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Pulitzer Prize Winner and Presidential Historian Jon Meacham to Speak at OU Inauguration Celebration Dinner

Pulitzer Prize Winner and Presidential Historian Jon Meacham to Speak at OU Inauguration Celebration Dinner

September 08, 2021

Jon Meacham, renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, will speak at the University of Oklahoma Inauguration Celebration Dinner at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, at the Lloyd Noble Center, 2900 S. Jenkins Ave., on the OU Norman campus. The dinner will kick off several festivities to celebrate the inauguration of Joseph Harroz Jr. as the university’s 15th president.

Meacham, one of America’s most prominent public intellectuals who has documented key moments and notable figures in American history, will discuss the important role of universities in promoting civic education.

“Widely respected for his remarkable insight on current events, politics and religion, Jon Meacham possesses a unique ability to bring historical context to the issues and events impacting our daily lives,” said OU Board of Regents Chair Mike Cawley. “As our state’s flagship university, our core purpose is to change lives through a world-class education and innovative research. Mr. Meacham’s talk on the impact of higher education on society will tie in perfectly to the bold, ambitious goals we have for the University of Oklahoma. It is a tremendous honor that he will be joining us for this occasion, and we know he will inspire us to work together to achieve new levels of excellence at OU.”

Meacham is a contributor to TIME and The New York Times Book Review and is a highly sought-after commentator, regularly appearing on CBS Mornings, Face the Nation, CNN and other news outlets. He has written a number of New York Times bestsellers, including Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, The Hope of Glory: Reflections on the Last Words of Christ, and Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship. He also co-wrote Songs of America with country music star Tim McGraw, charting the course of America’s patriotic music from the American Revolution to the present. In 2009, he won the Pulitzer Prize for biography for American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, which the jury described as “an unflinching portrait of a not always admirable democrat but a pivotal president, written with an agile prose that brings the Jackson saga to life.”

A contributing editor at TIME, Meacham writes for the magazine’s Ideas section. He also pens “The Long View” column in the New York Times Book Review in which he “looks back at books that speak to our current historical and cultural moment.” He served as Newsweek’s managing editor from 1998 to 2006 and editor from 2006 to 2010. The New York Times called him “one of the most influential editors in the news magazine business.”

Named a “Global Leader for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum, Meacham is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a fellow of the Society of American Historians, and chairs the National Advisory Board of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University. Meacham is a distinguished visiting professor of history at The University of the South and a visiting distinguished professor at Vanderbilt University.

Additional inauguration events will be held on Friday, Sept. 17. Events include the inauguration ceremony at Lloyd Noble Center, which will also be livestreamed at; university celebration on the South Oval; and tours of Boyd House, the official residence of the university president.

Masking is expected at indoor events at OU when not eating or drinking.

All inauguration events are open to the entire OU community and the public; however, reservations for the celebration dinner with Jon Meacham will be required, as limited seating will be available. For dinner reservations, more information and accommodations, email or call (405) 325-1701.

About the University of Oklahoma

Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. For more information visit