In the debut of its One Big Question series, Shenandoah University’s College of Arts and Sciences is asking students and faculty:
“What Makes a Great President?”
One Big Question is a series of events meant to engage the campus and broader community in open, respectful and civic dialogue on critical topics of the day. The series will use a mix of invited speakers, faculty lectures, cultural performances, specially designed courses, and other events to highlight and discuss a specific question chosen for each academic year.
One Big Question provides an opportunity for the College of Arts and Sciences, the university, and the broader community to explore interesting, important and relevant topics. Each year, the College of Arts and Sciences plans to organize a series of events around one particular big question. This academic year, with a presidential election in 2020, we thought it appropriate to explore issues surrounding a question that voters consider every four years when they go to the polls and cast ballots for the highest office in the land — What makes a great president?”
Throughout the 2019-2020 academic year, the “What Makes a Great President?” series will explore the qualities of presidential leadership, lessons to be learned through presidencies, how leaders might approach issues in the future, and how leaders of democratic nations around the globe at various points in history have addressed matters and reacted in times of crises.
Join Us to Kick off OBQ on Tuesday, October 1
The series kicks off from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 1, in the Health & Life Sciences Building’s Halpin Rotunda.
College of Arts and Sciences Dean Jeff Coker, Ph.D., will speak about the One Big Question initiative, and Associate Professor of Spanish Adela Borrallo-Solís, Ph.D., will explain the value of using Reflective Structured Dialogue to address these topics. Participants, including staff, faculty, students and administrators, will enjoy a dinner followed by a Reflective Structured Dialogue session centered around “What Makes a Great President?”
Attend The Past And Future Of The American Presidency on Thursday, October 10
At 7 p.m. Oct. 10, author Jeremi Suri will hold a talk called “The Past And Future Of The American Presidency” in Stimpson Auditorium in Halpin-Harrison Hall. Suri is the author and editor of nine books on contemporary politics and foreign policy. He holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a professor in the university’s Department of History and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Suri’s writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Wired, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, and others.
Suri will offer insight into this year’s One Big Question and will sign copies of his most recent book, “The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office.” Books will also be available for purchase. The event is free and open to the public.
Before and after the Oct. 10 event, students from different political backgrounds will be chosen randomly to do one-on-one interviews to discuss politics for the StoryCorps app. StoryCorps is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to record, preserve, and share the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs. Students will be asked such questions as who influenced their political thinking and what aspects do they care most about in politics. The interviews will be conducted and taped in a closed room and then will be uploaded to the StoryCorps archives and possibly a Shenandoah University archive.
Future events for the One Big Question series will be announced as they are formalized.