Starbucks. He is the author of six books on American politics, culture and economy; the most recent is New American Story (2008), a review of
current politics and a collection of ideas to improve major policy issues.
Gingrich was born in Harrisburg, Pa., the child of a career military family. He earned his B.A. from Emory University in 1965 and holds an M.A. (1968) and Ph.D. (1971) in modern European history from Tulane University. He taught history at the University of West Georgia from 1970 to 1978, when he was elected to represent Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District. He was re-elected six times from that district and an additional four times from a newly formed Sixth District in northern Atlanta. In 1994, his “Contract with America” led the Republican Party to victory in the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years and subsequently to his election as speaker of the House. Under his leadership, Congress passed welfare reform, the first tax cut in 16 years, and a bill to restore funding to strengthen defense and intelligence capabilities. In 1998, Gingrich resigned as speaker and declined his newly won congressional seat. He has remained involved in national politics and public policy debate on such subjects as illegal immigration, climate change, Wall Street bailouts, and terrorism. Gingrich has published 19 books, including 10 New York Times best-sellers.
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, Christine Todd Whitman, Norman J. Ornstein, and Thomas E. Mann.