Dr. William Leeman to participate in Council of Independent Colleges seminar

Dr. William Leeman, associate professor of history, is one of a select group of faculty members nationwide chosen by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to participate in a special American history seminar on “The 20th Century Presidency.” The multidisciplinary seminar for faculty members in history, political science, and related fields will explore characteristics of 20th century presidential leadership, including several individual presidents and their presidencies.

Leeman was among 30 faculty members selected from a pool of 77 highly competitive nominations to participate in the seminar, which will be held July 23–27 at Stanford University’s Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Center in Washington, D.C.

Seminar participants will consider presidents’ abilities to handle domestic and foreign policy leadership as well as personal qualities including vision, charisma, credibility, and communication and consensus-building skills. The seminar will focus on the administrations of three 20th century presidents: Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency will be considered in the context of the Great Depression and World War II, John F. Kennedy’s presidency will be reviewed in the context of the Cold War, and Lyndon Johnson’s presidency will be discussed in the context of the Great Society and Vietnam.

“Strengthening the teaching of American history at colleges and universities is of critical importance,” said CIC President Richard Ekman. “This seminar will provide a great opportunity for participating faculty members to gain a better understanding of effective leadership and to explore presidencies within the context of the history known then and now. We believe that William Leeman will play a strong role in the seminar.”

Robert Dallek, professor of history emeritus at UCLA who now teaches at Stanford in Washington, will lead the seminar. He is the author of numerous books, including “Camelot’s Court: Inside the Kennedy White House;” “Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power;” “Lyndon B. Johnson, Portrait of a President;” the number one New York Times best-seller, “An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917–1963;” and winner of a Bancroft Prize, “Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932–1945.”

The seminar is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.