Dr. John B. Edmunds, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series

The Dr. John B. Edmunds, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series is dedicated to bringing significant scholars and leaders in history, political science, philosophy and religion to the University of South Carolina Upstate and the Upstate community. Sponsored by the Department of History, Political Science, Philosophy and American Studies at USC Upstate, the series features an address by a distinguished speaker each spring. 

Speaker: Admiral James Stavridis

Jim Stavridis - Dr. John B. Edmunds, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series

Retired four-star U.S. Navy Admiral and author James Stavridis was considered for a cabinet position with President Donald Trump’s administration and as a potential vice presidential running mate for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016.

A native of West Palm Beach, Fla., Stavridis attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and served for 37 years in the Navy.

He served four years as the 16th Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, where he oversaw operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, the Balkans, and led efforts to halt piracy off the coast of Africa.

Stavridis was in charge of U.S. Southern Command in Miami and was responsible for military operations throughout Latin America for about three years. He retired in 2013 as the longest-serving combatant commander in recent U.S. history.

Following his military career, Stavridis spent five years as the dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he also earned his Ph.D.

Stavridis won the Battenberg Cup for commanding the top ship in the Atlantic Fleet and earned the Navy League John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational Leadership, along with more than 50 domestic and international medals and decorations.

He has authored eight books and serves as a columnist for Time Magazine and chief international security analyst for NBC News.

  • THURSDAY, March 21, 2019

    5:30 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. Reception

    7 p.m. - 8:15 p.m. Presentation

    Humanities and Performing Arts Center Theatre 
    170 Gramling Drive Spartanburg, SC  29303 Map Location - Humanities and Performing Arts Center theater

    A selection of Stavridis's books will be available at the event.

    Ticket Information

    $50 for general public and $35 for faculty, staff and retirees of USC Upstate. All tickets include admission to the reception.

    Past and current USC Upstate faculty/staff will need to contact the box office for a coupon code prior to purchasing tickets.

    Student tickets will be offered free on a first come, first-served basis. Students must present their Upstate ID to pick up their tickets from the HPAC box office. Only one ticket per student. 

    The box office contact info is below:

    Email: boxoffice@uscupstate.edu
    Phone: (864) 503-5695
    Hours: M-F, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
    Purchase Tickets

    For more information, please call 864-503-7303.

    Some wheelchair and limited mobility seating is available. Please contact the box office.

  • Dr. John B. Edmunds, Jr. served for 43 years as a professor of American history at the University of South Carolina Upstate. A Spartanburg native, Dr. Edmunds earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of South Carolina, where he specialized in the history of the Palmetto State. In 1967, as the first professor hired by the University of South Carolina Upstate, Dr. Edmunds began a career distinguished by excellence as a teacher, a scholar and an administrator. For more than four decades, Dr. Edmunds inspired Upstate students with his enthusiastic teaching. 

    Dr. Edmunds was known for his encyclopedic knowledge of South Carolina history, his deep affection for his native state, and his ability to convey his love for South Carolina to his students. He authored two books, Francis W. Pickens and the Politics of Destruction and The Episcopal Church of the Advent: History and Records, 1848-1998, as well as numerous articles on South Carolina. Over the years, Dr. Edmunds gained a reputation as a popular and engaging speaker on South Carolina history, often giving his time to speak with organizations around the state. 

    At USC Upstate, he served in numerous positions from professor to chair of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences to Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences. His contributions go well beyond the University. He served on the Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education and as president of the South Carolina Historical Association. In the community, he was active with organizations such as the United Way of the Piedmont and the Spartanburg Civil Rights Committee. 

    To all who have worked with Dr. Edmunds, he was more than a colleague; he was a friend and a mentor. Dr. Edmunds, who passed away on December 20, 2016, is survived by his wife Judy McGrath Edmunds and two daughters.

  • 2018 Speaker: Peggy Noonan

    Peggy NoonanPresentation topic: "An Evening of Perspective"

    Peggy Noonan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Wall Street Journal and the best-selling author of nine books on American politics, history, and culture. In 2008 the National Journal dubbed Noonan’s political column indispensable to an understanding of  the presidential year, and Forbes Magazine called her column “principled, perceptive, persuasive, and patriotic.” Noonan’s essays have appeared in TIME, Newsweek, The Washington Post and other publications, and she provides frequent political commentary on television.


    2017 Speaker: Rick Atkinson

    Rick AtkinsPresentation topic: "Ten Things Every American Should Know about World War II"

    Atkinson is among the most celebrated historians of the Second World War, and his Liberation Trilogy — nearly 15 years in the making — has achieved both critical and popular success. It is what every American should know about the greatest epic of the 20th century. In this presentation, Atkinson shares amazing stories and lessons about WWII while discussing its seminal moments and how the war shaped our modern world, created an American heritage, and led to great social change (especially in gender and race relations), medical advancement, and more.


    2016 Speaker: David McCullough

    David McCulloughPresentation topic: "The Wright Brothers"

    David McCullough has been widely acclaimed as a “master of the art of narrative history,” “a matchless writer.” He is twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize, twice winner of the National Book Award, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. A gifted speaker, McCullough has lectured in all parts of the country and abroad, as well as at the White House. He is also one of the few private citizens to speak before a joint session of Congress.


    2015 Speaker: Bob Woodward

    Bob WoodwardPresentation topic: "Presidential Leadership and the Price of Politics"

    Since 1971, Bob Woodward has worked for The Washington Post where he is currently an associate editor. He and Carl Bernstein were the main reporters on the Watergate scandal for which The Post won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973. Woodward was the lead reporter for The Post's articles on the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks that won the National Affairs Pulitzer Prize in 2002. In 2004, Bob Schieffer of CBS News said, "Woodward has established himself as the best reporter of our time. He may be the best reporter of all time."


    2014 Speaker: Jon Meacham

    Jon MeachamPresentation Topic: “The Art of Leadership: Lessons from the American Presidency”

    Jon Meacham is the author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning American Lion and an executive editor at Random House, where he also runs The Conversation Online, a site devoted to current affairs and relevant books. Meacham is also an editor-at-large of WNET Public Media, New York’s PBS station, and the former editor of Newsweek. His most recent book, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, was published in November 2012.

  • Admiral Level

    • 4 Event Tckets
    • 4 VIP Reception Tickets
    • Photo with Admiral Stavridis
    • Autographed copy of Sea Power
    • Valet Parking
    • Sponsorship Designation in program and webpage

    Admiral Level

    • 2 Event Tckets
    • 2 VIP Reception Tickets
    • Photo with Admiral Stavridis
    • Autographed copy of Sea Power
    • Valet Parking
    • Sponsorship Designation in program and webpage