Harvard Professor, Bestselling Author Robert Putnam to present 2016 T.W. Samuels Lecture March 16 on Childhood Poverty

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[March 03, 2016]  DECATUR - Robert D. Putnam, the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University and bestselling author, will present the 2016 T.W. Samuels Lecture on Wednesday, March 16. The lecture will take place in Kirkland Fine Arts Center on Millikin University’s campus beginning at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required.

The topic of Professor Putnam’s presentation is “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis.”

Beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 16, Millikin University will host a “Conversation on Childhood Poverty” in Albert Taylor Theatre, on the second floor of Shilling Hall. The conversation will include a panel of community leaders from human service agencies, health care, Decatur Public Schools, businesses, and Grow Decatur as well as Professor Putnam. The conversation will explore why childhood poverty matters to all of us including its impact on schools, employers, neighborhoods, and the long-term future of Decatur. The conversation is free and open to the public.

Professor Putnam is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the British Academy, and is past president of the American Political Science Association. He has received numerous scholarly honors, including the Skytte Prize, the most prestigious global award in political science, and the National Humanities Medal, the nation’s highest honor for contributions to the humanities.

Professor Putnam has written 14 books, translated into more than 20 languages, including “Bowling Alone” and “Making Democracy Work,” both among the most cited publications in the social sciences in the last half century. His 2010 book, “American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us,” co-authored with David E. Campbell, won the American Political Science Association’s 2011 Woodrow Wilson award as the best book in political science.

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Professor Putnam has been a consultant to the last three American Presidents, the last three British Prime Ministers, the last French President, Prime Ministers from Ireland to Singapore, and hundreds of grassroots leaders and activists in many countries. His latest book, “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis,” on the growing class gap among American young people, was published in March 2015. The Sunday Times of London has called him “the most influential academic in the world.”

The events are sponsored by the T.W. Samuels Endowment at Millikin University, the Andreas Foundation through the Community Foundation of Macon County, Decatur Public Schools District No. 61, and the Millikin Institute for Science Entrepreneurship.

The T.W. Samuels Lecture Series was created in 1977 in honor of attorney T.W. Samuels, senior partner in the Decatur law firm of Samuels, Miller, Schroeder, Jackson and Sly. Samuels was active in Decatur community affairs until his death in 1989 at age 103. Samuels’ sons, William J. Samuels of Menlo Park, Calif., and the late Dr. Thomas W. Samuels Jr., created an endowment fund to finance the series in recognition of their father. The endowment is used to bring great thinkers and speakers to Millikin for the purpose of community enrichment.

[Millikin University Media Relations]


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