NCC Explores "The American Presidency"

September 10, 2012

Northampton Community College (NCC) series will present The American Presidency, a year-long, multidisciplinary exploration of the evolving role and powers of the presidency in American history.  Dr. Brian Alnutt, assistant professor of history, is the faculty coordinator.  Alnutt holds a Ph.D. in history from Lehigh University. 

"The approach of the 2012 election offers a promising opportunity to engage in a multifaceted exploration of the American presidency," Alnutt says.  "As one presidential term ends and another commences, this program will engage NCC and its wider community in discoveries, discussions and debates about the ways the American presidents have used the office and related questions about how Americans perceive the role and powers of the federal government in American life," Alnutt says. 

Most of the programming for The American Presidency is being made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, matched by generous donors.  Community partners include the Bethlehem Area Public Library, Bethlehem Area School District, Eastern Monroe Public Library, Historic Bethlehem Partnership, Monroe County Historical Association, and the Stroudsburg Area School District. 

The NEH grant is among the largest the organization has ever made to a community college.   It earned NCC a "We the People" designation, placing it among a selective group of projects associated with an NEH initiative aimed at strengthening the teaching, study and understanding of American history and culture. 

Last year, the NEH challenge grant enabled NCC to lead a year-long discussion of "The Meaning of Freedom: 1865 to Today" series, inspired by the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, probing the progress that we have made as a country and the goals of nationhood to which we still aspire. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin gave the keynote address for The Meaning of Freedom

Events for the 2012 fall semester include: 

George Washington: the Forging of a Nation.  Sept. 11th, Main Campus, College Center room 146, 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.  

George Washington, portrayed by Dean Malissa, the official historical portrayer of Washington for Mount Vernon.  Sept. 18th, Main Campus, Lipkin Theatre. Kopecek Hall, 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Thomas Jefferson.  The PBS film by Ken Burns.  Oct. 9th, Monroe Campus, room TNRV 111, Tannersville 12:30 - 1:30 p.m., and  Oct. 11th, Main Campus, College Center room 146, 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. 

John Quincy Adams.   Dr. Brian Alnutt will give a presentation on our sixth president, who led the country from 1824-1828.  Oct. 18th, Monroe Campus, room TNRV 111, Tannersville,12:30- 1:30 p.m., and Oct. 23rd, Main Campus, College Center room 146, 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Andrew Jackson, Good, Evil and the Presidency.  The PBS film.  Nov. 13th, Monroe Campus, room TNRV 150, Tannersville 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. 

Debate: Federal Government: a Strong Vision or Limited Power?  Nov. 28th, Main Campus, Lipkin Theatre, Kopecek Hall, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. 

Programs for the spring will feature later presidents and include a public address by Michael Beschloss on April 18, 2013, in which the presidential scholar and commentator will discuss his book Presidential Courage. 

For more information call 610-332-6547 or visit The American Presidency website.

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